William Corbett and Davy Knittle on James Schuyler

PennSound podcast #64

Left to right: William Corbett, Davy Knittle, and Stan Mir. Photo by Kelly Writers House staff, from the Michael Gizzi retrospective in October 2017.


William Corbett visited the Kelly Writers House in October 2017 for a retrospective reading and conversation with Stan Mir in honor of the poet Michael Gizzi. During his visit, Corbett and I had a conversation in the Wexler Studio about the work of New York School poet James Schuyler, whose Just the Thing: Selected Letters of James Schuyler Corbett edited (Turtle Point Press, 2009). In our conversation, we discussed Schuyler’s early poems, his methods of perception, his fondness for children, his attention to New York and its qualities of light from his apartment window, and Corbett’s long career of teaching Schuyler’s poetry to undergraduate students.

William Corbett was a poet and memoirist who was active in the Boston poetry scene and taught writing at MIT and Harvard University. He edited the small press Pressed Wafer and sat on Manhattan’s CUE Art Foundation advisory board. His publications include Elegies for Michael Gizzi (Kat Ran Press, 2012), The Whalen Poem (Hanging Loose Press, 2011), Opening Day (Hanging Loose Press, 2008), Boston Vermont (Zoland Books, 1999), New and Selected Poems (Zoland Books, 1995), Don’t Think, Look (Zoland Books, 1991), On Blue Note (Zoland Books, 1989), and Collected Poems (National Poetry Foundation, 1984). In addition to his poetry, Corbett has written on the painters Philip Guston, Albert York, and Stuart Williams. He lived in Brooklyn from 2012 until his death in 2018. — Davy Knittle