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Is the soul an immaterial entity or simply the mind’s creation? The Burlesque of Graceless Acting features a narrator who illuminates his conundrum with the wonder of our most elusive art (poetry), as well as depictions of various surreal people, places, and objects. 


‟Amazingly mind-boggling and truly exciting novella by Mark Van Aken Williams that any true literature and poetry lover should have or download.” Seb Doubinsky, author of Missing Signal, The Song of Synth, and The Babylon Trilogy

‟Williams is an acclaimed poet, that sinuous, elusive art that serves and informs his prose. Williams seeks, sometimes in an internal monologue, sometimes with reference to a second character, to examine his intellectual relationship with the material complexities of a 21st-century world, a poet's place in it.


‟It is a search leavened with wit, and a word play that (along with intellectual weight and rigour) calls to mind Anthony Burgess. It is a style which also carries echoes––an appropriate word for this work––of Joyce. But it is the prose work of Samuel Beckett that one is most reminded of here, the apartness...of Malone or Murphy. And since the death of Beckett that corner of literature which might be called post-modernism has fallen silent. Well, in Mark Van Aken Williams we have a new voice, with new things to say about the human condition.” Peter Maughan, author of The Cuckoos of Batch Magna



Williams received a Master of Education and a Bachelor of Arts from Cleveland State University. He attended Hawken School.

Williams has enjoyed traveling throughout the world, including attending an International Rainforest Workshop on the Amazon River in Peru.

When not traveling or writing, Williams enjoys cooking for friends and family, golf, skiing, and following football, soccer, hockey, and baseball.  He and his wife, Janice Phelps Williams (a writer and artist) live with an endearing English bulldog (Abby) and a sweet dachshund (Maggie). 


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