Challenging Williams: Biennial Meeting of the Society in Chicago

The Biennial Meeting of the William Carlos Williams Society is scheduled for June 23-25th in Chicago.  

  • Thursday night will be our keynote address on the conference theme of “Challenging Williams,” presented by Dr. Tara Betts, in the performance space of the Poetry Foundation & Poetry magazine building. This will be followed by a reception in the adjacent “PoFo” library–with a small exhibit on Williams’s 1919 trip to Chicago.
  • Friday morning and early afternoon we will meet at Arrupe College of Loyola University Chicago to hear our first set of papers––many by scholars new to Williams studies, talking about everything from disabilities studies and ecocriticism to Williams and socialism, to name a few. At lunch we will enjoy some Chicago-style hot dogs and Italian Beef sandwiches (and vegetarian alternatives)!
  • Later on Friday Afternoon, we will take a trip down to the University of Chicago archives to see some of WCW’s correspondence with Harriet Monroe as well as materials related to Poetry editor Marion Strobel. Friday evening all are invited to join a group dinner and/or a jaunt out to some local Williams-approved live jazz.
  • Saturday morning we will hear from a few of the most experienced Williams scholars, including W. Scott Peterson and Christopher MacGowan.  This meeting will take place back at the Poetry Foundation, and after the adjournment of the conference (midday Saturday) would be a great opportunity to check out their library and enjoy other sights/sites in Chicago!

Please note the unique format of the WCW Biennial, which allows nearly an hour for each paper – 15-20 minutes for the presentation of the paper’s ideas, followed by another 15-20 minutes of Q&A in which the audience and fellow participants will help provide feedback, questions, and suggestions for future exploration. Questions about the Biennial Meeting may be sent to the current president of the Society, Daniel Burke, at dburke7@dburke.