Wallace Stevens (1879-1955) and William Carlos Williams (1883-1963) are two of the 20th century’s most exemplary American poets. In a moment of crisis and change, Williams and Stevens helped further the modernist poetry movement and craft a new American poetry. This exhibit focuses on the interactions and dialogue each man had with science and technology. Developments in commerce, communication, and travel accelerated the pace of everyday life, while discoveries in physics and chemistry changed the conception of reality itself. Changes in print technology had enormous consequences for the publishing world, greatly impacting the spread of modernist poetry. Both Williams and Stevens were significantly affected by the scientific and technological changes of the early twentieth century, but they responded to those changes very differently. Despite distinctions in the form and style of their work, both shared a common interest in creating a new poetry for a truly modern, and truly American, world.
The books, letters, and other documents featured in this exhibit come from the collection of Alan Klein, HC ‘81, unless otherwise identified. We thank Alan for the generous loan of his materials and his support for this exhibition.
In addition to exploring this digital exhibit, you can also download and view the exhibit catalog.