In celebration of Miller Williams’ life, AETN is proud to air a special rebroadcast of his appearance on “Men & Women of Distinction” Friday, Jan. 9, at 6:30 p.m. Williams, who suffered from Alzheimer’s, passed away on Jan. 1 in Fayetteville.
Recognized by many as “the man who delivered the inaugural poem at Bill Clinton’s second inauguration,” in the world of literature, Williams has ranked among the best of American poets. In his interview for “Men & Women of Distinction,” however, you’ll also enjoy a chance to see a part of Miller’s life that isn’t widely known or seen. The episode paints an intimate portrait of a unique talent, and allows you to learn more about his lifetime achievements as a father, husband, mentor, writer and teacher.
Filmed in 2010, this episode of “Men & Women of Distinction” explores the life and career of the American poet, who discovered his calling early in life. Williams began writing poetry under his mother’s guidance as a boy. While his academic life initially brought him into the sciences, Williams continued his writing and self-published his first book of poetry in 1952.
Williams’ work attracted the attention of notable authors — including Flannery O’Connor — and he eventually went from serving as a professor of biology to serving as a professor of English literature. Throughout his life, Williams collected more than 15 awards recognizing his work. His most recently published book — “Time and the Tilting Earth," which was released in 2009 — was critically acclaimed and well-reviewed by Joel Brouwer of the New York Times. (See the review here.)
Williams also played an important role in Arkansas higher education. In the early '70s, Williams accepted a position at the University of Arkansas at Fayetteville where he cofounded the University of Arkansas Press and the Comparative Literature program; founded the university’s MFA program in Literary Translation; and and taught and mentored emerging poets, including Chelsea Rathburn, Leon Stokesbury and R.S. Guinn.
We hope that you’ll join us in remembering and celebrating this distinguished Arkansan’s extraordinary life. In addition to the on air broadcast of “Men & Women of Distinction: Miller Williams,” the episode is available for online viewing any time at aetn.org/programs/menandwomenofdistinction/millerwilliams.
Friday, Jan. 9, 2015