In 1963, just two years before he would publish the now internationally renowned novel Stoner, John Williams edited a thoughtful and comprehensive anthology, English Renaissance Poetry, that reflected his life's work and love as a literature scholar and English professor. This anthology is devoted to the short poem and is perfect for fans, students, and scholars of canonical English poetry and of John Williams.
John Williams (1922-1994) was born and raised in northeast Texas. After serving in the war, he enrolled at the University of Denver, where he received both his B.A. and M.A. and returned as an instructor in 1954. Williams taught in the creative writing program at the University of Denver until retiring in 1985. He published two volumes of poetry and three novels, Butcher's Crossing, Stoner, and the National Book Award-winning Augustus. NYRB Classics is the US publisher of John Williams.
"In the beginning, for many poets and readers, there are
anthologies. They often provide our earliest source for poems. . .
. For me, the most valuable anthology eventually became, and
remains, this one: John Williams's English Renaissance
Poetry." -Robert Pinsky, from the Introduction
"John Williams chose well, and framed his choices with clear and concise commentaries. A lifetime cannot exhaust the pleasures of this anthology that distills the most vigorous age of English lyricism. As a guide and a companion it is indispensable." -Geoffrey O'Brien
"The pithy and insightful page-long biographies are well worth pausing to read; then there is verse from 23 poets, as well as a selection of English madrigals, and I've barely found a duff line... This isn't just an anthology of ancient verse. It's a manual on how to write poetry that has the force, in Thomas Wyatt's resonant phrase, of having been not just written in ink, but 'graven with diamonds, in letters plain.'" -Nicholas Lezard, The Guardian