43 William Carlos Williams Facts. Everything You Need To Know!

Aashita Dhingra
Oct 17, 2023 By Aashita Dhingra
Originally Published on Apr 09, 2022
Some William Carlos Williams facts you may have never heard.
Age: 3-18
Read time: 8.1 Min

William Carlos Williams was a 20th-century American doctor and poet.

He is considered to be one of the most influential poets of his time, and his work has been praised for its realism and accessible style. Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey, and he studied medicine at Rutgers University.

One of the best pieces by William Carlos is 'The Red Wheelbarrow.' The poem is only two lines long, but it captures the essence of William Carlos Williams' style: 'so much depends upon a red wheelbarrow glazed with rain water.'

He also wrote poems about the tough life of workers of the American culture. This became a very significant piece of work in American literature.

While 'The Red Wheelbarrow' is undoubted of William Carlos Williams' most famous poems, it is not his only outstanding work. Williams's poetry was equally praised by younger poets as well.

Apart from writing poetry, Williams also wrote essays, plays, and novels.

His novel 'White Mule' was published in 1937 and is considered to be one of the most important American novels of the 20th century. Some of the volumes of verse by Williams are Collected Earlier Poems and Desert Music The William Carlos Williams Reader, published in 1966, collects complete poems as well as passages from his most significant prose.

The National Book Award is a very prestigious award a writer can receive. Williams was selected for the National Book Award thrice but never won.

Although he never won the Nobel Prize, Williams was considered to be a leading contender for the award throughout his career. Many believe that he was ultimately passed over because of his experimental style and approach to poetry.

Some of his very famous poetry includes 'The Tempers (1913),' 'Clouds, and Aigeltinger,' 'Russia (1948),' 'Al Que Quiere!

(1917),' 'Poems (1909),' 'Spring and All (1923),' 'Go Go (1923),' 'Sour Grapes (1921),' 'Collected Poems,' '1921-1931 (1934),' 'An Early Martyr and Other Poems (1935),' 'The Cod Head (1932),' 'The Broken Span (1941),' 'The Complete Collected Poems of William Carlos,' 'Williams, 1906-1938 (1938),' 'Adam & Eve & The City (1936),' 'The Wedge (1944),' and 'Paterson Book I (1946)'; 'Book II (1948)'; 'Book III (1949)'; 'Book IV (1951)'; 'Book V (1958).'

Some of his prose includes 'Kora in Hell: Improvisations (1920),' 'The Great American Novel (1923),' 'Spring and All (1923),' 'In the American Grain (1925),' 'A Voyage to Pagany (1928),' 'Novelette and Other Prose (1932),' 'White Mule (1937),' 'The Knife of the Times, and Other Stories (1932),' 'Life along the Passaic River (1938),' 'Make Light of It: Collected Stories (1950),' 'In the Money (1940),' 'Autobiography (1951),' 'The Build-Up (1952),' 'W.

W., Norton & Co. (1 February 1967),' 'The Selected Letters of William Carlos Williams (1957),' 'Yes, Mrs. Williams: A, Personal Record of My Mother (1959),' 'I Wanted to Write a Poem: The Autobiography of the Works of a Poet (1958),' 'Imaginations (1970),' 'The Embodiment of Knowledge (1974),' 'The Farmers' Daughters: Collected Stories (1961),' 'A Recognizable Image: William Carlos Williams on Art and Artists (1978),' 'Interviews With William Carlos Williams: 'Speaking Straight Ahead' (1976),' and 'Selected Essays (1954).'

Fun Facts About William Carlos Williams

Williams was born in Rutherford, New Jersey.

He was the first son of an English father and a Puerto Rican mother.

As a child, he spoke both Spanish and English at home.

Williams attended high school in Rutherford before going on to study at Rutgers University.

He later transferred to Pennsylvania's Lafayette College, where he studied medicine.

After Williams graduated from college, he interned at Philadelphia's St. Luke's Hospital.

Williams started to write poetry when he was a young student.

His first published poem appeared in the journal 'Crisis' in 1913.

In 1917, Williams' first book of poems, 'Al Que Quiere!', was released.

The Objectivists also influenced him.

Williams' most popular poem is 'The Red Wheelbarrow.'

In addition to poetry, Williams also wrote plays, essays, and short stories.

Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for his work 'Paterson' in 1949.

Williams died in 1963 at the age of 80.

Facts About William Carlos Williams's Poetry

Among the many great poets of America from the 20th century, the Pulitzer prize-winning William Carlos Williams was a doctor who spent much of his life in New Jersey. He is known for his short, imagist poems that often focus on everyday objects or events.

During his career as a doctor, Williams wrote many of his poems while making house calls or waiting for patients at his office.

In 1912, Williams married Florence Herman. The couple had one son, William Eric, who was born in 1919.

Some of Williams' most famous poems include 'The Red Wheelbarrow,' 'This Is Just to Say,' and 'Spring and All.'

He also wrote a five-book epic poem called 'Paterson,' which is considered his masterpiece.

Williams was also a novelist and essayist too. In addition to his poetry, he wrote several novels, including White Mule (1937) and The Build-Up (1952).

He also published a number of essays on topics such as literature, art, and medicine.

The Imagist movement inspired William during the initial stage of his writing career.

However, he soon changed his mind and became a supporter of modernism in literature.

Beginning in 1923, he attempted to build a distinct kind of American poetry focused on the lives of regular people and their daily lives.

William Carlos Williams 'Al Que Quiere!' and 'Kora in Hell: Improvisation,' published in 1917 and 1920, respectively, received harsh criticism from Wallace Stevens, H.D., Ezra Pounds, and Baroness Elsa.

In 1923, he published one of his most well-known collections of poems, 'Spring and All,' which included pieces such as 'By the way to the infectious hospital,' 'The Red Wheelbarrow,' and 'To Elsie.'

During 1946 and 1958, he authored 'Paterson,' a book about the life and heritage of Paterson, New Jersey's industrial metropolis. It expressed the city's intricacy in comparison to man's complexity.

Facts About William Carlos William's Accomplishments

Despite his primary profession as a physician, William Carlos Williams was also a renowned author.

He meticulously planned his time so that he could practice medicine during the day and write in the evening.

He wrote novels, poetry, dramas, short tales, essays, and translations, among many things.

In 1909, 'Poems,' the first book of Williams, got printed, and he followed it up with 'The Tempers' in 1912, with the support of his friend Ezra Pound.

The United States National Book Award was revived in 1950, with three other categories of honors handed out by the book business to writers of 1949 novels.

Both the third volume of 'Selected Poems' and 'Paterson' earned Williams the first National Book Award for Poetry.

Williams received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Poetry posthumously in May 1963 for 'Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962).'

Every year, the Poetry Society of America honors William Carlos Williams by offering the coveted William Carlos Williams Award for the greatest poetry book published by a small, non-profit, or university publisher.

Williams' Rutherford home (William Carlos Williams's house) has been added to the National Register of Historic Places. He was made a member of the New Jersey Hall of Fame in 2009.

Other works by William Carlos Williams include the literary 'In the American Grain,' in which he studied American character and culture via articles on historical personalities.

He wrote the 'White Mule' in 1937, 'In the Money' in 1940, and 'The Build-Up' in 1952, all a trilogy.

'Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems, 1962,' 'The Desert Music and Other Poems, 1954,' are among his other works. Short stories by Williams include 'A Face of Stone,' 'Jean Beicke,' and 'The Farmers' Daughters.'

Many poets were mentored and motivated by William Carlos Williams.

He also influenced and was linked with literary movements such as the New York School, the San Francisco Renaissance, and the Beat Movement.

William Carlos Williams's essays hold a special place in American History!

Facts about William Carlos Williams' Childhood

His father, William George Williams, was a hardworking businessman who became wealthy through owning and operating several coal companies.

Carlos's mother, Rachel Thomas Williams, used to be a teacher and hailed from the lineage of Welsh immigrants.

As a child, William Carlos Williams was an avid reader and loved to write poems and stories.

In 1902, he entered the Horace Mann School for Boys, where he developed his lifelong love of learning.

After graduation, he attended Lehigh University for one year before transferring to Rutgers Medical School, where he earned his degree in 1906.

Williams later worked the post of an intern at many hospitals, where he met his wife and later married her, Florence Herman.

Williams's mother had studied painting in Paris and instilled her passion in her son, who began painting at a young age.

He painted a painting that currently resides in the Beineke Library, and in a 1962 interview, he said, 'I'd like to have been a painter, and it would have given me at least as great a satisfaction as being a poet.'

He spent most of his life writing art critiques and introductions for his friends' exhibitions.

In 1915, Williams began associating with 'The Others,' a New York-based community of writers and artists.

They featured Wallace Stevens, Walter Conrad Arensberg, Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, and Marcel Duchamp and were established by poet Alfred Kreymborg and the artist Man Ray.

William Carlos Williams had a very close friendship with some US painters he met at Arenburg's workshop. Charles Demuth, Charles Sheeler, Joseph Stella, and Marsden Hartley were these painters.

Worthy of note is the fact that Williams and his creative associates wanted to steer away from a solely derivative style, although championing the new method of representation established by the European avant-garde.

William Carlos Williams co-founded the Contact magazine with Hartley in 1920. It provided the avenue for works that had the same creative idea as that of Williams to gather the knowledge from the artist's sense of place and art.

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Written by Aashita Dhingra

Bachelors in Business Administration

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Aashita DhingraBachelors in Business Administration

Based in Lucknow, India, Aashita is a skilled content creator with experience crafting study guides for high school-aged kids. Her education includes a degree in Business Administration from St. Mary's Convent Inter College, which she leverages to bring a unique perspective to her work. Aashita's passion for writing and education is evident in her ability to craft engaging content.

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