William Matthews

(November 11, 1942 - November 12, 1997 / Cincinnati, Ohio)

Biography of William Matthews

William Matthews poet

an American poet and essayist.

Raised in Cincinnati, Ohio, Matthews earned a bachelor's degree from Yale University, and a master's from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.

In addition to serving as a Writer-in-Residence at Boston's Emerson College, Matthews held various academic positions at institutions including Cornell University, the University of Washington (Seattle), the University of Colorado at Boulder, and the University of Iowa. He served as president of Associated Writing Programs and of the Poetry Society of America. At the time of his death he was a professor of English and director of the creative writing program at City College of New York A reading series has been named for him at City College of New York. His son is Sebastian Matthews.

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The Snake

A snake is the love of a thumb
and forefinger.
Other times, an arm
that has swallowed a bicep.

The air behind this one
is like a knot
in a child's shoelace
come undone

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