Marathon -- the movie

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NEWSLETTER from the President
May, 2015
Dear Friends, is proud to announce the recent publications of GUY WIRES, Elisavietta Ritche’s 17th volume of poetry and WMD, A Memoir by Richard Harteis, and CONGREGATION, the 2012 William Meredith Award for Poetry given to Natasha Trethewey, former US Poet Laureate. The 2015 award for Poetry
will be presented posthumously to Andrew Oreke for THE WALL during the opening reception for the Slater reception, June 21st.
January, 2014

Dear Friends,

On January 9, 2014 William would have been 95 years old. How his friends still miss him. But the clichès hold true: “he belongs to history,” “his life and achievement go on,” “the spirit does not die.” One important way we continue his legacy each new year on the anniversary of his birth, is to announce an award for poetry in his name. In the past, each of these awards has had it’s raison d’être - David Fisher for his felicity over the years with the muse despite great personal challenges, Lyubomir Levchev for the long-standing friendship with his American Doppelgänger. But the common thread remains poetry, that most seminal of art forms. This year’s winner, Natasha Trethewey is also a very special choice. As we say in the following press release, the Meredith Award to Ms. Trethewey recognizes in a personal way - as from one poet laureate to another - Meredith’s belief that poetry’s challenge is to be useful in the culture and that it reflect “the language of the tribe.” So, it with pleasure and pride that we present this award which will have its ramifications throughout the coming year. But for the moment, we see it as a harbinger of many important events to come and the joy that such master practitioners of the art bring to us. We wish you great happiness and health in the new year and thank you for your support.

Richard Harteis

January, 2010

Dear Friends,

In the short couple of years since our dear William died (May 30, 2007) a great deal has been accomplished to preserve his legacy.

  • William's home at Riverrun;declared an historic landmark by the State of Connecticut.
  • Incorporation of the William Meredith Foundation and designation by the IRS as a 501.c3, tax exempt non-profit.

  • Production of a 35mm full-length feature film, MARATHON, and world premiere at the New York International Film Festival, October 29, 2009.

  • Connecticut Screening of MARATHON, November 22nd    4:00 Old Mystick Village Art Cinemas Exit 90 off I 95

  • Creation of an important archival website where William’s life and the foundation's goals are made available in great detail:

  • Sponsorship of 4 short residencies at Riverrun, an art exhibition at the New Haven Free Public Library, a poetry reading For Soldier/poets serving in Viet Nam, poetry reading at the Hygienic Gallery with exhibition and a fund-raising presentation of the documentary film, DELTA RISING.

We have been able to complete this work with the help of a strong board of directors and generous financial support from friends in the community. As you can imagine, these are difficult times for non-profit arts' organizations, and we come to you to ask your help in continuing our goals at the foundation.

Aside from projects envisioned for 2010 and the operation budget to keep the foundation afloat, Riverrun itself needs to be tended to in important ways. Letters, Journals and other archival material need to be preserved as winter approaches.

I have been writing a series of poems for my dog Daisy who has become something of a channel for me. She was William’s dog too, and misses him as I do. Here is a recent one. It comes with love and gratitude to the many folks who have given so much of their time and energy to this dream.

Richard Harteis, President
The William Meredith Foundation

January, 2009

Letter from the President

Dear Friends,

Greetings once again here at Riverrun as we move from one holiday season to the next. There is a lot to be thankful for, not least of which is the friendship you have shown throughout the year. Nowhere was such support more evident than at our annual meeting this past November, a time to take stock, plan for the future, and enjoy each other's company.

Mother nature brought a number of challenges to Riverrun last winter which we hope to avoid this year. The furnace finally gave up the ghost, the well was struck by lightening and the pipes froze despite being drained by a professional plumber. Fortunately, most of the repairs were covered by insurance, but it was difficult to welcome visitors in the middle of all the work.

On November 11, our film MARATHON won Best Dramatic Feature at the Los Angeles branch of the New York International Film Festival. Last year it was selected as an official entry in a number of festivals including Palm Beach, Swansea Bay in Wales and Mexico where it took a bronze palm. We have been invited to the Delray Beach Festival April 11-17 and hope to make this the focus of a fund raising effort to identify investors for a theatrical release of the film beginning in the Ft. Lauderdale area. MARATHON is available on Netflix and will profit from viewers putting it in their queue.

This fall we were invited to exhibit art work at the Lyman Allyn Museum's exhibition, The Thrill of the Chase. The idea is to share work from private collections that the public would not normally see. A beautiful painting by Stoimen Stoilov represents the foundation and in the photo below two board members, Charlie Timberlake and his wife pat as well as Nancy Frankel were able to view the exhibit the day after the board meeting.

It is our hope this year to pursue another initiative suggested by William's good friend, John Hracy, i.e. production of a cd of William reading his poetry at different venues over the years. We'd also like to produce a documentary focusing on William's life and career, something in the line of American Masters, to augment the film MARATHON and will be pursuing grants to begin that project.

In July, we launched THE REVENANT, a series of lyric elegies for William published by Little Red Tree publishing. On December 2nd I read from this work along with Connecticut's new Poet Laureate, Dick Allen at the Hygienic Art Gallery. Profits from sale of the REVENANT will help endow the foundation, particularly an exciting new initiative we hope to launch next fall, The William Meredith Connecticut Poetry Festival. This festival will continue the tradition of poetry as a living art form that William encouraged throughout his long career at Connecticut College. In the William Meredith archive at the Shain Library there are examples Merdith's efforts on behalf of poetry. On December 9, 1962, for example, Robert Frost read his poetry at Connecticut College to a packed house. William invited friends such as Robert Penn Warren, Richard Wilbur, Muriel Rukeyser, Archibald MacLeish and many other celebrities to visit the community and read their work. The guest book at Riverrun is a virtual who's who of American poetry at the time. But William also brought lesser- known poets to the campus such as June Jordan and Derek Walcott and promoted talented students such as Gayle Jones and Michael Collier as well who later achieved national reputations. We envision a three day celebration of poetry combining poetry readings, workshops, publication awards, and panel discussions on divers topics. The festival will be a "moveable feast," and offer events at different venues in the community.

An exciting component of this festival will be the awarding of two prizes in poetry, the first of which would be the William Meredith Award for Poetry. This award would offer publication to a poet of great talent who may be in financial need or have not received the recognition that his or her work deserves by. It would provide publication of a full length manuscript and an award ceremony as part of the festival. This is an award that has no application process, but would come 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. A second prize would be given in alternate years consisting of a national competition for a first book. The screened manuscripts would have a final selection by the Connecticut Poet Laureate who has agreed to serve as judge.

On November 13, The Courtyard Gallery kindly sponsored a fund-raising evening of poetry and live performance of beautiful music by John and Barbara Metz. I am happy to say we raised enough money to establish the first award publication which will be given to the poet David Fisher of California. We are currently seeking sponsorship of the poetry competition and a much more ambitious initiative, the purchase of Riverrun as a permanent home for the William Meredith Center for the arts. Congressman Courtney's office has informed us that our application for a special appropriation to build an artist residence annex to expand housing has been attached to legislation. The political climate doesn't favor such "earmarks," I'm afraid, but we continue efforts with corporate, and government funding as well as private philanthropy to make this dream a reality.

So, we are alive and well and remain optimistic despite the financial situation in the country. We plan to work hard this winter and look forward to new growth and rebirth this spring. Keep well and warm and deep thanks again, for your kind support.

Richard Harteis
President, The Willism Meredith Foundation


Rainbow Weather       
Something extraordinary will happen Daisy.
Can you feel it in the fine mist that already
turns the air golden? This strange, unearthly
moment - sun and clouds and rain together.

Somewhere a cricket will not stop singing,
the gentle deer stand frozen, save their sweet
ears that turn slightly like small forest radar.
Only look Daisy! See the two rainbow-colored
arches that tie the riverbanks together. A lesson
for us, sitting here alone on the shore among
the  memorabilia - the medals and trophies,
the books and photos, and letters and poems,
all that remain from the tsunami of William’s life.

We are the ones who love him still, Daisy and
the great trees he planted which reach now
almost to rainbow height. But we must not
be the only ones that keep on loving him.






The William Meredith Foundation, Inc.
337 Kitemaug Road
Uncasville, Ct. 06382
Tel: 860-961-5138

© 2010  The William Meredith Foundation