The Institute for the Humanities at Montclair State University is hosting a lecture on William Carlos Williams (and Philip Roth) on Thursday, November 7th, 4-5pm, at Montclair State, in Montclair, NJ.   Neil Baldwin will present on Williams (and James D. Bloom will present on Roth).  This lecture is the final one in a series entitled “Jersey: A Sense of Place.”


Here are 3 links about the series on the MSU Institute for Humanities’ website.  One is a general link about the series, one links to the presenters, and the 3rd one links to a radio program that aired a couple of months ago in which Williams (along with Roth) was the subject of discussion.Ω

We are very excited to have selected the following papers for the William Carlos Williams session at MLA in January 2014:
Chair: Daniel E. Burke (Marquette University)
Julia Bloch (Bard College) “Teaching Williams/Williams Teaching”
Samantha Carrick (University of Southern California) “The Decaying Body of the Poet: Williams and Aging”
Julia Daniel (West Virginia University) “Material Feminism and the Body of Place in Paterson
Margaret Konkol (Georgia Institute of Technology) “‘Queen-Anne’s-Lace’: Resilient. Immigrant. Weed.”
Serena Le (University of California – Berkeley) “‘Crashing upon a stone ear’: Picturing the Sound of Paterson’s Falls”
Lisa Siriganian (Southern Methodist University) “Food or Drug: Curing Culture with Poetry Things”
Erin Templeton (Converse College) “Digital Williams: Mulitiplicities, ‘composition and decomposition'”

CFP MLA 2014

February 13, 2013

New Directions in Williams Studies

Contemporary approaches to Williams in “lightning talk” PechaKucha format to encourage substantial discussion and dialogue amongst participants & audience members. Possible topics might include: medicine/embodiment; technology; transnationalism; ecocriticism; Williams and/in archives. 200 word abstracts & CV to by March 22.

MLA 2014 will be held in Chicago, IL from 9-12 January.

CFP: Edited Collection

January 23, 2013

William Carlos Williams and the Visual Arts: A Hundred Years after the Armory Show

Original work is sought for a collection of critical essays on William Carlos Williams and the visual arts.  As evident in his friendships with artists and his commentary about art, William Carlos Williams thought deeply about the relation of art and his poetics.  “I might easily have become a painter,” he memorably recounts in I Wanted to Write a Poem, “… except that the articulate art of poetry gave a more immediate opportunity for the attack” (3).  The 1913 Armory Show centennial provides a unique time for new study of the ways visual arts influenced Williams’s thoughts and writings; it is our hope that this volume will generate renewed interest among literary scholars and art historians about this dynamic aspect of Williams’s legacy.  By showcasing new ways of thinking about Williams’s association with the visual arts, this edition will contribute greatly to the rich history of Williams scholarship on this topic.

Though the book has not yet been contracted, it is believed an academic press will sponsor this collection. Query letters are in the process of being considered.
Completed essays will range from 7,000 to 10,000 words, though provisions may be made for longer essays. The aim is to complete the manuscript by late 2013 for 2014 publication.
Interested authors are to submit a 500-word abstract, as well as a current CV, in MS Word format by April 15, 2013.

For submission of proposals and/or inquiries, please contact:
Dr. Dan Morris, Professor of English, Purdue University:
Dr. Paul Cappucci, Professor of English, Georgian Court University:

Wednesday 12 December 2012 Rothermere American Institute, University of Oxford



  • Suzanne Churchill (Davidson College)
  • Alan Golding (University of Louisville)
  • Andrew Thacker (De Montfort University)

The remit of this conference is to celebrate the publication of the second volume of the Oxford Critical & Cultural History of Modernist Magazines: North America 1894-1960, and to explore little magazines and their broader cultural contexts across the Americas. Our intention is to stimulate a discussion of current issues, methodologies and practices, and to consider new directions for modernist periodicals studies.

This conference calls for papers (from postgraduates and from established scholars) which explore points of departure in the study of American modernist magazines. A broad range of topics and approaches will be considered for presentations of no more than 20 minutes.

Possible topics might include:

  • Magazines,
  • the city and modernity
  • Magazines and material cultures
  • Little magazines and mass media
  • Magazines and South American modernism
  • Little magazines in Canada
  • Magazines and the public sphere
  • Little magazines and canonical/non-canonical writers
  • Modernist magazines and race
  • Magazines and geographic space
  • Editorial trajectories and interfaces
  • Modernist magazines and performance
  • Little magazines, modernism, and politics
  • Magazines and digital humanities

Please send 250-word abstracts by Monday 1 October 2012 to the conference organizers:

  • Eric White:
  • Niall Munro:
  • Alex Goody:

A limited travel bursary for postgraduate presenters has been made available through the generosity of Oxford University Press. Please indicate whether you wish to be considered for a bursary.



The William Carlos Williams Society is pleased to host the following session at the 2013 MLA Conference:

208. William Carlos Williams and the Armory at One Hundred

Friday, 04 January 8:30–9:45 a.m., Beacon H, Sheraton

Presiding: Erin Templeton, Converse Coll.

1. “The Ekphrastic Landscape of William Carlos Williams’s Grammar: Looking at Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems,” Charlotte Latham, Graduate Center, City Univ. of New York

Whether William Carlos Williams attended the 1913 Armory show or not, the point remains that art, even if simply “an idiotic picture,” was important to him–he “clung to it as a fly” as he says in “The World Contracted to a Recognizable Image”, from his last published collectionPictures from Breughel and Other Poems. Williams’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus” is one example from that collection where his keen eye is revealed and incorporated into his poem. As Breughel foregrounds the rest of reality while Icarus drowns in his painting “The Fall of Icarus,” so does Williams grammatically minimize Icarus in the first stanza through an indefinite pronoun subject structure, “it was spring,” thereby relegating Icarus to an adverb clause with time, “when Icarus fell.” Throughout the poem, Williams’ subtly incorporates choices in Breughel’s painting into his grammar. In Pictorialist Poetics, David Scott examines the methods by which prose poetry incorporated structural elements learned from certain art works, focusing significantly on Bertrand’s Gaspard de la Nuit’s influence to Dutch masters. This ekphrastic component of composition is rarely noted though it can highlight intricacies in the poet’s relationship to art. Looking at Williams’s “Landscape with the Fall of Icarus”, first published in 1960 in Hudson Review, and then subsequently incorporated into Pictures from Breughel and Other Poems, this paper will provide a close reading of Williams’ poetry in order to relate it to its pictorial inspiration and influence.

2. “Improvisation at the Armory Show: An Approach to Understanding Wassily Kandinsky’s Influence on the Writings of William Carlos Williams,” Paul R. Cappucci, Georgian Court Univ.

With my recent work on Williams and the New York School artists, I spent some time exploring Williams’s early interest in abstract art, most notably the paintings of Wassily Kandinsky.  Although my research on Kandinsky and Williams did not make it into the published version of my study, it offered an intriguing start for better understanding Williams’s interest in the visual arts and transformation as a poet.  In relation to the panel’s focus, Kandinsky exhibited one lone painting at the Armory Show: Improvisation Number 27: Garden of Love.   After the show, it was purchased by Alfred Stieglitz and displayed at the famous 291 gallery.  So, whether Williams attended the show or not, he more than likely saw this painting at Stieglitz’s gallery and gained direct contact with the visual artistry and move toward abstraction that Kandinsky espoused.  He also would come into contact with Kandinsky’s writings through Stieglitz’s Camera Work in 1912, which included translated excerpts of Concerning the Spiritual in Art.   I would like to use that one Armory Show painting and those writings as the means for examining Kandinsky’s broader influence on Williams.  Since Marsden Hartley knew both men, his work and writings may also factor into the proposed discussion.  In some ways, one could argue that Williams’s early interest in Kandinsky set up his later reaction to the Abstract-Expressionist movement localized in New York.  More research, however, will be needed to support such a claim.

3. “This Is Just to Say This Is the End of Art: Williams and the Aesthetic Attitude,” Daniel Charles Morris, Purdue Univ., West Lafayette

From scholarship in the 1970s and 1980s by Dickran Tashjian, Henry Sayre, William Marling, and Peter Schmidt to a recently published essay on Williams and Duchamp by Lisa Siraganian, Williams has been
interpreted, to borrow Marjorie Perloff’s phrase regarding Frank O’Hara, as a poet among painters. What I have not seen in the criticism, and what I would like to address in my paper, is a discussion of Williams among the
Aestheticians with special emphasis on Arthur Danto’s theory of “the Artworld” and “the end of art,” as well as George Dickie’s institutional theory of art. In a legendary essay from 1964, Danto, writing in the wake
of Warhol, asked, “What in the end makes the difference between a Brillo Box and a work of art consisting of a Brillo Box is a certain theory of art. It is the theory that takes it up into the world of art, and keeps it from
collapsing into the real object which it is (in a sense of is other than that of artistic identification).” In his 1974 study Art and the Aesthetic, George Dickie built on Danto’s disavowal of imitation and expression theories of art
in order to focus on a framework theory. Less focused on art history, and more on an institutional theory of art than was the case in Danto, Dickie studied the complex process in which an object has “conferred upon it
the status of candidate for appreciation by some person or person acting on behalf of a certain social institution (the artworld).” I find the Danto/Dickie framework models to be powerful tools through which to approach
Williams’s “found” poems such as “This is Just to Say,” which will be the text I plan to foreground in my MLA paper.

Honoring the centennial of the Armory Show, this panel will explore William Carlos Williams’s connections with New York City and/or the visual arts. 250 word abstracts and CV by March 15 to Erin Templeton: <>.

The Louis Martz Prize for 2009 has been awarded to Andrew J. Krivak, for his editing of The Letters of William Carlos Williams to Edgar Irving Williams, 1902-1912 (Farleigh Dickinson UP).

From Amazon:

This book recovers the earliest epistolary activity of one of America’s most innovative and influential modernist poets. From 1902 to 1912, William Carlos Williams wrote more than 300 letters to his younger brother Edgar, an accomplished architect with whom Williams shared the desire to become ‘a great artist’. This collection of 200 letters sheds new light on the aesthetic thoughts and practices with which Williams was engaged for a full decade before his unique voice emerged in the forerunner to Paterson, ‘The Wanderer’ (1914). Providing a comprehensive introduction, exhaustive annotation, images of poetry and artwork, and hundreds of letters never before seen by scholars, this critical edition provides substantially new material on Williams and will be an important addition to the study of early American modernism.

The Williams Society and its membership would like to thank the efforts of both sets of judges for their cooperation and dedication in assessing the year’s work, and we would also like to offer our collective thanks to Scott Peterson for making the existence of these prizes possible.


January 3, 2012

Call for Papers [Reminder]

American Literature Association Conference, May 24-27, 2012, San Francisco, CA

The ALA will feature two panels sponsored by the Williams Society, the first of which is in association with the Ezra Pound Society. A further Ezra Pound Society call for papers is included below:

The Epistolary Art of Pound and Williams

This panel focuses on the importance of letter writing to Pound and Williams, whether to express support or conflict in relations with other artists, reflecting their own epistolary friendship, or as a presence in the body of each poet’s work.

Proposals for papers should be sent to Ian Copestake at: by January 1st.

William Carlos Williams in the Health Humanities

Papers are invited which consider the interdisciplinary nature of Williams’s life and work. How does Williams challenge or negotiate the discursive boundaries between science and art?

Proposals for papers should be sent to Ian Copestake at: by January 1st.

Ezra Pound as Glimpsed in H.D.’s Prose.

This session will explore H.D.’s prose, from Notes on Thought and Vision (1919) to the Hirslanden Notebooks (1957-60), in an effort to appreciate H.D.’s idiosyncratic reading of her lifelong relationship with Ezra Pound.

Please submit proposals by January 1st to Demetres P. Tryphonopoulos at:

As part of the Scotch Plains public Library’s “Our Cities, Ourselves” series of programs, we will host Maria Mazziotti Gillan on Thursday, April 21st at 7:00 pm. Her topic is “Paterson Poets: Voices of the Silk City.” Gillan, a nationally recognized poet and educator, examines the Paterson-area roots of poets William Carlos Williams, Allen Ginsberg, and their literary heirs. She will discuss the role the city played in their lives and poetry, and will read her own poems and those of others.

This program was made possible by a grant from the New Jersey Council for the Humanities, a state partner of the National Endowment for the Humanities. Any views, findings, conclusions or recommendations in this program do not necessarily represent those of the National Endowment for the Humanities or the New Jersey Council for the Humanities.For more information: Please contact Pam Brooks, (908)322-5007 x 204, Scotch Plains Public Library, 1927 Bartle Avenue, Scotch Plains, NJ 07076