An important writer who inspired the Beat Generation came from New Jersey.
William Carlos Williams (1883-1963)
His father was of English descent, while his mother was of Puerto Rican, French, Dutch, Spanish, and Jewish ancestry. It was through his father that his interest in literature first started, for his father introduced him to William Shakespeare, Dante, the Bible, and theatre. Williams wrote poetry while in Horace Mann High School.
He would go on to study medicine in the University of Pennsylvania, and interned in the fields of obstetrics and gynecology.
Williams was a major poet in the Imagist movement that took place prior to the Beat Generation. He wrote alongside Ezra Pound and H.D., who were fellow alumni of the same class.
While he focused on his medical career, he would continue writing and received a National Book Poetry Award in 1950.
- Kora In Hell (1920)
- Spring And All (1923)
- Pictures From Brueghel And Other Poems (1962)
- Paterson (1963)
- Imaginations (1970)
Rutherford, New Jersey
This was the town where Williams originated, which is close to the city of Paterson.
He served as a doctor within Rutherford and Paterson for 40 years. Many of his patients were mill girls, prostitutes, and young mothers with many children.
The house that he lived in for 50 years continues to stand. It was added as a National Register of Historic Places in 1973. It continued to serve the purpose of a doctor\’s office.