William Meredith was born in New York City in 1919, was graduated from Princeton University in 1940, and served as a naval aviator during the Second World War and the Korean War. His first book of poems, Love Letter from an Impossible Land, was chosen by Archibald MacLeish for the Yale Series of Younger Poets prize in 1944; the title poem had been written the year before in the Aleutian Islands. Ships and Other Figures, his second book of verse, was published by Princeton in 1948. The Open Sea and Other Poems (1958), The Wreck of the Thresher and Other Poems (1964), Earth Walk: New and Selected Poems (1970), Hazard, the Painter (1975), The Cheer (1980), and Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems (1987), which won the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry, were all published by Alfred A. Knopf. Meredith is the editor of Shelley: Selected Poems (1962) and Poets of Bulgaria (1986). His translation of Guillaume Apollinaires's Alcools: Poems 1889-1913 appeared in 1964.
Wiiliam Meredith has won three of Poetry's annual prizes, fellowships from the Guggenheim and Ford Foundations, and the Loines Award from the American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters, of which he became a member in 1968. From 1964 through 1989 he was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets; he currently serves the academy as a chancellor emeritus. In 1978 Meredith was appointed consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress, a position he held through 1980. He was awarded the 1980 International Vaptsarov Prize in Poetry, and in 1989 received a senior fellowship from the National Endowment for the Arts. He has taught at Princeton, the University of Hawaii, Middlebury College, Bread Loaf School of English, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, and Carnegie Mellon University, but has been primarily associated with Connecticut College since 1955.
William Meredith lives in Uncasville, Connecticut with his companion of twenty-five years, Richard Harteis, but travels frequently to Bulgaria, where he was made a citizen by presidential decree in 1996.
Document URL: http://www.english.upenn.edu/~afilreis/88/meredith-william.html
Last modified: Wednesday, 18-Jul-2007 16:27:42 EDT