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Prepared By Dean Keller. Revised by Athena Salaba; Last Updated: April 2020
Inclusive Dates: 1940-1965
Extent: .33 cubic foot (1 document case and oversized folder)
Physical Location: 11th floor
Biographical Note: William Carlos Williams was born on September 17, 1883, in Rutherford, N.J., and died March 4, 1963, in Rutherford. The son of William George and Raquel Helene (Hoheb) Williams, Williams received an M.D. from University of Pennsylvania in 1906, and did postgraduate studies at University of Leipzig.
He is considered to be one of the finest American poets of his generation. A man of various talents, he was a novelist, playwright, editor, essayist, and practicing physician.
Williams' poetic expression was more natural than the poetic style established by Eliot. Among the numerous awards he received over the years was the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Pictures From Brueghel in 1963.
Among his poetic works are: The Tempers (1917); Sour Grapes (1921); The Collected Poems of William Carlos Williams, 1906-1938 (1938); Paterson (1946-1948); The Clouds (1948); The Desert Music and Other Poems (1954), etc.
He also wrote: The Great American Novel (1923); A Voyage to Pagany (novel, 1928); A Novelette and Other Prose (1932); The Autobiography of William Carlos Williams (1967); Selected Essays (1954); Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams (1957), etc.
Scope and content: The collection includes some of Williams' poems, a critical essay on Williams' writing and his correspondence with Morris Weisenthal, David Ignatow, and Cid Corman.
Arrangement: The collection is arranged in chronological order.
Acquisition Information: One of the collection management goals of the Department of Special Collections and Archives is to collect materials about modern American poetry. These collections are enhanced by the addition of available manuscripts.
Provenance: The material was purchased mainly from James R. Lowell's Asphodel Bookshop, Cleveland, Ohio, in 1972. The letters from and to Cid Corman were purchased from Cid Corman, Kyoto, Japan, in 1972.
Sponsor: The purchase of this collection was funded by the Robert L. Baumgardner, Jr. Memorial Collection of Contemporary Poetry endowment.