William Matthews

(November 11, 1942 - November 12, 1997 / Cincinnati, Ohio)

William Matthews
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an American poet and essayist.

Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Matthews earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, and a master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to serving as a Writer-in-Residence at Boston's Emerson College, Matthews held various academic positions at institutions including Cornell University, the University of Washington (Seattle), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Iowa. He served as president of Associated Writing Programs and of the Poetry Society of America. At the time of his death he was a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at City College of New York ... more »

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Comments about William Matthews

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  • Rookie Elizabeth Smith (4/26/2014 1:45:00 PM)

    He was my stepfather-can't say you would have loved to have met him-he did have a great sense of humor and was brilliant. Still..complicated soul, let's just say that.

  • Freshman - 844 Points Joseph Harlacher (2/11/2014 4:07:00 AM)

    I was sad to see you had passed on. I too coil like a snake ready to strike with the venom of tomorrow.

  • Rookie - 659 Points V P Mahur (2/11/2014 2:24:00 AM)

    I like the poem 'I Like'. lovely

  • Rookie - 4 Points Martin O'Neill (2/11/2012 5:18:00 AM)

    Just beautiful writing to gladden the soul from having read it. I would so have loved to have met him. The world is a poorer place without him.

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Famous Poets
Best Poem of William Matthews

A Poetry Reading At West Point

I read to the entire plebe class,
in two batches. Twice the hall filled
with bodies dressed alike, each toting
a copy of my book. What would my
shrink say, if I had one, about
such a dream, if it were a dream?

Question and answer time.
"Sir," a cadet yelled from the balcony,
and gave his name and rank, and then,
closing his parentheses, yelled
"Sir" again. "Why do your poems give
me a headache when I try

to understand them?" he asked. "Do
you want that?" I have a gift for
gentle jokes to defuse tension,
but this was not the time to use ...

Read the full of A Poetry Reading At West Point

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