help_outline Skip to main content
HomeEvents/CoursesRediscovering William Carlos Williams's "Paterson": Why It Still Matters -- CANCELED

Events/Courses - Event View

This is the "Event Detail" view, showing all available information for this event. If the event has passed, click the "Event Report" button to read a report and view photos that were uploaded.

Rediscovering William Carlos Williams's "Paterson": Why It Still Matters -- CANCELED

Rediscovering William Carlos Williams’s Paterson: why it still matters

William Carlos Williams’s Paterson was published as a series of four books in the years immediately following World War II (1946–1951), with a fifth book added to complete the series several years later (1958). The poem interweaves different narratives in a collage of “life stories” centered in the world of the present but recalling the historical past of the United States (Sam Patch, Alexander Hamilton); the worlds of science and medicine (Marie Curie); lives of visual artists (Henri Toulouse-Lautrec, Peter Breughel); and ancient and contemporary writers (Sappho, Allen Ginsberg). What is the significance of these stories clustered around a place, reflecting on and refracting through each other, “a song / of a man and a woman: the riddle of a man / and a woman”? What do they have to teach us? We will read each of the five books and the author’s retrospective comments on the poem (preferably in the edition prepared by Christopher MacGowan, 1992–1995) to explore its significance, humor, and insight. Second-hand copies are readily available.

Instructor Stephen Hahn is professor of English, emeritus, at William Paterson University. He serves on the executive council of the William Carlos Williams Society and is a member of the editorial advisory board of the William Carlos Williams Review. Teaching next door to Paterson, NJ, for nearly 40 years, Steve explored the geographical, historical, and biographical background of Williams’s long poem “on the ground” and in the tradition of American “epic” poems (such as Walt Whitman’s Leaves of Grass and Hart Crane’s The Bridge.) He was a consultant and participant in the BBC Radio-North docudrama “A Traveler’s Guide to Paterson” (2015) written by Michael Symons Roberts, and was the co-editor of a volume commemorating the 225th anniversary of Paterson, titled Paterson Lives (2017). He has taught several courses at CSC.




If you want to register and are not yet a member, Click here for New Member Signup

Wednesday, April 3, 2024, 9:30 AM until Wednesday, May 22, 2024, 12:00 PM
on Zoom - Zoom link will be sent by email close to the start of the first class

Additional Info:
Event Contact(s):
Stephen Hahn
Spring 2024
Registration is not Required
Payment In Full In Advance Only
You must be an active CSC member to register for this course.
Cancellation Policy:
A member may cancel a course registration up to 3 days prior to the start of class and will receive a course credit that can be used for a future registration. No refunds will be given.
Available Slots: