Miller Williams Analysis

Other literary forms

(Poets and Poetry in America)

In addition to his works of poetry, Miller Williams’s books include literary criticism, translations, works on prosody, and anthologies of poetry and fiction. The list includes a history of American railroads (with James Alan McPherson), translations from the work of Nicanor Parra and Giuiseppe Belli, critical analyses on John Crowe Ransom and John Ciardi, and a standard reference on prosodics titled Patterns of Poetry: An Enclyclopedia of Forms (1986). He has also edited anthologies of poetry and has published many of his own poems, stories, critical essays, and translations in journals in the United States and abroad.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Miller Williams has been awarded the Henry Bellaman Poetry Prize, the Amy Lowell Award in Poetry from Harvard University, the New York Arts Fund Award for Significant Contribution to American Letters, the Prix de Rome for Literature and the Academy Award for Literature (both from the American Academy of Arts and Letters), the Poets’ Prize, the Charity Randall Citation for Contribution to Poetry as a Spoken Art from the International Poetry Forum, and the John William Corrington Award for Literary Excellence. He has also received honorary doctorates from Lander College and Hendrix College. In 1994, he was named Socio Benemerito dell’Associazione, Centro Romanesco Trilussa, Roma. He was chosen to compose and read a poem for the second inauguration of President Bill Clinton in 1997. In 1999, the multinational editorial board of Voices International named him one of the twenty best poets in the world writing in English. He was selected one of the five hundred most important poets of all languages in the twentieth century, for inclusion by Roth Publishing Company on the compact disc Poetry of Our Time.


(Poets and Poetry in America)

Baker, David. “To Advantage Dressed: Miller Williams Among the Naked Poets.” Southern Review 26, no. 4 (Autumn, 1990): 814. Discusses Williams’s development of a “verbal style” that draws readers into his work.

Brower, Joel. “Cosmos in a Coffee Cup.” Review of Time and the Tilting Earth. The New York Times Book Review, February 22, 2009, p. 17. Brower calls Williams a “poet of formidable gifts and influence” and praises his latest collection.

Burns, Michael, ed. Miller Williams and the Poetry of the Particular. Columbia: University of Missouri Press, 1991. A collection of essays on Williams and his poetry, including entries by Howard Nemerov, Maxine Kumin, and X. J. Kennedy. It also includes an interview with Williams.

Cifelli, Edward M. “The Poems of Miller Williams: Poetry from Illinois.” Review of Some Jazz for a While. Art and Letters: A Journal of Contemporary Culture (Fall, 2000). A review of Williams’s collected poems, published by the University of Illinois Press.

Quinn, Judy. “Inauguration Day Will Be Miller Time.” Publishers Weekly 244, no. 1 (January 6, 1997): 20. Williams discusses his poem for U.S. president Bill Clinton’s inauguration and the collection The Ways We Touch (1997).