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Pulitzer Prize-winning Connecticut poet dies

NEW LONDON, Conn. --William M. Meredith, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, has died a week after being admitted to a local hospital. He was 88.

Meredith, a professor at Connecticut College for nearly 30 years, died Wednesday night at Lawrence & Memorial Hospital of cardiac and respiratory failure, according to hospital spokesman Kelly Anthony.

Meredith, a resident of the Uncasville section of Montville, was admitted on May 23.

Meredith received more than 25 awards, grants, fellowships and honorary degrees, including the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1988 for "Partial Accounts: New and Selected Poems" and the National Book Award for Poetry in 1997 for "Effort at Speech."

Born in New York City in 1919, Meredith displayed a lifelong love of poetry. He graduated magna cum laude from Princeton University in 1940 with a bachelor's degree in English and wrote his senior thesis on Robert Frost.

Meredith taught at Connecticut College from 1955 to 1983. He retired from Connecticut College in 1983 after suffering a severe stroke that left him partially paralyzed and with speaking difficulties.

"In Connecticut Colleges history there are a number of great public intellectuals who have been associated with the college. William Meredith is certainly in that very select group," Connecticut College President Leo I. Higdon Jr. said in a statement Thursday.

A funeral will be held on at 11 a.m. June 6 at St. James Episcopal Church in New London. A memorial service will be held at Connecticut College in the fall.

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Information from: The Day, http://www.theday.com

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