William Morris Meredith was born on January 9, 1919, in New York City and spent his childhood in Darien, Connecticut. He attended the Lenox School in Massachusetts and then Princeton University, where he received a B.A. and graduated magna cum laude in 1940. Until 1941, he worked as a copy boy, then reporter, for The New York Times. During World War II, Meredith was first a private in the United States Army Air Corps, then a Navy pilot. In 1944, Love Letter from an Impossible Land was published while Meredith was a lieutenant. After the war, he became a Woodrow Wilson Fellow, then an instructor in English and a resident fellow in creative writing at Princeton University. Ships and Other Figures, published by Princeton University in 1948, is largely a product of his time at this university. During the Korean War, he served as a carrier pilot, was promoted to lieutenant commander, and received two Air Medals.
Meredith’s association with Connecticut College began in 1955 and continued, with a few interruptions for visiting professorships, until 1983, when he retired following a severe stroke that required months of rehabilitation. Meredith composed a significant body of creative work. Moreover, he wrote in other genres, was afforded many honors, and taught at a variety of institutions, including the University of Hawaii, Middlebury College, Bread Loaf, and Carnegie-Mellon University. He served as a member of the Connecticut Commission of the Arts and as director of the Humanities Upward Bound Project for Connecticut College. Meredith died near his home in Connecticut on May 30, 2007.