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William Meredith's Honors and Awards

William Meredith, front row center, is pictured with his fellow 1997 NBA winners.

William Meredith has received more than twenty five awards, grants, fellowships, and honorary degrees. Most recently he received the 1997 National Book Award for Poetry for Effort at Speech.


The Yale Series of Younger Poets Award: Love Letter From an Impossible Land was given this award in 1943 by Librarian of Congress Archibald MacLeish. This award honors the most outstanding verse that gives the fairest promise for the future of American poetry and provides a publishing medium for the work of young poets who have not yet secured wide public recognition. American writers under forty, who have not previously published a volume of poetry, are eligible.

The Harriet Monroe Poetry Award: Awarded in 1944 for poems published in Poetry magazine, this award recognizes a poet for notable achievement or distinguished promise and contributes to the advancement and encouragement of poetry.

The Oscar Blumenthal Prize: Received in 1953 in recognition of an outstanding poem or group of poems published in Poetry Magazine.

The Borestone Mountain Poetry Award: "The Wreck of the Thresher" won this award, which serves to retain some of the best original poetry published annually in the magazines of the English-speaking world, in 1964.

The Van Wyck Brooks Award: Received in 1971 for Earth Walk, this award is conferred by the University of Bridgeport for the best work of belles letters written by a Connecticut author during the previous year.

The International Vaptsarov Prize: Awarded in 1979 by the Bulgarian government, this award recognizes foreign artists for their merited artistic and social work which is imbued by the noble principles of the struggle for peace, by the pathos of humanism and social progress and is presented once every five years.

The Carl Sandburg Award: Given to the outstanding poet of the year by the International Platform Association. Meredith received this honor in 1979.

The Los Angeles Times Book Prize: Following the publication of Partial Accounts, Meredith received this award, which honors achievement in literature by recognizing writers who have demonstrated outstanding craftsmanship and vision.

The Pulitzer Prize: Awarded March 31, 1988 for Partial Accounts, this award recognizes outstanding performance in journalism, letters, music, and drama.

The National Book Award: Meredith received this award in 1997 for Effort at Speech. The National Book Awards honor American books of the highest literary merit, books which have earned a permanent place in world literature.

Grants & Fellowships

Woodrow Wilson Fellowship: Meredith received this fellowship in 1946 and served as Resident Fellow in Creative Writing at Princeton University.

Rockefeller Foundation Grants: Meredith received two grants, the first in 1948 for criticism and the second in 1968 for poetry.

Hudson Review Fellowship: The first of two fellowships was bestowed in 1956, the second in 1968.

National Institue of Arts and Letters: Grant in literature in 1958.

The Ford Foundation: Grant to study drama, 1959-60.

National Institute of Arts and Letters: The Loines Prize, awarded in 1966.

The National Endowment For The Arts: This grant serves as a catalyst to promote continuing vitality and excellence of the arts in America and provides access to, and appreciation of, such excellence and vitality. Awarded 1972.

Guggenheim Fellowship: Awarded in 1975 and 1976. Its purpose is to recognize men and women of high intellectual and personal qualifications who have already demonstrated an exceptional capacity for productive scholarship or exceptional creative ability in the arts.

Poetry Consultant, Library of Congress: The twenty-fifth poet to hold this position since its creation in 1936, Meredith was the first to be elected to two consecutive terms, 1978-1980. Consultants in Poetry advise the Library on its public literary programs, the aquisition of literary material, and other matters pertaining to poetry and literature. In addition, the Poetry Consultant increases Library holdings by arranging for the recording of poetry readings and lectures. Traditionally, the Consultant in Poetry opens his or her term in October with a poetry reading and closes the term in May with a public lecture. In addition, the Consultant in Poetry presides over all public literary functions at the Library. This position, created through an endowment by the late Archer M. Huntington, has since been re-named Poet Laureate of the United States and Consultant in Poetry. Information about the purpose and activities of the Library of Congress can be found on its website.

National Endowment For The Arts Senior Fellowship: Meredith received one of the first five lifetime achievement fellowships in 1984.

Other Honors

Air Medals: Meredith received two Air Medals for his service in the Korean Conflict. The Air Medal recognizes a person serving with the armed forces of the United States for meritorious achievement while participating in aerial flight, in combat or non-combat action, in recognition of a single act of merit or of sustained operational activities against an armed enemy of the United States.

Doctorate of Humane Letters: Meredith received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Carnegie-Mellon University in 1972.

Doctorate of Literature: Meredith received an honorary Doctoral Degree from Keene State University in 1982.

Henry B. Plant Endowed Professorship: Meredith was named Henry B. Plant Professor Emeritus of English by the Connecticut College Board of Trustees in 1983.

Doctorate of Humane Letters: Connecticut College awarded Meredith an honorary Doctoral Degree following the 1988 Pulitzer prize.

Dr. Claire L. Gaudiani '66, President of Connecticut College, presents the Connecticut College Medal to William Meredith.

Connecticut College Medal: The highest honor that the college can bestow was presented in 1996 in recognition of Meredith's scholarly and creative work as well as his service to the college over more than four decades.

Honorary Bulgarian Citizenship: Meredith and Richard Harteis were made honorary Bulgarian citizens by Presidential Decree in 1996 in recognition of their efforts to make Bulgarian literature accessible in the United States.

Honorary Doctoral Degree: The American University in Bulgaria awarded Meredith an honorary doctoral Degree in May of 1998 in recognition of his contributions to the creative writing programs and libraries at the University.

Governor’s Award for Lifetime Achievement in the Arts, presented by the Connecticut Commission on Culture and Tourism, May 2007

Riverrun, Meredith's home for 60 years is declared an historic landmark by the State of Connecticut, December, 2007. The William Meredith Foundation is incorporated as a 501(c)(3), and Riverrun becomes the William Meredith Center for the Arts.


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

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