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Ian Williams is a poet, author, and professor. He won the Scotiabank Giller Prize for his first novel, Reproduction. His poetry collection, Personals, was shortlisted for the Griffin Poetry Prize and the Robert Kroetsch Poetry Book Award. His short story collection, Not Anyone's Anything, won the Danuta Gleed Literary Award for the best first collection of short fiction in Canada. His first book, You Know Who You Are, was a finalist for the ReLit Poetry Prize. Williams holds a PhD in English from the University of Toronto and has recently returned to that university as a tenured professor. Born in Trinidad and raised in Canada, Williams currently lives in Toronto.


Ian Williams, 2021 Hilary Weston Writers' Trust Prize for Nonfiction finalist

Award History

2021 Finalist

Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction
for Disorientation: Being Black in the World

Jury Citation

“Disorientation is a formally inventive and searing meditation on race and Blackness. Both topical and literary, Williams’ essay collection juxtaposes personal stories about racial profiling and microaggressions alongside discussions about the murders of George Floyd and Eric Garner and readings of Black writers like Audre Lorde and James Baldwin. His writing moves, by turn, from tenderness to despair to anger, yet remains clear-eyed and intellectually rigorous throughout. In an age of hot takes and condemnation, Williams’ essays reflect, explore, and illuminate.”

— 2021 Hilary Weston Writers’ Trust Prize for Nonfiction Jury (Kevin Chong, Terese Marie Mailhot, and Adam Shoalts)