C. K. Williams, American poet, died at 78

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32ewwdwededweCharles Kenneth “C. K.” Williams, born on November 4, 1936 and died September 20, 2015, he was an American poet, critic and translator.

Charles won nearly every major poetry award. Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987.

Repair (1999) won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry, was a National Book Award finalist and won the Los Angeles Times Book Prize.

The Singing won the National Book Award, 2003 and in 2005 Charles received the Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize.

The 2012 film Tar related aspects of Williams’ life using his poetry.

His first book, Lies, was published in 1969, and he had published many collections of poetry, culminating in his Collected Poems, of which Peter Campion wrote in The Boston Globe: “Throughout the five decades represented in his new Collected Poems, Charles has maintained the most sincere, and largest, ambitions.

Like Yeats and Lowell before him, he writes from the borderland between private and public life….[His poems] join skeptical intelligence and emotional sincerity, in a way that dignifies all of our attempts to make sense of the world and of ourselves. C. K. Williams has set a new standard for American poetry.”

Another collection, Wait, appeared in 2010, and another, Writers Writing Dying, came out in 2012.

He wrote a memoir, Misgivings, which appeared in 2000, a collection of essays, Poetry and Consciousness (1999), and a critical study of Walt Whitman, On Whitman (2010).

Charles was also an acclaimed translator, notably of Sophocles’ Women of Trachis and Euripides’ The Bacchae, as well as of the Polish poet Adam Zagajewski and the French poet Francis Ponge.

Williams died at age 78 on September 20, 2015.

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