About the author

About the author

L. BORDETSKY-WILLIAMS is the author of Forget Russia, published by Tailwinds Press, December 2020. This novel was chosen as an Editors’ Choice Book by the Historical Novel Society. She has also published the memoir, Letters to Virginia Woolf (Hamilton Books, 2005, http://www.letterstovirginiawoolf.com); The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf (Greenwood Press, 2000); and three poetry chapbooks (The Eighth Phrase (Porkbelly Press 2014), Sky Studies (Finishing Line Press 2014), and In the Early Morning Calling (Finishing Line Press, 2018)). She was a student in Moscow at the Pushkin Institute in 1980. Presently, she is a Professor of Literature at Ramapo College of New Jersey and lives in New York City.

Writings by L. Bordetsky-Williams

(aka L.B. Williams and Lisa Williams)


Letters to Virginia Woolf, Hamilton Press, 2005

Letters to Virginia Woolf is a lyrical memoir and a meditation on Woolf’s life and writings, particularly her relevance in this chaotic post 9/11 time period. The book also deeply examines contemporary women’s experience within the context of Woolf’s enduring importance. While Woolf was not a mother, Williams looks at the experience of becoming a mother later in life and the ensuing fertility issues that go along with that decision. She writes this within the context of Woolf’s statement that she succeeded in killing off The Victorian Angel in the House, but could never write the truth about her body.Williams explores Woolf’s themes of memory, childhood, and loss as she writes of her own experiences with these very issues.

“How I loved this book and wept.” 
Jane Marcus, Distinguished Professor CUNY and CCNY.

The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf, Greenwood Press 2000

“The Artist as Outsider in the Novels of Toni Morrison and Virginia Woolf satisfies a longstanding need for a full-scale intertextual analysis of two twentieth-century literary giants. Lisa Williams brings together Morrison and Woolf for a penetrating look at the subtle differences and unexpected similarities in the writer’s artistic and cultural sensibilities. Showcased in a compelling comparison of seemingly far-flung texts is the timeless theme of the alienated artist, burnished and richly contextualized with contemporary critiques on race, gender, and culture. This splendid coupling of Woolf and Morrison will convince all students of literature to continue the practice of reading across cultures.”

Tuzyline Jita Allan, Professor, English Department Baruch College, City University of New York

Poetry Chap Books

In the Early Morning Calling,  Finishing Line Press 2018

“How casually we say to ourselves and others that we all know that life is short and nothing is permanent. But if we turn, for example, toward those we love, our parents, or spouse, or children, and try to hold in mind the idea that impermanence only is lasting, then we start to realize how difficult yet centrally important this thought is. Here in these beautiful poems are the lyrics of the Dharma, the songs that show us how hard it is to find and stay on the path, and how liberating and meaning-full it can be when we do”.

Fred Marchant, Author of Said Not Said (Graywolf Press, 2017)

The Eighth Phrase, Porkbelly Press 2014

“Lisa Williams trains her spotlight on the furtive glimpses and flickering moments out of the past, preserving them under shattered glass before they disappear forever. Up close, revelatory, charged with erotic beauty and grace, her poems are like doors opening into a world of disclosure. The Eighth Phrase is a force of nature, a dissolving fabric, a template for making it all real”.

Lewis Warsh

Sky Studies, Finishing Line Press 2014 

“Following a painful loss, a longed-for child arrives. Memories. Parents and stepparents. The old neighborhood. Birth and death. The subject matter of these works is sometimes quotidian, but the insights are not. The poems in this book illuminate the ways the past informs the present and how the present can transcend that past. Lisa Williams approaches her subject matter with unflinching honesty, a sharp eye and ear for detail, and a lyrical voice. Sky Studies is a moving, thoughtful, and inspiring collection”.

Marjorie Tesser, Editor, Mom Egg Review

Published Poems

“For Jacqueline,” “Tokyo,” “Kyoto,” (poems). Santa Barbara Literary Journal, Fall 2019.

“La Muse.” (poem). Musings, Poems from Writers on Retreat, Edited by Nancy Warner-Collins, France, La Muse Books, 2018.

“The Moths.” Quill and Parchment (online), 2017.

“And he Has Won.” Crow’s Hollow.19, (online) Spring 2017

“Clouds,” Quill and Parchment (online), June 2016.

“When You Were Wild.” Mom Egg Review.Vol. 13, Spring 2015.

“At Fourteen.” Gargoyle Poetry Magazine #62, 2015.

Blue Years,” Pirene Fountain Journal, November 2013

“Folk Song,” The Mom Egg, Vol. 11, 2013

“And When You Came,” Vox Mom online, June 2012

“Before,” Quill and Parchment (online), June 2012

“Sky Studies,” Quill and Parchment (online), June 2012

“Father,” Quill and Parchment (online), June 2012

“For Sam,” Cradle Songs: An Anthology of Poems About Motherhood., Quill and Parchment Press,  May 2012

“Mount Fuji” and “April in Japan” (Poems), Sunrise from Blue Thunder, Japan’s Earthquake-Tsunami, March 2011, an A Pirene Fountain Anthology, Ed. Ami Kaye, Pirene Fountain Publishing, December 2011

“Sestina,” and “Uterus” translated into French, Dans Le Ventre Des Femmes  (The Image of Women), Ed, Maia Brami, BSC Publishing, France, March 2012

“Song,” “Birth”, and “1925″, an except from Forget Russia in The Mom Egg, 2011. Vol. 9, and The Mom Egg 2009

“Poem,”  Washington Square,  (Summer/Fall) Vol. 10, 2010

“Miscarriage,” (Poem),  Mamas and Papas, City Works Press, San Diego, 2010, and published in Letters to Virginia Woolf, Hamilton Books, 2005