C.K. Williams (1936-2015) was born in New Jersey, and lived latterly in Paris, Normandy and Princeton, USA. He published a dozen books in Britain with Bloodaxe, including New & Selected Poems (1995), The Vigil (1997), Repair (1999) and The Singing (2003) – all four of these were Poetry Book Society Recommendations – followed by Collected Poems (2006), Wait (2010) and Writers Writing Dying (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, USA, 2012; Bloodaxe Books, 2013), another Poetry Book Society Recommendation. All at Once: Prose Poems (2014) and Selected Later Poems (2015) were published by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US. His last collection, Falling Ill, another Poetry Book Society Recommendation, was published by Bloodaxe Books in the UK and by Farrar, Straus and Giroux in the US in 2017.
Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Prize in 1987, Repair was awarded the 2000 Pulitzer Prize, and The Singing won the National Book Award for 2003. He was also honoured with the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, the PEN Voelker Career Achievement Award in Poetry for 1998; a Guggenheim Fellowship, two NEA grants, the Berlin Prize of the American Academy in Berlin, a Lila Wallace Fellowship, and prizes from PEN and the American Academy of Arts and Letters.
He published a memoir, Misgivings (Farrar, Straus and Giroux), in 2000, which was awarded the PEN Albrand Memoir Award, and translations of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis, Euripides’ Bacchae, and poems of Francis Ponge, among others. He published two books of essays, Poetry and Consciousness (University of Michigan Press, 1998), and In Time: Poets, Poems, and the Rest (University of Chicago Press, 2012), and his book on Walt Whitman, On Whitman, was published by Princeton University Press in 2010. Farrar, Straus and Giroux published a collection of his prose poems, All At Once, in 2014. He also published several acclaimed translations, most notably Euripides' The Bacchae (Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1990), and two co-translations, Canvas by Adam Zagajewski (with Renata Gorczynski and Benjamin Ivry, Farrar Straus and Giroux, 1991) and Selected Poems by Francis Ponge (with John Montague and Margaret Guiton, Wake Forest University Press, 1994).
He taught in the Creative Writing Program at Princeton University, and was a chancellor of the Academy of American Poets.
The 2012 film The Color of Time – released in the UK in 2014 under the title Forever Love – presented a semi-fictional version of his life drawing on his poems, with James Franco in the role of Williams.
Books by C.K. Williams