The Kenyon Review wishes to salute the life and work of Miller Williams, who died on January 1, 2015 in Fayetteville, Arkansas. Williams was a longtime friend and contributor to the Review, and his work has helped to shape the poetry of generations of subsequent writers and readers. Author of thirty-seven books, founder and longtime director of the University of Arkansas Press, Williams was and is a rare poet, at home in the idiom and narrative of the Ozarks and American South yet fluent in the poetics and aesthetics of the wide global culture. He was, in fact, a friend of poets and presidents alike, serving as publisher and editor to Jimmy Carter—for several of Carter’s books—and author of “Of History and Hope,” a poem Williams delivered at the second presidential inauguration of Bill Clinton. His translations of Giuseppi Belli and Nicanor Parra, his construction of the MFA degree in translation at the University of Arkansas, his discovery, support, and nurturance of so many others, near and far, all testify to his lasting importance in American and world letters. We are pleased to reprint this poem of Miller Williams from our archives.
Click here to read “Waking from a Dream” from the Spring 1999 issue of the Kenyon Review.