C.K. Williams

Literary Birthday – 4 November – C. K. Williams

C. K. Williams was born 4 November 1936 and died 20 September 2015.


  1. A dark poem is meant to redeem the dark part.
  2. Poems have a different music from ordinary language, and every poem has a different kind of music of necessity, and that’s, in a way, the hardest thing about writing poetry is waiting for that music, and sometimes you never know if it’s going to come.
  3. Poetry confronts in the most clear-eyed way just those emotions which consciousness wishes to slide by.
  4. I don’t think of reflection on dark things as necessarily dark.
  5. You begin to write poems because you love language, because you love poetry. Something happens that makes you write poems. And the writing of poems is incredibly pleasurable and addictive.

C. K. Williams was an American poet, critic, and translator. Flesh and Blood won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1987. Repair won the 2000 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. The Singing won the National Book Award, 2003. Williams taught at Princeton University from 1996 until just before his death, in fall 2015.

Source for quotes

Source for image:


Catherine Mauger, CC BY-SA 4.0 <https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by-sa/4.0>, via Wikimedia Commons

 by Amanda Patterson

Please click here for our Literary Birthday Calendar

Posted on: 3rd November 2020