Letter from the President, Richard Harteis

Dear Friends,

We continue to celebrate the “Year of William Meredith” with award ceremonies, exhibitions, and poetry readings. On February 6th, Bulgarian Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev was the distinguished host to launch the 2019 William Meredith Award for Poetry and the Valentin Krustev Award for Translation during the sculpture exhibition, NANCY @ NINETY which runs through March 17th at the American University Art Museum.

On March 2, the curator of the exhibition will conduct a Q and A with Nancy and fellow artists Sam Noto and Jacqui Concetta.

March 14, Meredith Awardee, Tom Kirlin will join local artists Mark Patnode and Serena Bates along with Richard Harteis at the Savoy Bookstore in Westerly, Rhode Island:

https://www.banksquarebooks.com/event/savoy-poets-choice-reading-featuring- barbara-goldberg-elisavietta-ritchie-and-tom-kirlin

April 12, Connecticut College will sponsor a symposium on the life and work of William Meredith (details to follow) during National Poetry Month.

May 9th-12th Barbara Goldberg and Richard Harteis will represent the foundation in Bulgaria at the Plovdiv Poetry Festival. Bulgaria assumes the presidency of the European Union this year and Plovdiv will host numerous arts programs.

Attached are some recent photos from the Museum opening and Award Ceremony. This winter we were pleased to host Scott Price in Uncasville for research he completed on a Master’s Thesis on the life and work of William Meredith. It has been a busy time, and William continues to be a strong current in the flow of American culture. The foundation is always grateful for contributions which help support these programs (directly to The William Meredith Foundation - 337 Kitemaug Road, Uncasville, Ct. 06382 or through a website for contributions: https://www.gofundme.com/WilliamMeredithCentennial

As a 501.c3 organization, contributions are tax deductible.) For now, we send very best wishes for a pleasant and productive spring.

Richard Harteis
Nancy in front of “Whimsy” which was donated to the Bulgarian Embassy. Many family members came from far and wide to be there for Nancy’s show. There was a tremendous turn out for both events. The embassy kindly provided wine for the award reception which also featured Bulgarian specialities for refreshments.
Award presentation: Richard Harteis, Barbara Goldberg, (winner of the Valentin Krustev Award for Translation) Mrs. Lubka Stoytcheva, Nancy Frankel, Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev, and Tom Kirlin, winner of the 2019 William Meredith Award for Poetry.
"Enabling Love" traces Tom Kirlin’s long journey toward a deep understanding and empathy for the poetry of William Meredith. It is an appreciation based on years of friendship between the two poets in a format that is as complex as the mind of Meredith himself. The award comes during the centenary year of Meredith's birth and is only one of a number of events celebrating the life of this great American spirit.

Uncasville, CT, January 09, 2019 --(PR.com)-- The William Meredith Foundation is proud to present the 2019 Award in Poetry to Tom Kirlin of Washington D.C. The award has no application process, but comes to the author unsolicited in the spirit of generosity that informed William’s interactions with the world of poetry when he judged competitions and supported new talent. The Meredith Award is only one of the artistic projects supported by the foundation to continue the legacy of this great American spirit. This award is particularly apt because it celebrates the centennial of William Meredith’s birth in “the Year of William Meredith.” Other projects include a retrospective exhibition, Nancy at Ninety at the American University Art Museum, a memorial calendar, tribute articles in Poet Lore, and poetry readings around the country including a special weekend event at Connecticut College during National Poetry Month (April 11, 2019, 4:30 p.m., and Friday April 12, 2019, all day,) and the launching of this award as well at the Valentin Krustev Award for Translation presented by Bulgarian Ambassador Tihomir Stoytchev during the Frankel exhibition on February 6, 2019.

William Meredith’s was an extraordinary life. Poet, arborist and beloved teacher at Connecticut College for nearly 40 years, poetry, trees and students were his major preoccupations in life. He served as a Navy pilot in WWII and Korea (“I’d respect you for that if for nothing else,” Robert Frost told him once when William described the thirty-two night landings he made on an aircraft carrier during the war.) Meredith was awarded the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Award and the LA Times Book Award, all of which came after the challenges of a major stroke, and his work has received many additional American and international awards. In 1996, he was accorded Bulgarian citizenship by President Zhelu Zhelev for the bridge he created between our two countries. “If Poetry were landscape, Meredith would be a National Park,” William Matthews once said of Meredith’s poetry.

"Enabling Love" traces Tom Kirlin’s long journey toward a deep understanding and empathy for the poetry of William Meredith. It is an appreciation based on years of friendship between the two poets in a format that is as complex as the mind of Meredith himself. Like an exquisite jigsaw puzzle or crossword, Kirlin plays with language through puns, synecdoche, broken word fragments, and provocative enjambments to give heightened meaning to Meredith’s poetry. The style is challenging, but worth the effort as we follow Kirlin’s exploration and the loving attention he gives to his colleague in the art. It is a fitting centenary tribute to a poet who has been described as a national treasure and lucky inheritance. We are equally lucky to have Kirlin’s intense magnifying glass, enabling love.

"Enabling Love" includes a number of paintings by world-renowned artist Stoimen Stoilov. Soilov, like Kirlin has been a friend of Meredith and the foundation for decades, always willing to provide his extraordinary art for publication projects. They are honored to have his exquisite work to augment the winning manuscript.

Tom Kirlin won the Larry Neal Award for Poetry. He also received a grant from the District of Columbia Commission on the Arts and a fellowship from the National Endowment for the Humanities for post-doctoral studies at Yale University.

Kirlin taught at the University of Wisconsin-Madison before moving to Washington, D.C. Here, he worked for several decades on energy, environment, science and technology policy issues, including the UN climate negotiations that led to the Kyoto Protocols. He later served as Vice President of the Center for the Study of the Presidency, a non-partisan group he helped rebuild as a staff and Board member. Following a summer at Bread Loaf, the Little Red Tree Press published his first book of poems, Under the Potato Moon, in 2013. Other poems have appeared in Hungry as We Are, The WPFW Poetry Anthology, and Cabin Fever. His wife, Katherine, and he helped celebrate the Smithsonian Institution’s 25th Folklife Festival by collecting and authoring the Smithsonian Folklife Cookbook.

Contact Information
Poets Choice Publishing
Richard Harteis
860-961-5138

www.poets-choice.com

www.WilliamMeredithFoundation.org

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Uncasville, CT, January 09, 2019 --(PR.com)-- The William Meredith Foundation is proud to inaugurate The Valentin Krustev Award for Translation. This award includes publication of "Transformation" featuring Goldberg’s exquisite translations of Israeli poets as well as some of the most lucid and insightful analyses of the art of translation. The collection is augmented by the paintings of Mark Patnode who recently returned from Israel to create a series of works depicting the landscape of the Holy Land. His Matisse-like paintings capture the light and beauty of the desert land burgeoning with life, the deep green of cedars, the impossibly cerulean skies. Transformation represents the happy synchronicity of two artists working at the peak of their powers translating a culture and people to reveal our shared humanity:

This beautiful and intimate anthology of poems of love and war offers a single poem by many of Israel’s most gripping poets. Each poem is a world, translated with tenderness and tremendous skill. There is great diversity in ethnicity, background, age, and outlook - from Naim Araidi, who is Druze, to Shimon Adaf, who grew up in a family of devout Moroccan Jews - but there is always an engagement with elemental subjects: peace, fear, sea, lips, dreams, and speech. Those who ask why it is important for a poet to translate poets should look to Transformation for an answer.

- Aviya Kushner, author of The Grammar of God

Languages are living organisms, according to George Steiner. Barbara Goldberg, in Transformation, comes into her true landscape as she moves between languages, exploring the evolution of her restless and profound journey. At long last, she can call on her multiple resources - poetry and prose, humor and tragedy, life in this century cast in the shadow of “19th Century Vienna.” The hidden memories of loved ones. “Even the dead” who “can’t keep a secret.”

- Myra Sklarew, from the Introduction

In "Transformation," Barbara Goldberg gives an engaging memoir of how she first entered the world of translation, growing up as she did amidst languages of Holocaust survivors, the challenges of translating poems that are faithful ambassadors of their originals, and marvelous transformations of modern Hebrew poems of love and war. A poet of distinction herself, Goldberg is also an editor who revels in the pleasures of bringing poetry of other languages into compelling English idioms.

- Merrill Leffler, author of MARK THE MUSIC

Without the essential talent for translation, we would never be able to shake hands across political and cultural barriers, a fact that was key for Valentin Krustev. William Meredith first met him in 1978 when Valentin had been assigned to visiting dignitaries as a member of the translator’s union during one of the international writers’ meetings, Peace the Hope of the Planet. Valentin remained an extraordinary friend to hundreds of visitors to Bulgaria right up until his premature death this past year in Sofia. This award hopes to continue his legacy and thank him for that friendship which meant so much to so many.

Contact Information
Poets Choice Publishing
Richard Harteis
860-961-5138
Contact
www.poets-choice.com

www.WilliamMeredithFoundation.org

 

 
From 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 (1950–51). 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.
 
Click on the image below to view the 2007 CT Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award for William Meredith.
Click on the image below for a video tour of the William Meredith Foundation.
The William Meredith Foundation and Center for the Arts

Contact:

Foundation Director:
Richard Harteis
Tel. (860) 961-5138
marathonfilm@gmail.com
www.WilliamMeredithFoundation.org and www.Poets-Choice.com

The William Meredith Foundation is about to begin a fund raising effort to celebrate the centennial anniversary of William Meredith's birth in 2019.
Bulgaria TV News coverage of scattering of William Meredith's ashes. September, 2016.
 
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LITERATURE
ABOUT THE WILLIAM MEREDITH FOUNDATION
A visit to the Two Trees Garden where William's ashes lie.

The 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.

The 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.

First 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."

The 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:

A Major Work

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.

Printable brochure for the William Meredith Foundation (pdf)