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Jonathan Williams

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Jonathan Williams

American, (1929–2008)
Princeton University; Black Mountain College

Jonathan Williams was an American poet, publisher, essayist and photographer. He was the founder of The Jargon Society, which has published books on poetry, experimental fiction, photography, and folk art for more than fifty years.

Williams briefly studied at Princeton but dropped out after his freshman year and began independently studying painting, etching, photography and book design. In 1951 he went to Black Mountain College, where he studied with the poet Charles Olson.

Based in Scaly Mountain, North Carolina, both Williams and his publishing venture had long been associated with the Black Mountain Poets. Among the press's offerings are works by Charles Olson, Paul Metcalf, Lorine Niedecker, Lou Harrison, Mina Loy, Joel Oppenheimer, Ronald Johnson, James Broughton, Alfred Starr Hamilton and many other works by the American and British avant-garde.

The literary critic Hugh Kenner described Williams as the "truffle hound of American poetry." He was also a longtime contributing editor of the photography journal Aperture. Williams lived in Scaly Mountain, North Carolina.

[Source: Museum Staff]

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