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Williams publishes third book

Retired professor in Iola writes poetry

By Holly Neumann

Iola resident Patricia Williams has published her third book, “Rejection to Acceptance: 57 Poems That Finally Made It.”

Patricia Williams of Iola recently published her third book, “Rejection to Acceptance: 57 Poems That Finally Made It.” Holly Neumann Photo

The book, published by Kelsay Books, features a collection of poems, which were all rejected at one time or another. Readers will find the poems on the left-hand side of the book and comments about them on the right.

“The book emphasizes the role of persistence in creative writing,” Williams said. “If you don’t have thick skin, don’t go into publishing poetry. It’s a rough field. You have to be prepared for rejection and you cannot take it personally. Readers have tastes and opinions and they are going to pick the things they like.”

Rejection has never deterred Williams from writing.

“This is where persistence comes in,” she said. “You have to keep trying until you find the person that likes what you write.”

Williams began writing poetry after retiring from her career as a professor of design at the University of Wisconsin-Stevens Point.

“I always wrote because I was a college professor, but what I wrote was research writing,” she said. “The last project I did was a show I put together on Chinese paper fans that had paintings and poems written on them. I had to get translations. We had some students from China that understood classic Chinese. I had a wonderful interpreter and one day, she said to me, ‘You know what, Mrs. Williams, your poems are as beautiful in English as they are in Chinese.’”

Flattered by the comment, Williams decided to write her own works.

“In high school, we did a test to find out what we would be good at,” she said. “Mine always came back as art and creative writing. I never even thought I could be a creative writer.”

Williams said she is amazed about all the things she remembers while writing.

“A lot of memories come to mind,” she said. “This makes my writing that much better.”

She recommends other writers educate themselves about the publishing process.

“If you are trying to get things published, you have to first of all find out what the publishing companies are looking for,” she said. “Then, submit your writings to the company that wants the topics you are writing about.”

Williams is already in the process of writing another book and her previous books are available at the Iola Village Library.

“I enjoy it,” she said. “When I don’t enjoy it anymore, I will stop doing it. Until then, I will keep moving along.”

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