Dear friends, this will be a catch up letter for our activities
this past year. It comes with holiday best wishes.
you will see a photograph of Tom Kirlin and Grace Cavalieri,
who sponsored the award ceremony at the Writers Center
this past November 18.
of the previous awardees were present and it was a very successful
event. Margery Goldberg provided refreshments and we were happy
to announce the 2024 William Meredith Awardee for Poetry, Kathi
Wolfe. This years winner of the Nancy Frankel Award for
Art was presented to Joan Konkel.
year Poets Choice published new books by Tom Kirlin and
have received a letter congratulating us on the upcoming art
exhibition at the Hygenic Gallery. The exhibition will feature
the work of Stoimen Stoilov. The opening reception will take
place on March 23rd and will run through April, National Poetry
Month. I will hope to launch my new book at the reception.I
continue to struggle to find funding for our projects, but so
far, am managing. We are a 501(c)3, tax-exempt foundation and
will be happy to provide a tax letter for any funding for our
projects, but so far, am managing. We are a 501(c)3, tax-exempt
foundation and will be happy to provide a tax letter for anyone
able to make a contribution.
greetings. Wishing you all the best for the New Year. It has been
a very successful year for the foundation, and we look forward
to a challenging 2023.
recent Initiatives include selling the house in Uncasville with
a provision for lifetime usage of the guest house and library.
The nice young guy who bought the place has in mind to raise fruit
trees, something I'm sure William would have approved of. We will
shut down the water for the winter to avoid frozen pipes and by
spring the guest house should be fully operational to welcome
Scott Price who is working on a biography of William Meredith
as well as Charles Agvent who can review the library for books
he may wish to put on his rare book website.
Our biggest achievement has been bringing the thresher memorial
from the New London public library to City Hall on a permanent
basis to recognize William's poem memorializing the 129 men who
lost their lives in that disaster. Johnes Ruta has created a YouTube
film of the following link.https://youtu.be/u_9xzVr0OxU
Veys who won the Valentine Krustev Award for translation was celebrated
at the New London Public Library before returning to Belgium.
It is my hope that we can launch my new collection of poems, PANDEMIE
in Holland during national poetry month.
Kirlin and I recently visited the Bulgarian embassy to confirm
the April 14th date when we hope to celebrate a number of previous
winners of the William Meredith poetry award as well as the newly
created Nancy Frankel Artist Award. Her death has been an inestimable
loss and we still grieve for her.
have created a medallion incorporating art by Ram Brisueño,
as The foundation BLM Award for Poetry. Marilyn Nelson has agreed
to accept this award for her series of sonnets on the life-and-death
of Emmett Till. Herbert Martin will also receive the William Meredith
Foundation BLM poetry Award for his remarkable collection of poems
recounting the death of Willie Short in the collection entitled,
SOMETIMES SAY MY NAME which features art by board member Grace
it has been a very productive year for the foundation and we are
grateful for all the support we have received from the board and
interested poetry lovers, particularly a generous contribution
from Tom and Katherine Kirlin. Harvard University released a number
of recordings of William reading his poems including the record
of the SS Thresher. Tom Veys has translated this master work.
The film features his translation of Meredith reading the poem
over a somber, somewhat chilling background of light and water.
work Is a good example of how the foundation continues Williams
legacy in the world of poetry. The "great sloth heart"
beats iambic, and William's poem comes to you as a gift as we
begin a New Year of light and love. Richard
mom," he cried,
50 yards from home.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
just trying to get home."
He said, as the pepper spray
Ruined his eyes.
His Delta earring enraging
the Minotaur. Nam Myoho
of blood in his brain
Became a delta. Nam Myoho
Renge Kyo. He was thin,
Until his body blossomed
While the beast kicked him.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo.
His heart stopped beating,
And finally, he was home.
Nam Myoho Renge Kyo
of the April
10, 1963 sinking of the Nuclear
Submarine USS Thresher SSN 593, with the loss of all aboard.
This commemoration took place on April 29, 2022, at the City Hall
of New London, CT,
home of the US Navy Submarine Base.
Nuclear US Navy Submarine USS Thresher SSN 593 sank and was lost
on April 10, 1963, during tests in the deep ocean off the Continental
Shelf, 100 miles east of Boston, with the loss of 129 crew and
civilians. The submarine was based at the US Navy Submarine Base
at Gales Ferry, Connecticut on the Thames River east of New London,
CT, where many crew members lived in the area.
wreckage of the imploded boat was found in September 1964 at
a depth of 8,400 feet below the surface.
took place at City Hall of New London, 5:00 pm Friday April
29, 2022, introduced by MAYOR MICHAEL PASSERO, and RICHARD HARTEIS,
President of the William Meredith Foundation. The poem "THE
WRECK OF THE THRESHER" was written by the US Poet Laureate
(1978-1980) by WILLIAM MEREDITH (1919-2007), who was a personal
friend of the Thresher CAPTAIN JOHN W. HARVEY. The poem was
read by MARGARET GIBSON, Poet Laureate of Connecticut. The original
poem "Let Us Pray" was written and read by REV. CYNTHIA
WILLAUER. Family members of the Thresher crew and officers of
the US Navy were present.
Johnes Ruta VP of the William Meredith Foundation, azothjohnes.
with Robert Earl Price
The Poet and the Poem: (Grace Cavalieri is Poet Laureate of Maryland
and a Board member of the William Meredith Foundation)
For over four decades, Robert Earl Price has amassed writing
credits in fiction, drama and poetry. His many awards include
The TCG/NEA Playwright's Residency, The American Film Institute's
William Wyler award for screenwriting, a National Endowment for
the Arts Fellowship for Poetry and a Cultural Olympics commission
for theater, 2006 Gen-Gabriel Moore Playwriting award and 2012
recipient of a Maryland Individual Artist Award (playwriting.)
Price was artist in residence in the Drama Department of Washington
College from 2008-2018. He is coordinator for the annual Kent
County Poetry Festival.
February 22, 2020 at the WRITER'S CENTER
in Bethesda, MD.
Reading by Lee Woodman.
Lee is the 2020 William Meredith Awardee in poetry for
(Photo credit: DC photographer Sonya Melescu)
Foundation Director Richard Harteis, reading
from his new collection, MYSTICAL REHAB
(Photo credit: DC photographer Sonya Melescu)
Left to right: Barbara Goldberg (the 2019 Valentin
Krustev awardee for translation), Lee Woodman,
Richard Harteis, and Tom Kirlin (The 2019 William Meredith awardee
introduced the speakers and read from their own works.
(Photo credit: DC photographer Sonya Melescu)
Letter from the President
Holiday greetings to everyone. It is bound to be a dramatic New
Year. We send you every good wish.
2019 sees the end of the Year of William Meredith,
though with luck, his memory and impact on our culture will never
fade. Highlights of our activities in 2019 include:
A memorial calendar, a catalog for the exhibition we arranged
at the American University Art Museum for Nancy Frankel (NANCY
@ NINETY,) production of the 2019 William Meredith Award for Poetry
(ENABLING LOVE, by Tom Kirlin) the 2019 Valentin Krustev Award
for Translation (TRANSFORMATION, by Barbara Goldberg,) a collection
of essays and photos prepared for the Connecticut College Symposium
on the life and work of William Meredith (FESTSCHRIFT FOR WILLIAM)
publication of a new book of stories by Lisa Ritchie, THE SCOTCH
RUNNER, and a new collection of poems by Andrew Oerke, BAYFIELD
BOYHOOD. Readings and celebrations took place at the Bulgarian
Embassy and other venues in the DC area. And I was able to wave
the flag for poetry and William at the Poetry Festival in Povdiv,
Bulgaria along with Barbara Goldberg. All of the books mentioned
above are available on Poets-Choice.com, Amazon, Barnes and Noble,
etc. YouTube clips and photos on all these activities can be found
in the RECENT AND PAST EVENTS section of this website.
And Poets Choice has just published a new book too! I spent a
month in rehab after a big surgery in August wherein the title,
MYSTICAL REHAB, New and Other Occasions. It includes 20 years
of poems never before brought to bed in a formal way, and I am
very glad to announce its arrival. The directors of the festival
in Las Vegas where my screen play won have said the film will
be produced, so with luck, 2020 will feature COMES LOVE on the
I continue to thank God and all of Williams friends that
I have been able to carry on his legacy and produce new work.
The 2020 William Meredith Award for Poetry is in the wings and
will be announced on his birthday, January 9th. Till then, this
missive comes with love and gratitude. Richard
Please Click on the following link to bring
you to the full Press Release for MINDSCAPES.
1964 to 1987 William Morris Meredith served as Chancellor of
the Academy of American Poets.
He served as a fighter pilot in both the Pacific campaign in
World War II and in Korea. From, 1946 to 1950, he was
Instructor in English at Princeton University, as the Woodrow
Wilson Fellow in Writing, and Resident Fellow in
Creative Writing, then associate professor at the University
of Hawaii (195051). After the Korean War he was
associate then Full Professor of English at Connecticut College,
where he taught until 1983.
From 1978 to 1980, he was Consultant in Poetry to the Library
of Congress of the United States,
the position which in 1985 became the Poet Laureate Consultant
in Poetry to the Library of Congress.
visit to the Two Trees Garden where William's ashes lie.
William Meredith Foundation is proud to announce the establishment
of the William Meredith Center for the Arts to remember and
honor a great American spirit. Friends who have come together
as a foundation wish never to forget this extraordinary human
being and the impact he has had on so many lives. Poet, pilot,
arborist, beloved teacher and friend, his legacy is a treasure
we wish to pass on to future generations. The Meredith Center
will keep the flame of generosity and artistic camaraderie burning
at Riverrun, William's home on the Thames River in Connecticut
where he lived and worked for 60 years and which has recently
been added to the State
Registry of Historic Landmarks.
center sponsors educational programs during the year to provide
cultural enrichment through a diverse selection of artistic
programming. It fosters an appreciation for the work of local
and regional artists and develops artist exchange programs internationally
as well, particularly with the Republic of Bulgaria where Mr.
Meredith was made a citizen by presidential decree for his work
in the culture. Artists invited for residencies at the Meredith
Center share their talents through art exhibitions, readings,
publications and academic seminars. The center serves as a retreat
where artists can create new works in the same spirit of peace,
equality, and serious endeavor that characterized William's
life and work at Riverrun.
Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote
a letter joining Connecticut College in a celebration of
William's 80th birthday in which she says, "The arts have always
been a unifying force in our world, bringing people together
across vast cultural, social, economic and geographical divisions.
Through his work, William Meredith both enhances and strengthens
the American spirit. As you honor Mr. Meredith, you celebrate
the timeless power of poetry and poets as our American memory,
our purveyors of insight and culture, our eyes and ears who
silence the white noise around us, and express the very heart
of what connects us, plagues us, and makes us fully human."
William Meredith Center for the Arts offers another window on
the world through which we can enhance our spirit, a window
through which artists may search their private worlds and speak
for us as we make our slow progress as members of the human
tribe. A short signature poem by William Meredith inspires us
in our efforts to honor his memory as a model of courage, good
will, civility and achievement:
Poems are hard to read
Pictures are hard to see
Music is hard to hear
And people are hard to love
But whether from brute need
Or divine energy
At last mind eye and ear
And the great sloth heart will move.