Holiday Note from the President
on the 99th anniversary of William's birth,
January 9, 1919
here it is. The annual round robin, catch--up letter that
most people dread having to get through. So, Ill try to
keep it short (ha and ha.)
in West Palm. I had been scheduled to take a Writer-in-Residence
position at a university in Mexico, but after further dialog,
it became clear it was not for me. Long story. But I rented my
apartment as of Jan 15 with a view toward flying to Mexico and
so now I must leave early. I may be back in April or I may just
rent it for the year and continue on north. Ah, the gypsy life.
little press (Poets--choice.com) published ten books since
2016 (FIRST, DO NO HARM, TO START WITH, FEEL FORTUNATE, A WAY
TO HOME, New and Selected
Poems, REUNION, A Memoir ,THE BANQUET, CAFÉ SELECT, REFLECTIONS
: Paintings & Poems from a Poet's Gallery, BABUSHKAS
BEADS: A Geography of Genes, New and Selected Poems, HARBINGERS,
AFRICAN CAKEWALK) This included my own memoir REUNION which describes
the rise of Donald Trump and my travel to Bulgaria to carry some
of Williams ashes to the Rila Monastery. This years
William Meredith Award for Poetry will be announced January 9th,
the anniversary of his birth. We had readings in different venues,
and the new Bulgarian Ambassador announced that the embassy would
be our permanent home to announce future Meredith Awards.
began a capital campaign to keep the foundation (WilliamMeredithFoundation.org)
and continue activities for 2019 the Centenary of Williams
birth. Youll find lots of interesting archival information
there if you visit.
Thats about it, work wise. The screenplay Ive been
working on for several decades has won two internet competitions
and if I can finally find a producer, may end my perennial financial
challenges. I may need to sell one of my properties this spring.
Things change, runs the cliché. But so far,
Ive kept all the balls in the air and am happy. My friend
Nancy remains a big part of my life, Im looking after my
health, and my little dog Sydney continues to be a joy for me.
I miss the two dearest of the recently dead, my mother and William.
But they are still with me. How could they not be?
Love really does make the world go round. I hope it is sustaining
you too wherever you are, whatever your circumstances. Here is
some from me.
860--961--5138 email: email@example.com
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.
on the image below to view the 2007 CT Governor's Lifetime
Achievement Award for William Meredith.
on the image below for a video tour of the William Meredith
William Meredith Foundation invites writers, reporters, and lovers
of poetry to celebrate the 2018 William Meredith Award for Poetry.
The award is presented to James Beall for his new collection of
poetry, ONYN MOON published by New Academia Press. The prize is
given in honor of William Meredith, former US Poet Laureate who
was a good friend and colleague of Mr. Beall particularly at the
Library of Congress when they organized a symposium on science
MD, January 09, 2018 --(PR.com)-- The William Meredith Foundation
is proud to present the 2018 Award in Poetry to James Beall, physicist,
poet, and professor at St. John's College in Annapolis. The award
has no application process, but comes to the author unsolicited
in the spirit of generosity that informed Williams interactions
with the world of poetry when he judged competitions and supported
new talent. A working association with Meredith is not a pre-requisite
for awardees, but in Jim Bealls case, their history as colleagues
makes this years award particularly fitting and adds a particular
glow to the serendipitous decision on the part of the board of
directors in choosing Beall. The Meredith Award is only one of
the artistic projects supported by the foundation to continue
the legacy of this great American spirit, and in this case, recognizes
these brothers in the art.
1978, Beall approached William at a poetry reading at the Folger
Library while Jim was a Congressional Science Fellow at the Office
of Technology Assessment for the U.S. Congress. Their collaboration
led to The Science and Literature Symposium in 1981, with Beall
as co-moderator. The program featured lectures by the the Nobel
Laureate in Chemistry, George Wald, O.B. Hardison (then director
of the Folger Library), Sir Fred Hoyle, Gerry Pournelle, and Gene
Roddenberry of Star Trek fame, among many others.
Beall is an astrophysicist, poet, and author on issues related
to public policy and national defense. He holds the degrees of
B.A. , M.S., and Ph.D, all in physics. He is a member of the faculty
at St. Johns College in Annapolis, Maryland, and a senior
consultant to the U.S. Government. His first book, HICKEY, THE
DAYS was published in 1981 by Word Works, and his second book,
Republic was published by Toad Hall Press in 2010. The Italian
translation, Repubblica, translated by Sabine Pascarelli was published
by Toad Hall Press in 2013. Onyx Moon is his third book published
by New Academia Press, a very fine publisher that can hang this
title high on their wall of honor.
rain, volcanoes, jungles, and mountains, appear throughout his
poetry, and like Audubon he paints his subjects with exactitude
of color and precision of detail. Stars shine brilliantly throughout
ONYX MOON as one would expect from a physicist. In his poem, The
Fire on Magdalena Mountain, he recounts travel to the large
array of radio telescopes near Soccoro, New Mexico:
are like flowers tracking a dark sun.
Those distant instruments listen to the sibilant
stars, stars that mimic no human speech. It is a sound
similar to the wind blowing across old ruins,
a level just beneath hearing, that conjures
beyond our capacity to understand or comprehend.
Bealls work is at first an enigma. What to make of his challenging
vision, his unique voice, the round-about syntax, his penchant
for unfamiliar diction, his seemingly schizophrenic take on the
world. For here is a poet blessed with double vision, a man who
sees the world with both brain and heart, who is fully at home
in his bicameral mind, scientist and mystic at once.
we see both the careful scientific method of observation leading
to a thesis as well as the appreciation of synchronicity that
informs the reality of a Reike practitioner or a shaman. The two
chevrons, orange-red on a blackbirds wings at Gettysburg
mirror the late sun, the way the speeches of Pericles or Lincoln
help his imaginary listeners understand a cause.
Military Intelligence, soldiers digging a foxhole
will make of his or her small space/ a home of sorts, as
carefully in place/ as any nest or den the animals/or insects
in their pantomime of thought/ would take as ease. The soldiers
here imitate the creatures around them as do the creatures imitating
and critics have sung Jim Bealls praises over the years,
but one thinks of Josephine Jacobsens poem, her shock and
pleasure when she comes across a real poet, or Emily Dickenson
who says you feel like the top of your head has been taken off
when you meet the real McCoy. Here he is. The Foundation is so
proud to celebrate this rising star, shining among us. As Dr.
Spock would say, live long and prosper James Beall.
of this award comes on January 9th, the ninety-ninth anniversary
of Merediths birth and 11 years after his death in 2007.
Tel. (860) 961-5138 firstname.lastname@example.org
www.WilliamMeredithFoundation.org and www.Poets-Choice.com
William Meredith Foundation is about to begin a fund raising effort
to celebrate the centennial
anniversary of William Meredith's birth in 2019.
event at the
September 16, 2017
celebrating a number of recently published poets by
Poets Choice Publishing (poets-choice.com)
including the 2017 awardee of The William Meredith Award for Poetry
to Florida Poet Laureate, Peter Meinke.
The event was free and open to the public.
by Johnes Ruta, WMF Board Member.
Ono and the Washington Sculpture Group
A 30 minute film covering the life of our friend Setsuko Ono was
aired by Nippon Television in Japan on August 3rd, 2016.
was taken by Nippon Television at WSG Sculpture Salon in June
Bulgaria TV News coverage of scattering of William
Meredith's ashes. September, 2016.
Letter from the President
I had the good fortune to return to Bulgaria through the generous
support of a classmate, Bob Storck. I had thought to take a small
portion of Williams ashes to the Rila Monastery outside
Blagoevgrad where we lived for two years during my Fulbright at
the American University. It was to have been a private moment,
but friends soon convinced me that this was a national
event given Williams work to establish a bridge between
our two countries when he was US Poet Laureate. And so the event
was covered extensively by the Bulgarian media including 24 Hours
and Standartnews, among others:
as a Roman Catholic, however, proscribed such a division of a
persons cremains and I had to give some thought to what
I was about to do at the monastery. Here is what I wrote in preparation
for any media questions about the theological legitimacy
of what I intended to do. The question sometimes comes up when
a loved one has died and has made it clear what they wished by
way of burial. Here is how I addressed the question in preparation
for the ceremony at the Monastery September 21, 2016:
When I was
young, I was taught that in marriage, it was the two people marrying
each other who performed the sacrament of marriage and that the
priest and assembled friends at the ceremony were only witnesses
of the love God expressed in the vow the couple were making to
each other. In death as in life, it may be true too that a communal
expression of the love felt toward the one who has died, may also
be blessed by God he certainly can not be offended when
the creatures he has created reach out to Him for solace and hope
for eternal life in a gesture such as this, the formal recognition
of dust to dust, letting the spirit of the beloved ride the winds
or as Mrs. Lemington says in a poem by William Meredith, Id
like to drift as ashes over the fields, and give them that much
back. In another poem, Edward John Trelawney says that,
The waters may keep the dead, as the earth may, and fire
and air. But dream is my element. And in dream once, Baba
Vanga seemed to Answer the question if one day these mountains
would be a final resting place.
lay dying, I worried to the Episcopal priest that my education
held that ones cremains could not be partitioned but must
lie together in consecrated ground despite Williams desire
that his be delivered to the river where we lived. Ours
is a powerful God the priest told me with great sympathy,
and on the day of judgment he can surely reassemble us for
the final resurrection.
ashes only be a symbol of the spirit of a man whose courage, and
talent and humanity has touched so many of us and continues to
make its way through the chambers of our heart in America and
in his beloved second homeland, Bulgaria. We thank God for such
models of humanity, and pray that Christ take him in His loving
arms for all eternity.
legend of Daphne, while fleeing from Apollo's passionate pursuit,
the river nymph cries out to her father, Peneus, the river god,
to save her, and he transforms her into a laurel tree.
"Daphne" will be re-enacted in an original short dance
and musical presentation on Aug. 20 at Riverrun, the late William
Meredith's beautiful home on the Thames River in Uncasville and
the perfect setting to bring Ovid's Greek myth to life.
Richard Harteis, president of the William Meredith Foundation
and Meredith's longtime partner, conceived the performance along
with Brett Raphael, founder and artistic director of the Connecticut
Ballet and creator of The New London Dance Initiative that is
aimed at increasing dance exposure and training for the city's
It is with
great sadness that we note the death of recently-appointed Board
member, Valentin Krustev who died suddenly of a heart
attack on June 3, 2016, at his home in Sofia, Bulgaria. This
gentle spirit and brilliant intellect was friend, collaborator
and cicerone to William and me for decades. He was an essential
bridge between the foundation and Bulgaria and is irreplaceable.
Here is my tribute to this dear friend and artist.
is too long until the word
comes that your are gone, and gone
now another world, another life
you brought me through translation.
was like a window pane
Through which a reader met a poet
And his poem, with never a smudge
Of your own ego on the clear glass.
But it wasnt
only the meaning,
it was the thing itself you showed me:
It was never a question of right or
Wrong: This simply is how we raise
our children, how we eat our soup.
American overly sure of
Himself and his culture, learned a bit
The subtlety of silence, the elegance
Produced by history, the need and skill
to work and live in the hive at peace.
diplomat, smile on me again:
Translate me at the end of my own days.
The faults will be obvious enough.
I rely on
your constant goodness, your talent
to intuit what I may have done well and speak
on my behalf brother, even if, at times, you must
cloud the pane between us and the stars.
With Love from Richard
Valentin Krustev and William Meredith at Svetlana's
beach in Waterford
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
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.