About the Author: William Pritchard '53

William H. Pritchard

Current Home
Amherst, MA

Date of Birth
November 12, 1932

Place of Birth
Binghamton, New York

B.A.     Amherst College, 1953
              Columbia University, 1953-54 (Philosophy)
M.A.    Harvard University, 1956 (English)
Ph.D.   Harvard University, 1960 (English)
              Title of Dissertation: "The Uses of Nature in Robert Frost's Poetry"

Academic and Professional Distinctions

  • Phi Beta Kappa, 1953
  • A.C.L.S. (Junior Fellowship), 1963-64; (Fellowship), 1977-78
  • Guggenheim Foundation, 1973-74
  • National Endowment for the Humanities Fellowship, 1977-78, 1986
  • Script Writer for "Robert Frost: A Question of Place" (National Public Radio program, 1978)
  • Member of the Editorial Board of Hudson Review
  • Sponsoring Member of the Association of Literary Scholars and Critics
  • Under Criticism: Essays For William H. Pritchard, ed. David Sofield and Herbert F. Tucker (Ohio University Press, 1998)
  • Member American Academy of Arts and Sciences, 2004


  • Wyndham Lewis (Twayne, 1968)
  • Wyndham Lewis: Profile in Literature (Routledge, Kegan and Paul, 1972)
  • Editor: W.B. Yeats (Penguin Critical Anthologies Series, 1972)
  • Seeing Through Everything: English Writers 1918-1940 (Faber and Faber/Oxford, 1977)
  • Editor: "Contemporary Prose, 1945" section of Norton Anthology of American Literature (First Edition-1979, Second Edition-1985, Third Edition-1989, Fourth Edition-1994)
  • Lives of the Modern Poets (Faber and Faber/Oxford, 1980; Second Edition with new preface, University Press of New England, 1996)
  • Frost: A Literary Life Reconsidered (Oxford, 1984; Second Edition with new preface, University of Massachusetts Press, 1993)
  • Editor: A Boy's Will and North of Boston by Robert Frost (Signet/NAL, 1990)
  • Randall Jarrell: A Literary Life (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990)
  • Editor: Selected Poems of Randall Jarrell (Farrar, Straus and Giroux, 1990)
  • Playing It By Ear: Literary Essays and Reviews (University of Massachusetts Press, 1994)
  • English Papers: A Teaching Life (Graywolf Press, 1995)
  • Talking Back to Emily Dickinson, and Other Essays (University of Massachusetts Press, 1998)
  • Editor: The Most of it: Essays on Language and the Imagination, by Theodore Baird.  (Amherst College Press, 1999)
  • Updike: America’s Man of Letters (Steerforth Press, 2000); Paperbook edition with new preface, (University of Massachusetts Press, 2005).
  • Shelf Life: Literary Essays and Reviews (University of Massachusetts Press, 2003).
  • Editor: English at Amherst, by Theodore Baird, (Amherst College Press, 2005).
  • On Poets and Poetry (Swallow Press, Ohio University Press, 2009).

Essays and Reviews
for Hudson Review, Boston Globe and others

Teaching at Amherst
I alternate (every three years or so) a number of courses in English and American writers.  Major English Writers (17th/18th century), Major English Writers (19th century), British Writers 1900-1940, British and American Poetry 1900-1950, American Fiction 1950-2000, and Literary Criticism.  Also I teach, every fall semester, an introductory course in close reading, Novels, Plays, Poems.