William Meredith

prize winner, 1988

William Meredith

William Meredith was born in New York City in 1919, graduated from Princeton in 1940, and served as a naval aviator during the Second World War. During his service, his first book of poems, Love Letter from an Impossible Land, was published. After teaching for a few years while still in the U.S. Navy Reserves—first at Princeton, then at the University of Hawaii—Meredith returned to the Navy as a pilot in the Korean War. Always writing and publishing poetry, he went on to win a Pulitzer Prize (for Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems) as well as the National Book Award (for Effort at Speech: New and Selected Poems), among other prizes and distinctions. Meredith served as a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets and as a consultant in poetry to the Library of Congress.

excerpted from poetryfoundation.org