Selected Essays of William Carlos Williams

Front Cover
New Directions, 1969 - Literary Collections - 340 pages
Throughout his life, Dr. Williams tirelessly defended and promoted the best in modern literature and art. He contributed widely to leading literary magazines, wrote prefaces and introductions, and lectured at many universities. This selection represents his finest work in criticism. Much of it concerns poetry and poets T. S. Eliot, Dylan Thomas, Karl Shapiro, E. E. Cummings, Ezra Pound, Carl Sandburg, Robert Lowell and many others. Williams also spoke out on painters and paintings as well as music and literature. There are essays on James Joyce, Shakespeare, Federico Garcia Lorca, the basis of faith in art, the American Revolution, H. L. Mencken's The American Language, Ford Madox Ford, American primitive painters, Antheil's music, and the work of Gertrude Stein."

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About the author (1969)

Poet, artist, and practicing physician of Rutherford, New Jersey, William Carlos Williams wrote poetry that was experimental in form, ranging from imagism to objectivism, with great originality of idiom and human vitality. Credited with changing and directing American poetry toward a new metric and language, he also wrote a large number of short stories and novels. Paterson (1946--58), about the New Jersey city of that name, was his epic and places him with Ezra Pound of the Cantos as one of the great shapers of the long poem in this century. National recognition did not come early, but eventually Williams received many honors, including a vice-presidency of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1952); the Bollingen Prize (1953); the $5,000 fellowship of the Academy of American Poets; the Loines Award for poetry of the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1948); and the Brandeis Award (1957). Book II of Paterson received the first National Book Award for poetry in 1949. Williams was named consultant in poetry in English to the Library of Congress for 1952--53. Williams's continuously inventive style anchored not only objectivism, the school to which he most properly belongs, but also a long line of subsequent poets as various as Robert Lowell, Frank O'Hara, and Allen Ginsberg. With Stevens, he forms one of the most important sources of a specifically American tradition of modernism. In addition to his earlier honors, Williams received two important awards posthumously, the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1963) and the Gold Medal for Poetry from the National Institute of Arts and Letters (1963).

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