William Carlos Williams Archive
If New Jersey is oftentimes known for being perpetually overshadowed by its neighbor New York, then William Carlos Williams’s epic five volume poem entitled “Paterson” certainly helped put it on the map.
The composition of poetry has taken on a new life. Poetry has evolved from oral and traditional forms, to print and performance, and to our present moment where an amalgam of all forms is possible with technology. Video is a revisiting of the oral and performative traditions of poetry
When I came in for a chicken pox shot, my mother mentioned to Dr. William Eric Williams that she could recite one of his father’s poems from memory. “Let’s hear it,” he said.
Over the years, I’ve distilled people’s reactions down to a core set of misconceptions about poetry. Some of the most pervasive: Poetry is overly difficult. It’s obtuse on purpose. It’s like a riddle. You need to read between the lines. It can mean anything you want it to.
When I was a teenager I read T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound obsessively. (And yet somehow managed not to have a girlfriend. Go figure.) Eliot and Pound might seem stodgy and academic to most but for me—growing up in Fresno, California—they represented a larger, better world. Ivy League schools.
Words have always coveted pictures for how immediately they can stir us. I think of the photograph of the South Vietnamese child who’d been sprayed by napalm. No word alive can match it. It was the photo on the cover of every magazine in 1972, which “probably did more
“Craft” was a dirty word at art school, a subtle derogative. The college dropped “and Craft” from their name so recently that the signs on the highway still held those words. Once, in a class critique, a peer called a hand-painted map used to make a stop motion short
Poet William Carlos Williams famously wrote, “Say it, no ideas but in things,” which speaks how objects have remarkable ability to bear and express ideas that otherwise might feel one dimensional, or altogether without shape or meaning. Caroline Macon, in her story, “Dead Mouse” ([PANK] 10.3), employs what the