Biography of William Matthews
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 A reading series has been named for him at City College of New York. His son is Sebastian Matthews.
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William Matthews Poems
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
A Happy Childhood
My mother stands at the screen door, laughing. “Out out damn Spot,” she commands our silly dog. I wonder what this means. I rise into adult air
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.
What did I think, a storm clutching a clarinet and boarding a downtown bus, headed for lessons? I had pieces to learn by heart, but at twelve
Think you, if Laura had been Petrarch's wife He would have written sonnets all his life? DON JUAN, III, 63-4
Foul Shots: A Clinic
Already this description is perilously abstract: the ball and basket are round, the nailhead
the only parts of the body the same size at birth as they'll always be. 'That's why all babies are beautiful,' Thurber used to say as he grew
Usually I stay up late, my time alone. Tonight at 9o I can tell I'm only awake long enough to put my sons to bed.
A Life Of Crime
Frail friends, I love you all! Maybe that's the trouble, storm in the eye of a storm. Everyone wants too much.
"First, do no harm," the Hippocratic Oath begins, but before she might enjoy such balm, the docs had to harm her tumor. It was large, rare, and so anomalous
Homer's Seeing-Eye Dog
Most of the time he worked, a sort of sleep with a purpose, so far as I could tell. How he got from the dark of sleep to the dark of waking up I'll never know;
A Small Room In Aspen
Stains on the casements, dustmotes, spiderless webs. No chairs, and a man waking up,
Poem (The Lump Of Coal My Parents Teased...
The lump of coal my parents teased I'd find in my Christmas stocking turned out each year to be an orange, for I was their sunshine.
Mingus At The Showplace
I was miserable, of course, for I was seventeen and so I swung into action and wrote a poem and it was miserable, for that was how I thought
What did I think, a storm clutching a clarinet
and boarding a downtown bus, headed for lessons?
I had pieces to learn by heart, but at twelve
you think the heart and memory are different.
"'It's a poor sort of memory that only works
backwards,' the Queen remarked." Alice in Wonderland.
Although I knew the way music can fill a room,