A contemporary of John Berryman, Elizabeth Bishop, and Robert Lowell, William Meredith shared neither the bohemian excesses of the Beats nor the exhibitionist excesses of the "confessional" poets. Rather, Meredith was known from the beginning of his career as a poet whose unadorned, formal verse marked him as a singular voice. From his early, deeply personal poems to the later, less formal poems concerned with tolerance, civility, and shared values, Meredith's craft is marked by a thoughtfulness not often seen in poets of his, or successive, generations. He is the master of the poem that seems colloquial at first glance, but is in fact deliberately voiced, measured out, and shaped. His is a voice of unequaled honesty and clarity.