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Annotated Reference Guide to Collectible Books

Williams, William Carlos

William Carlos Williams

Modernist poet and author William Carlos Williams was a contemporary of Robert Frost and T.S. Eliot. On occasion his poetry was overshadowed by the work of his more famous peers but this does not detract from his legacy. Williams received numerous awards and honors for his work, including a posthumous Pulitzer Prize, and critics agree that his 1923 book, Spring and All, is a seminal piece in the modernist genre of poetry. It is often cited as one of the most influential books of the 20th century.

Williams’ early poetry used free verse, rather than rhyme, to create images of the subjects he wrote about. This “imagism” school of poetry was eventually abandoned by Williams as, like many American poets of the day, he turned away from the European style to create work that was more focused on the language of his home country. This style was fresh and raw, with subjects based in the everyday things that his American audience would be familiar with.

First editions of Spring and All are relatively rare as the initial print run of the book was just three hundred and was not widely successful at the time. On exportation to the United States, many copies of the book were simply confiscated as “foreign work” and therefore likely to contain salacious material. At auction, first editions from Contact Publishing have exceeded $500. His other works can also attract significant prices with his prose book, in the American Grain, from 1925 reaching $900 for a first edition. A particularly rare, signed first edition of An Early Martyr has also realized more than $1,600.

Perhaps not as widely recognized or acclaimed as his peers, Williams had a significant influence on more modern poetry and his work is important in the field. Collectors may find this attractive in its own right, but with the small print runs for a number of his publications,there is additional incentive for owning Williams’ work.

Williams, William Carlos. Tempers. Elkin Mathews, London (1913). 1,000 copies printed.

Williams, William Carlos. A Book of Poems. Four Seas Company, Boston (1917). Al Que Quiere!; With author's name spelled: "Willams", on the spine, and in tan paper-covered boards.

Williams, William Carlos. Al Que Quiere. The Four Seas Co., Boston (1917). A Book of Poems; First printing of Williams' third book; beige/tan paper-covered boards with the misspelling of the poet's name ("Willams") on the spine; 1000 copies printed.

Williams, William Carlos. Kora in hell. Four Seas Company, Boston (1920). improvisations; Frontispiece illustration by Stuart Davis; 1,000 copies; First printing of Williams' fourth book, that contains the poet's unedited musings over the span of a year.

Williams, William Carlos. Sour Grapes. The Four Seas Company, Boston (1921). A Book of Poems; Autographed with the tremulous signature of Williams after his second stroke and dated by him "Mar. 18, 1954; contains: "The Widow's Lament in Springtime," "Spouts," "Light Hearted William," "Portrait of the Author,".

Williams, William Carlos. Manikin Number Two. Monroe Wheeler, New York (1923). Go Go; 150 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Great American Novel. Three Mountains Press, Paris (1923). edited by Ezra Pound; 300 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. In The American Grain. Albert & Charles Boni, New York (1925).

Williams, William Carlos. A Voyage to Pagany. Macaulay Company, New York (1928).

Willaims, William Carlos. OUR EXAGMINATION OF JAMES JOYCE. New Directions, New York (1929). A Critical Symposium on "Finnegan's Wake"; short essays on facets of Joyce's work by Brion, Frank Budgen, Victor Llona, Robert McAlmon, Thomas McGreevy, Elliot Paul, John Rodker, Robert Sage and Williams

Williams, William Carlos. OUR EXAGMINATION ROUND. Shakespeare and Company, Paris (1929). HIS FACTIFICATION FOR INCAMINATION OF WORK IN PROGRESS; With letters of protest by G.V.L. Slingsby and Vladimir Dixon; Beckett, Samuel, James Joyce, Marcel Brion, Frank Budgen, Stuart Gilbert, Eugene Jolas, Victor Llona, Robert McAlmon, Thomas McGreevy, Elliot Paul, John Rodker, Robert Sage.

Williams, William Carlos. Our Exagmination Round. Faber and Faber Limited, London (1929). His Factification For Incamination of Work in Progress; Beckett, Samuel, James Joyce, Marcel Brion, Frank Budgen, Stuart Gilbert, Eugene Jolas, Victor Llona, Robert McAlmon, Thomas McGreevy, Elliot Paul, John Rodker, Robert Sage; With letters of protest by G.V.L. Slingsby and Vladimir Dixon.

Williams, William Carlos. Our Exagmination Round. Shakespeare and Company, Paris (1929). His Factification For Incamination of Work in Progress; Beckett, Samuel, James Joyce, Marcel Brion, Frank Budgen, Stuart Gilbert, Eugene Jolas, Victor Llona, Robert McAlmon, Thomas McGreevy, Elliot Paul, John Rodker, Robert Sage; With letters of protest by G.V.L. Slingsby and Vladimir Dixon.

Williams, William Carlos. A novelette. To Publishers, Toulon (1932). including works by Basil Bunting and Ezra Pound; Contents include untitled novelette, A Memory of Tropical Fruit; The Venus; An Essay on Virginia; A Note on the recent work of James Joyce (Finnegan's Wake); Other chapters include: "The Work of Gertrude Stein," "A Note on the Recent Work of James Joyce," "A Matisse," "Marianne Moore," "A Paradox,"; 500 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. cod head. Harvest Press, San Francisco (1932). 100 copies unrecorded first state with the misspelling of Abernethy; Total 125 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Knife of the Times and Other Stories. Dragon Press, Ithaca, New York (1932). design by Olaf A. Brauner; Includes The sailor?s son, Mind and body, and A descendant of kings; 500 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Collected Poems. Objectivist Press, New York (1934). preface by Wallace Stevens; 500 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Direction. Kerker Quinn, Peoria (1934). A quarterly of new literature; works by Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, Richard Aldington, Conrad Aiken, Marianne Moore; 3 volumes.

Williams, William Carlos. Early Martyr. Alcestis Press, New York (1935). 165 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Two Poems. Stovepipe Press (1937). 2 Drawings by William Zorach; First edition, containing "Advent of Today" & "The Girl"; Limited to 500 copies

Williams, William Carlos. White mule. New Directions, Norfolk (1937). 1100 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Life Along the Passaic River. New Directions, Norfolk, Connecticut (1938).

Williams, William Carlos. Complete Collected Poems. New Directions, Norfolk, Connecticut (1938).

Williams, William Carlos. In the Money. New Directions, Norfolk, Connecticut (1940). White Mule - Part II.

Williams, William Carlos. The Broken Span. New Directions, Norfolk, CT (1941). 200 copies printed.

Williams, William Carlos. Poet of the Month Series. New Directions, New York (1941). Among the volumes: THE BROKEN SPAN by William Carlos Williams; SOME POEMS AND A DEVOTION by John Donne; THE PARADOX IN THE CIRCLE by Theodore Spencer; POEMS ON SEVERAL OCCASIONS by Josephine Miles; SHENANDOAH by Delmore Schwartz MORE POEMS FROM THE PALATINE ANTHOLOGY by Dudley Fitts and POEMS FROM THE BOOK OF HOURS by Rainer Maria Rilke.and THE DRY SEASON by Malcolm Cowley; 12 volumes.

Williams, William Carlos. Wedge. Cummington Press, Cummington (1944). drawing by Wightman Williams; 380 copies; includes "Paterson: The Falls", "The Dance (In Breughel's great picture)", "The Semblables" and "To Ford Madox Ford in Heaven", in addition to Williams' important introduction, a brief "Ars Poetica".

Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New Directions, New York (1946). 5 volumes; first four books limited to only 1000 copies, the fifth to 3000 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. A Dream of Love. New Directions, New York (1948). with cover artwork by Lustig.

Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New Directions, New York (1948). 1000 copies; 4 volumes.

Williams, William Carlos. Clouds. Wells College Press & Cummington Press, (MA) (1948). Aigeltinger, Russia; 310 copies printed

Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New Directions, New York (1949). 1000 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. A beginning on the short story. Alicat Bookshop Press, Yonkers, New York (1950). 750 copies; The Outcasts Chapbooks Number XVII; With Certificate of Copyright Registratio

Williams, William Carlos. COLLECTED LATER POEMS OF WILLIAM CARLOS WILLIAMS. New Directions, New York (1950). 100 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Make light of it. Random House, New York (1950). Collected stories; Includes The knife of the times, Life along the Passaic River and Beer and cold cuts

Williams, William Carlos. The collected later poems. New Directions, Norfolk, Ct (1950). 100 special copies in red buckram binding.

Williams, William Carlos. Desert Music. Random House, New York (1954). And Other Poems; 100 numbered copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Journey to love. Random House, New York (1955). 3000 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. HOWL. City Lights Pocket Bookshop, San Francisco (1956). And Other Poems; (The Pocket Poets Series: Number Four); 1000 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. COLLECTED LATER POEMS. New Directions, Norfolk (1956). 50 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Selected Letters. McDowell Obolensky, New York (1957). Edited with an Introduction by John C. Thirwall; 75 numbered copies.

Williams, William Carlos. I Wanted to Write a Poem. Beacon Press, Boston (1958). The Autobiography of a Poet; Recorded and Edited by Edith Heal.

Williams, William Carlos. Paterson. New Directions Book, New York (1958). 5 volumes; first four books limited to only 1000 copies, the fifth to 3000 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Empty Mirror. Totem Press, New York (1961). Early Poems; With an introduction by William Carlos Williams; Allen Ginsberg; 3000 copies printed.

Williams, William Carlos. Farmers' Daughters. New Directions Book, New York (1961). The Collected Stories of WIlliam Carlos Williams; Introduction by Van Wyck Brooks; 1500 copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Selected Poems. Snake River Press, Hove (1981). Illustrations by Geoffrey Trenaman; 25 numbered copies.

Williams, William Carlos. Principles and Practice of Gynecologic Oncology. Lippincott Williams & Wilkins (1992). Hoskins, William J.; Perez, Carlos A.

Williams, WIlliam Carlos. Valentine for Mr. Wonderful. Rizzoli International, New York (1996). 8 color plates with prefacing poem by William Carlos Williams.

Williams, William Carlos. Kora in Hell. Arion Press, San Francisco (1998). Improvisations; Illustrated with 21 prints by Kendrick; introduction by Lawrence Kart; total 326 copies including 300 numbered copies.