Books

ORDER NOW: The Grief We’re Given (2021, Central Avenue Publishing): A book of poetry that explores the collective and personal experience of grief and grieving through themes and tropes such as relationships, love, loss, nature, eternity, and hope as a thinning, but exuberant, door. How are we to learn to grieve when it feel unrelenting? How are we to adore and memorialize small moments of appreciation? How are we to shape our grief into something worth celebrating, and begin to understand the grief we give?

“Bortz delivers a subtle portrait of violence and endurance, and an intriguing work that places varied experimental forms in dialogue with one another.” —Publishers Weekly

“A luminous and consistently breathtaking exploration of grief, Bortz’s stunningly crafted writing will stay with you long after its final exhale.” —Ruben Quesada, author of Murmuration

“William Bortz has an impressive ability to reflect upon the genuine, often harsh realities of life with profound writing that is equally candid and hopeful.” —Davis John Patton, singer/songwriter

“In The Grief We’re Given, William Bortz shares poems that cause you to tremble and quake. Taking you through moments of loss, breakthroughs of clarity, and all that encompasses catching and releasing memories we are made of— like feathers falling into our palms.” — Cheyenne Raine, co-founder of Raine Publishing

“The Grief We’re Given is a brilliantly tender exercise of remembrance, of rearranging darkness and reaching toward that “distant light.” —Christine Jewel, author of Fading Through

The Sky Grew Back with Clouds: This chapbook of poetry focuses on the relationship we have with nature. How we ingest a stale afternoon or a swelling moon. Accompanying the nature theme is the ebb and flow of wanting; in our longing exists, often, malcontent. This chapbook pokes at that reality, and how when a moment is spared to observe, the wants and longings become so small they hardly exist at all, leaving room for a moment to breathe and do nothing else.

“The most valuable piece of Will’s poetry is his considerate spirit when it comes to re-evaluating and appreciating things that are often seen as mundane in day-to-day experiences. It is like being challenged to be more thankful.”

Shards: A book of poetry that navigates the hurt of the past and how those fragments spill into present daily life while offering respite to both the writer and the reader. The collection does less mourning for hurt and more seeking amends with all of the shattered pieces: offering the reader hope that in brokenness there is reconciliation. This trend is most present in the poem ‘War’. Author Bortz shows no condemnation for the father who passed the war onto him, only acknowledgement. In this key paradigm shift, we see the hope that the author beseeches us to grasp onto: honesty begets forgiveness.

“Shards is the beautiful & reflective journey of William Bortz. These poems feel like peace and a cup of warm, fragrant tea on a rainy afternoon. Will writes stunning pieces about love, loss, and healing with so many stand-out lines:

“I lie my head/ on the bedrock of/ necessary change/ and become the strongest/ thing that has ever been/ so silent.”

Highly recommend.”

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