History of the WCW Society

The William Carlos Williams Society was officially founded in the fall of 1979, and was granted allied organization status with the Modern Language Association in 1983.

First issue of the WCW Newsletter/Review, Fall 1975 (image: Neil Baldwin)

The William Carlos Williams Review began in 1975 as the William Carlos Williams Newsletter, edited and published by Theodora Graham of Pennsylvania State University, Harrisburg. In 1984, Peter Schmidt of Swarthmore College became the Review’s managing editor, and was succeeded in 1992 by Brian Bremen of the University of Texas, Austin. The Review was subsequently published by Texas Tech UP from 2004 under the editorship of Bryce Conrad until 2010. Since that date to the present the Review is edited by Ian Copestake. Since its inception, the Williams Newsletter/Review has burgeoned—not only in terms of the number of subscribers, but also in the length, scope, and substance of the scholarship it has published. The William Carlos Williams Review is currently available in 375 college and university libraries worldwide.

Over the years, the Society has arranged MLA sessions on the following topics: “William Carlos Williams and Wallace Stevens” (1991); “William Carlos Williams and Cultural Criticism” (1992); “New Views of Paterson” (1993); “Williams and Psychoanalysis” (1994); and “William Carlos Williams and the Language of Poetry” (1995). As these panel titles suggest, the topics addressed in these sessions have been varied and timely; they reflect the current range, focus, and direction of Williams studies. In the 1980s and 1990s, the sessions were very well-attended, attracting audiences of approximately one hundred, so that the meeting rooms where they were held were typically standing-room only, whereas in the 2010s, the audience has been a bit smaller. There is, moreover, a direct link between the presentations made on these panels and the advancement of Williams scholarship. Individual presenters are encouraged to submit their essays to the William Carlos Williams Review for possible publication; for example, the fall 1992 issue of the Review (see attached photocopies) was devoted to the 1991 “Williams and Stevens” MLA panel. The Fall 1996 issue of the Review published the “Williams and Psychoanalysis” panel from the 1994 MLA, and a special issue in 1997 contained essays generated out of the “Williams and Politics” panel.

Society Officers

Current

Daniel Burke, President
Mark C. Long, Vice-President
Stephen Hahn, Treasurer
Elin Käck, Secretary

Past

2018 and 2019

Ian Copestake, President
Daniel Burke, Vice-President
Stephen Hahn, Treasurer
Mark Long, Secretary

2016 and 2017

Eric White, President
Ian Copestake, Vice-President
Daniel E. Burke, Secretary/Treasurer

2014 and 2015

Ian Copestake, President
Eric White, Vice-President
Ann Fisher-Wirth, Secretary/Treasurer

Erin Templeton, President
Ian Copestake, Vice-President
Eric White, Secretary/Treasurer