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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  • 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.

  • Rookie - 325 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

No Return

I like divorce. I love to compose
letters of resignation; now and then
I send one in and leave in a lemon-
hued Huff or a Snit with four on the floor.
Do you like the scent of a hollyhock?
To each his own. I love a burning bridge.

I like to watch the small boat go over
the falls -- it swirls in a circle
like a dog coiling for sleep, and its frail bow
pokes blindly out over the falls' lip
a little and a little more and then
too much, and then the boat's nose dives and butt

flips up so that the boat points doomily
down and the screams of the ...

Read the full of No Return

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