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Jonathan Williams (Jonathan Chamberlain Williams) Biography

(1929–2008), (Jonathan Chamberlain Williams), Review, Sixmas, Lullabies Twisters Gibbers Drags

American poet, born in Asheville, North Carolina, educated at Princeton. From 1951 to 1956 he was closely associated with Black Mountain College and contributed poems to its Review. From 1962 he held posts as poet-in-residence at numerous American universities. In 1951 he founded the Jargon Society Inc., one of the most valuable of the American small presses, which has published verse by Charles Olson, Robert Creeley, Denise Levertov, Michael McClure, and many others; his editions of work by Louis Zukofsky, Lorine Niedecker, and Mina Loy drew attention to their writing after long periods of neglect. Sixmas (1950), the first collection of Williams's poetry, was followed by approximately 100 further titles, among them Lullabies Twisters Gibbers Drags (1963), Strung out with Elgar on a Hill (1971), Rivulets and Sibilants of Dent (1987), and Quantulumcumque (1990); An Ear in Bartram's Tree (1969) and Get Hot or Get Out (1982) contain selections from his work. His relentlessly experimental poetry is marked by an often outrageous sense of humour in combination with austere economies of form. Much of his verse confers epigrammatic refinement on the rhythms and topics of common speech. His other publications include Descant on Rawthey's Madrigal (1968), a record of conversations with Basil Bunting.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Patrick White (Patrick Victor Martindale White) Biography to David Wojahn Biography