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William Carlos Williams (18831963) emerged alongside Pound, Eliot, Stevens, Frost, and Yeats as one of the foremost poets of the 20th century. Paterson, Williams's epic masterpiece, raised everyday American speech to the highest levels of poetic imagination. A finalist for the national Book Award and a New York Times Notable Book, William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked is a remarkable, rich blend of art and scholarship. From a small-town doctor who delivered more than 3,000 babies to an extraordinary revolutionary, Paul Mariani unfolds Williams' life and times while simultaneously letting the reader inside the poet's mind and language in this definitive masterwork.
The oldest of seven children from a working-class background, Paul Mariani was born in New York City in 1940 and grew up there and on Long Island. He earned his bachelor's degree from Manhattan College, a Master's from Colgate University, and a PhD. from the City University of New York. He is the author of seven poetry collections, most recently, Epitaphs for the Journey: New, Selected & Revised Poems (Cascade Books, 2012) and Deaths & Transfigurations (Paraclete Press, 2005).
He has published numerous books of prose, including five acclaimed biographies of poets: The Whole Harmonium: The Life of Wallace Stevens (2015); Gerard Manley Hopkins: A Life (2008); The Broken Tower: A Life of Hart Crane (1999); Lost Puritan: A Life of Robert Lowell (1994), all named New York Times Notable Books of the year; Dream Song: The Life of John Berryman (1990); and William Carlos Williams: A New World Naked (1981), which won the New Jersey Writers Award, was short-listed for an American Book Award, and was also named a New York Times Notable Book of the year.
His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation, the National Endowment for the Arts, and the National Endowment for the Humanities. He has also been shortlisted for the Tait Award for biography. He was Distinguished University Professor at the University of Massachusetts, Amherst, where he taught from 1968 until 2000, when he was named University Professor of English at Boston College. In 2009 he received the John Ciardi Award for Lifetime Achievement in Poetry. Mariani and his wife, Eileen, have three grown sons and live in western Massachusetts. He is currently working on a memoir of growing up on the mean streets of Manhattan in the 1940s. The Broken Tower, his biography of Hart Crane, was turned into a film, directed by and starring James Franco. He has also contributed to two filmsone on John Berryman, and another on Wallace Stevens. He has lectured widely and read his poems here and abroad.