Award-winning poets, former students and fellow faculty members gathered at Connecticut College on Oct. 5, 2007, to remember William Meredith, the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet and Connecticut College emeritus professor who died May 30.
The service took place at 3 p.m. in the College´s Harkness Chapel. The memorial service included readings of Meredith's work, a dance piece improvising Meredith's "The Open Sea," and remarks by Richard Wilbur, former U.S. Poet Laureate and two-time Pulitzer Prize winner; Robley Evans, Connecticut College professor emeritus of English; Janet Gezari, the Lucy Marsh Haskell ´19 Professor of English; and Richard Harteis, Meredith´s partner of 36 years.
Michael Collier, a 1976 Connecticut College graduate and former poet laureate of Maryland, spoke. Collier, a former student of Meredith's, delivered the eulogy at Meredith's funeral in June.
David Kieran, a 2000 Connecticut College graduate, read Meredith's "Sonnet on Rare Animals," a poem Meredith requested be read at his memorial service.
Meredith was a professor of English at Connecticut College from 1955 to 1983. He was named a professor emeritus upon retirement in 1983 and was awarded an honorary doctorate in 1988. During his career he also held professorships at Princeton University, University of Hawaii-Honolulu and at the Bread Loaf School of English.
In 1987, he won the Los Angeles Times Book Award, and in 1988 won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for his collection "Partial Accounts." He won the National Book Award for Poetry in 1997 for his collection "Effort at Speech."
In 1996, Meredith was awarded the Connecticut College Medal, the College's highest honor.