William meredith

William Meredith (1919-2007). Courtesy PoemHunter.

William Meredith
Born William Morris Meredith, Jr.
January 9 1919(1919-Template:MONTHNUMBER-09)
New York City, United States
Died May 30 2007(2007-Template:MONTHNUMBER-30) (aged 88)
New London, Connecticut, USA
Occupation Author, poet, professor
Nationality United States United States
Partner(s) Richard Harteis (1970s-2007)

William Morris Meredith, Jr. (January 9, 1919 - May 30, 2007) was an American poet and academic. He was Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress from 1978 to 1980.[1]



Meredith was born in New York City to William Morris Meredith, Sr. and Nelley Keyser. He began writing while a college student at Princeton University where with his first volume of poetry Love Letter from an Impossible Land he was selected by Archibald MacLeish for publication as part of Yale Series of Younger Poets Competition. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton in 1940 , writing a senior thesis on Robert Frost.


He worked briefly for the New York Times before joining the United States Navy as a flier. Meredith re-enlisted in the Korean War, receiving two Air Medals.

In 1988 Meredith was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry and a Los Angeles Times Book Award for Partial Accounts: New and selected poems. In 1997 he received the National Book Award for Effort at Speech.[2] Meredith was also awarded a Guggenheim Foundation fellowship, the Harriet Monroe Memorial Prize, the Carl Sandburg Award, and the International Vaptsarov Prize in Poetry.

From 1964 to 1987 Meredith served as Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.

From 1978 to 1980, Meredith was Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress, the position which in 1985 became the Poet Laureate Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress. He has the distinction of being the first gay poet to receive this honor.

Meredith taught at Princeton University, at the University of Hawaii, and at Connecticut College from 1955 to 1983. In 1983, he suffered a stroke and was immobilized for two years. As a result of the stroke he suffered with expressive aphasia, which affected his ability to produce language. Meredith ended his teaching career and could not write poetry during this period. He regained many of his language skills after intensive therapy and traveling to Britain for treatment.

A long time admirer of the Irish poet W. B. Yeats, in the summer of 2006 Meredith fulfilled a long-time ambition of visiting Yeats's spiritual homeplace of Sligo, Ireland. While there he also attended the renowned Yeats International Summer School, which attracts many renowned academics and admirers of Yeats to Sligo every summer.

Personal lifeEdit

Meredith died in New London, Connecticut, near his home in Montville, where he lived with his partner of 36 years, the poet Richard Harteis.[3][4] A film about his life, Marathon, premiered on November 19, 2008 in Mystic, Connecticut.[5]






  • Guillaume Apollinaire, Alcools: Poems, 1898-1913. New York: Doubleday, 1964.


  • Shelley: Poems. New York: Dell, 1962.
  • University and College Poetry Prizes, 1960-1966, in Memory of Mrs. Fanny Fay Wood. New York: Academy of American Poets, 1966.
  • Eighteenth-Century Minor Poets (editor with Mackie L. Jarrell). New York: Dell, 1968.
  • Poets of Bulgaria (translated by Denise Levertov et al). Greensboro, NC: Unicorn Press, 1985.
  • Window on the Black Sea: Bulgarian poetry in translation (edited with Richard Harteis). Pittsburg, PA: Carnegie Mellon University Press, 1992.

Except where noted, bibliographical information courtesy the Poetry Foundation .[6]

Audio / videoEdit

Poetry William Meredith "Parents"

Poetry William Meredith "Parents"

  • William Meredith (cassette). New York: Academy of American Poets, 1975.[7]
  • Selected Poems, 1977 (recording). Watershed, 1977.[6]

See alsoEdit


  1. "Poet Laureate Timeline: 1971-1980". Library of Congress. 2008. Retrieved 2008-12-19. 
  2. "Pulitzer Prize-winning Connecticut poet dies". Newsday. May 31 2007.,0,4507163.story?coll=ny-region-apconnecticut. Retrieved 2007-06-03.  Template:Dead link
  3. Elaine Stoll (31 May 2007). "William M. Meredith, Noted Poet, Dies At 88". TheDay. Retrieved 2007-06-03. 
  4. Fox, Margalit (1 June 2007). "William Meredith, 88, Poet Who Wed Depth to Form, Dies". The New York Times. Retrieved 2008-03-29. 
  5. "Movie honors life of award-winning poet," Norwich Bulletin, Nov. 15, 2008
  6. 6.0 6.1 William Meredith 1919–2007, Poetry Foundation, Web, June 26, 2012.
  7. Search results = au:William Meredith, WorldCat, OCLC Online Computer Library Center Inc. Web, Dec. 13, 2014.

External linksEdit

Audio / video
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