Named after the
17th century scientist Robert Hooke, Hooke Press is run by Neil Alger and Brent Cunningham and based out of Oakland, California.
short story chapbookPinkTieis part treatise on modern masculinity and part elegy to a friend. Sparked by the finding
of the story's namesaketiein a closet, the story moves chronologically through the 20year friendship of writers Peter
Ross and Williams (although the letters from the narrator are marked with a blank name.) The story reviews the two friends'
correspondence, while, as Don DeLillo suggests all plots tend to do, the narrative moves deathward.
A poet and
professor of literature, Williams is particularly interested in situating masculinity in place and time. In this case, that's
the contemporary Midwest and this precise positioning ensures the story's success. The unwornpinktiestands as a symbol of a friendship that both protests
the idea of Midwestern masculinity and also conforms to its aesthetic and cultural norms. Ross is torn between "the realm
of controls and domination, of sports and clubs and locker rooms" and "the pastel-hued realm of sensitivity groups and being-in-touch
with-yourfeelings-and-letting-your-feminine- side-get-expressed." As the narrator finds his role as an academic and poet,
Ross is losing his sense of self and ultimately commits suicide. Just as Hooke Press has presented the story in a Spartan,
utilitarian pamphlet, so too does Williams set the tone as neither intimate nor academic. This halfeulogy, half-essay is somewhere
in that middle ground and that's where we lose Peter Ross.