November 17, 1992French Institue Alliance Fran‡aiseFrom the Academy Audio Archive

About this poet

In 1936, C. K. Williams was born in Newark, New Jersey. He is the author of numerous books of poetry, including All at Once: Prose Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2014); Writers Writing Dying: Poems (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 2012); Wait: Poems (Farrar, Straus, and Giroux, 2010); Collected Poems (2007); The Singing (2003), which won the National Book Award; Repair (1999), winner of a Pulitzer Prize; The Vigil (1997); A Dream of Mind (1992); Flesh and Blood (1987), which won the National Book Critics Circle Award; Tar (1983); With Ignorance (1997); I Am the Bitter Name (1992); and Lies (1969).

Williams has also published five works of translation: Selected Poems of Francis Ponge (1994); Canvas, by Adam Zagajewski (with Renata Gorczynski and Benjamin Ivry, 1991); The Bacchae of Euripides (1990); The Lark. The Thrush. The Starling. (Poems from Issa) (1983); and Women of Trachis, by Sophocles (with Gregory Dickerson, 1978).

Among his many awards and honors are an American Academy of Arts and Letters Award, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Lila Wallace-Reader's Digest Award, the PEN/Voelcker Award for Poetry, and a Pushcart Prize. He served as a Chancellor of the Academy of American Poets. Williams teaches in the creative writing program at Princeton University and lives part of each year in Paris.

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The Covenant

C. K. Williams, 1936

 

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C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams

Born on November 4, 1936, C. K. Williams won the National Book Award, the Pulitzer for poetry, and served as a Chancellor of The Academy of American Poets

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poem
Tar
The first morning of Three Mile Island: those first disquieting, uncertain,			
          mystifying hours.
All morning a crew of workmen have been tearing the old decrepit roof
          off our building,
and all morning, trying to distract myself, I've been wandering out to 
          watch them
as they hack