• He was the first son of an English father and a Puerto Rican mother.

• As a child, he spoke both Spanish and English at home.

• Williams attended high school in Rutherford before going on to study at Rutgers University.

• Williams started to write poetry when he was a young student.

• His first published poem appeared in the journal ‘Crisis’ in 1913.

• In 1917, Williams’ first book of poems, ‘Al Que Quiere!’, was released.

• Some of Williams’ most famous poems include ‘The Red Wheelbarrow,’ ‘This Is Just to Say,’ and ‘Spring and All. He also published a number of essays on topics such as literature, art, and medicine.

• He wrote a five-book epic poem called ‘Paterson,’ which is considered his masterpiece.

• Williams received the National Institute of Arts and Letters Gold Medal for Poetry posthumously in 1963 for ‘Pictures from Brueghel and Other Poems (1962).

• In addition to poetry, Williams also wrote plays, essays, and short stories.

• Williams won the Pulitzer Prize for his work ‘Paterson’ in 1949.

A River of Words

The Story of William Carlos Williams

Jen Bryant
Melissa Sweet

A Junior Library Guild Selection

Willie loved to write — words gave him freedom and peace. But he also knew that he needed to earn a living, so when he grew up he went off to medical school and became a doctor — one of the busiest men in town! Yet he never stopped writing.

In this picture book biography of poet William Carlos Williams, Jen Bryant’s engaging prose and Melissa Sweet’s stunning mixed- media illustrations celebrate the amazing man whose poems about ordinary, everyday things will inspire young readers to create poems of their own.