Study Guide

C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams Biography

Biography (Poets and Poetry in America)

Born November 4, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Paul B. Williams and Dossie (Kasdin) Williams, Charles Kenneth Williams was educated at Bucknell University and at the University of Pennsylvania, from which he received a B.A. in 1959. In 1965, he married Sarah Jones, and they had one daughter, Jessica Anne, who figures in Williams’s personal poems. At the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he founded a program of poetry therapy and was a group therapist for disturbed adolescents.

A Day for Anne Frank led to the publication of two volumes of poetry, Lies in 1969 and I Am the Bitter Name in 1972, that established Williams as a protest poet of the Nixon era. In 1975, Williams married Catherine Mauger, a jeweler, and with her had one son. He was a visiting professor at Franklin and Marshall College in 1977 and at the University of California, Irvine, in 1978 before becoming professor of English at George Mason University. After spending many years at George Mason, he joined the creative writing faculty at Princeton in 1996. He has taught creative writing at various workshops and colleges, including Boston University and Columbia University. He became a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters in 2003 and a chancellor of the American Academy of Poets in 2005. He has been dividing his time between teaching at Princeton and living in France.

C. K. Williams Biography (Great Authors of World Literature, Critical Edition)

ph_0111225143-Williams_CK.jpgC. K. Williams Published by Salem Press, Inc.

Born November 4, 1936, in Newark, New Jersey, the son of Paul B. and Dossie (née Kasdin) Williams, Charles Kenneth Williams was educated at Bucknell University and at the University of Pennsylvania, where he was graduated with a B.A. in 1959. In 1965, he married Sarah Jones; they had a daughter, Jessica Anne, who figures in Williams’s personal poems. At the Pennsylvania Hospital in Philadelphia, he founded a program of poetry therapy and was a group therapist for disturbed adolescents.

A Day for Anne Frank led to the publication of two volumes of poetry in 1969 and 1972 that established Williams as a protest poet of the Richard Nixon era. He was a visiting professor at Franklin and Marshall College in 1977 and at the University of California at Irvine in 1978 before becoming professor of English at George Mason University. In addition, he has taught creative writing at various workshops and colleges, including Boston University, Columbia University, and University of California at Berkeley.

A Guggenheim Fellowship in 1974 resulted in With Ignorance, the first book in his new style. In 1975, Williams married Catherine Mauger, a jeweler, with whom he had a son. Williams was awarded the Bernard F. Conner Prize for the long poem by The Paris Review in 1983; the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987; the Morton Dauwen Zabel prize in 1989; the Lila Wallace Reader’s Digest Writers’ award in 1993; and the Harriet Monroe Prize from Poetry magazine, also in 1993. In 2000 he won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry for Repair.