William Carlos Williams was born on September 17, 1883 in Rutherford, New Jersey.
As well as being a poet he painted and maintained a lifelong interest in it. Williams was also a physician in both paediatrics and general medicine. He served at the Passaic General Hospital in Passaic, New Jersey as chief of paediatrics from 1924 until his death.
Williams is most well-known for his poems that are closely associated with the Modernism and Imagism movements. In addition to poetry he occasionally wrote short stories, plays, novels, essays, and worked on translations.
He practiced medicine by day and wrote at night. Early in his career, he briefly became involved in the Imagist movement via friendships with Ezra Pound and Hilda Doolittle (H.D.). Soon his opinions moved away from theirs and his style began to confirm his alignment to a modernist expression of his surrounding environment.
From the late 40’s health became a major issue in his life but with himself as the patient. He suffered a heart attack in 1948 and, after 1949, a series of strokes.
One such stoke in 1953 left him in hospital for four months and brought about severe depression.
In these later years, Williams mentored and influenced many younger poets especially the American literary movements of the 1950s; the Beat movement, the San Francisco Renaissance, the Black Mountain school, and the New York School.
One of Williams's most productive relationships was with fellow New Jersey poet Allen Ginsberg. Williams included several of Ginsberg's letters in Paterson, stating that one of them helped inspire the fifth volume of that work. Williams also wrote the introduction to Ginsberg's Howl and Other Poems in 1956.
William Carlos Williams died on March 4th, 1963, at the age of 79 at his home in Rutherford. He was buried in Hillside Cemetery in Lyndhurst, New Jersey.