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Click on the image below to view the 2007 CT Governor's Lifetime Achievement Award for William Meredith.
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The William Meredith Foundation and Center for the Arts
Hartford Courant
CT Poet's Corner: Gray Jacobik Celebrates Spring

William Meredith honored during
National Poetry Month

April 15, the 2016 Award for Poetry will be presented to Gray Jacobik at the Embassy of Bulgaria, Washington, D.C. Her award-winning publication, THE BANQUET will be featured at this reading (see attached invitation)

April 18 – Mayor Michael Passero will proclaim April 22 as William Meredith Day
in the City of New London at City Council Meeting (open to the public) at 7:00,
181 State Street, New London.

April 22 – Gray Jacobik will read her poetry at Connecticut College’s Shain Library. Reception and reading at 4:30 with comments by newly-appointed Connecticut Poet
Laureate, Rennie McQuilkin.

April 24 -- Salon Reception at 3:00, reading at 4:00 at Courtyard Gallery, 12
Water Street, downtown Mystic Factory Square (860-536-5059)

For information on any of these events, please contact
or call 860-961-5138

Best regards,

Richard (Harteis)


The 2016 William Meredith
Award for Poetry given to

Gray Jacobik

The William Meredith Foundation invites writers, reporters, and press advocates to celebrate the 2016 William Meredith Award for Poetry presented to Gray Jacobik. The award has no application process, but comes to the author unsolicited in the spirit of generosity that informed William’s interactions with the world of poetry when he judged competitions and supported new talent. It carries a modest cash award along with the publication of her new and selected collection of poetry, THE BANQUET, by Poets Choice Publishing. The official launch of this collection will take place at 4:00 on April 22 at the Shain Library at Connecticut College. Ms. Jacobik will also be reading from THE BANQUET at a number of venues in Connecticut, Washington, D.C. and Massachusetts, during National Poetry Month.

James Tate has described Ms. Jacobik as a “rare poet, one not to be missed,” and Dick Allen praises, “A lucid poetry, filled with crafted, amazing work. Wallace Stevens walks with her.” Another critic, Marilyn Chin calls the poems, “solid, well-built, masterful.... Jacobik’s love of detail recalls the best of Moore and Bishop, but with a sensuality that is fresh and contemporary.”

This award is being announced on the 97th anniversary of Mr. Meredith's birth. Previous awardees have included David Fisher, Lyubomir Levchev, US Poet Laureate, Natasha Trethewey and Andrew Oerke.


Gray Jacobik, a professor emeritus, is a poet, mentor, and painter who lives in Deep River, Connecticut. Her poems have appeared in numerous literary journals and anthologies including Best American Poetry, American Poetry Now, The Autumn House Anthology of Contemporary American Poetry, Poets Guide to the Birds, and Poetry from Paradise Valley. Among other honors, she has received The Yeats Prize, The Emily Dickinson Prize, an NEA Fellowship, and served as the Frost Place Poet-in-Residence. Her poem, “The Skeptic’s Prayer,” received the 2009 Third Coast Poetry Prize (Western Michigan University), and in 2010 “Paris, 1970” was a finalist in Narrative Magazine’s Second Annual Poetry Contest. Her book, The Double Task, received The Juniper Prize and was nominated for The James Laughlin Award and The Poet’s Prize. The Surface of Last Scattering was selected by X. J. Kennedy as the winner of the X. J. Kennedy Poetry Prize. Brave Disguises received the AWP Poetry Series Award. Her most recent book, Little Boy Blue: A Memoir in Verse, is published by CavanKerry Press. Gray invites anyone interested in learning more about her work to visit her website: Her blog, Come A Little Bit Closer Now Baby, is dedicated to the art of close reading and appears on the Michigan Quarterly Review’s website.

Grey Jacobik (on right) and family member at Bulgarian Embassy reception, April 15, 2016..
Nancy Frankel in red.
Karren Aliener and friend.
Left to right: Alec Dana (who played William Meredith in the film MARATHON),
Richard Harteis, Marilyn Fitzgerald (photographer of these shots) and husband Mike Fitzgerald
Sunil Freeman of the Bethesda Writers' Center introduces Richard Harteis, President of the William Meredith Foundation for a Poetry and book reading. November 22, 2015.
Readings: Tim Kirlin; Grace Cavalieri; Elisavietta Ritchie; Johnes Ruta (no video);
Richard Harteis; Daniel Levanti, sung poetry; artist Katia Jarinkova; sculptor Nancy Frankel.
Videos by: Johnes Ruta.
The William Meredith Foundation announces the establishment
of a publishing house dedicated to poetry:

Rick Koster's report in The New London Day
(must respond to survey question to display text in article) is proud to announce the recent publications of
GUY WIRES, Elisavietta Ritche’s 17th volume of poetry and
WMD, A Memoir by Richard Harteis, and CONGREGATION, the
2012 William Meredith Award for Poetry given to Natasha
Trethewey, former US Poet Laureate. The 2015 award for Poetry
will be presented posthumously to Andrew Oreke for THE WALL
during the opening reception for the Slater reception, June 21st.


Andrew Oerke

Praise for Elisavietta Ritchie’s Work:

“Elisavietta Ritchie’s work is original, varied and exciting, and has been growing steadily in scope and control. The core of her poems is vitality.
Grim, joyous, exuberant or erotic, they have a strong and vivid life.”

Josephine Jacobsen
US Poet Laureate, 1971-73

“Witty, sharp, sensual, possessed of a scientist’s eye for the precise detail, the memorable image. Elisavietta Ritchie is in love with the natural world
of maggot, freezing bilge, the “owl on unheard wings,” “berries fed on ash and blood,” “branches with lavender fire.” She brings a tuned ear for the music of language, a storyteller’s gift and a generosity of spirit that delights as it informs.”
Colette Inez

“Elisavietta Ritchie’s poetry combines a Byzantine elegance with straightforward
plain style honesty. The extraordinary range of her interests: work,
love, sensuality, and man’s plight in a forlorn civilization—is reinforced by
her exquisite regard for language and lively fascination with the possibilities
of form.”

William Packard
A visit to the Two Trees Garden where William's ashes lie.

The William Meredith Foundation is proud to announce the establishment of the William Meredith Center for the Arts to remember and honor a great American spirit. Friends who have come together as a foundation wish never to forget this extraordinary human being and the impact he has had on so many lives. Poet, pilot, arborist, beloved teacher and friend, his legacy is a treasure we wish to pass on to future generations. The Meredith Center will keep the flame of generosity and artistic camaraderie burning at Riverrun, William's home on the Thames River in Connecticut where he lived and worked for 60 years and which has recently been added to the State Registry of Historic Landmarks.

The center sponsors educational programs during the year to provide cultural enrichment through a diverse selection of artistic programming. It fosters an appreciation for the work of local and regional artists and develops artist exchange programs internationally as well, particularly with the Republic of Bulgaria where Mr. Meredith was made a citizen by presidential decree for his work in the culture. Artists invited for residencies at the Meredith Center share their talents through art exhibitions, readings, publications and academic seminars. The center serves as a retreat where artists can create new works in the same spirit of peace, equality, and serious endeavor that characterized William's life and work at Riverrun.

First Lady Hillary Rodham Clinton wrote a letter joining Connecticut College in a celebration of William's 80th birthday in which she says, "The arts have always been a unifying force in our world, bringing people together across vast cultural, social, economic and geographical divisions. Through his work, William Meredith both enhances and strengthens the American spirit. As you honor Mr. Meredith, you celebrate the timeless power of poetry and poets as our American memory, our purveyors of insight and culture, our eyes and ears who silence the white noise around us, and express the very heart of what connects us, plagues us, and makes us fully human."

The William Meredith Center for the Arts offers another window on the world through which we can enhance our spirit, a window through which artists may search their private worlds and speak for us as we make our slow progress as members of the human tribe. A short signature poem by William Meredith inspires us in our efforts to honor his memory as a model of courage, good will, civility and achievement:

A Major Work

Poems are hard to read
Pictures are hard to see
Music is hard to hear
And people are hard to love

But whether from brute need
Or divine energy
At last mind eye and ear
And the great sloth heart will move.

Printable brochure for the William Meredith Foundation (pdf)


The William Meredith Foundation, Inc.
337 Kitemaug Road
Uncasville, Ct. 06382
Tel: 860-961-5138

© 2010  The William Meredith Foundation