William Carlos Williams (1883–1963) was a unique figure in twentieth-century American literature. Not only did he enjoy a long and generative career that lasted more than half a century, but he also wrote his many poems, novels, and essays while pursuing his primary career as a medical doctor. Furthermore, unlike many of the American writers of his generation, who spent much of their time living as expatriates in Europe, Williams remained resolutely in place. Although he did travel during his life, he spent his whole career in the same town where he was born and where he died: Rutherford, New Jersey. Williams’s commitment to serving the citizens of Rutherford enabled him to develop a unique poetics firmly rooted in a contemporary American sensibility. Indeed, he wanted his poetry, which he often scribbled on prescription tablets between patient visits, to sound like the speech of ordinary Americans. Today, Williams is mainly remembered for being a leading figure in the Imagist movement. Imagist poets attempted to write verses that focused on a single image and, through a description what Ezra Pound called its “luminous details,” reveal something essential about that image. Though short lived, Imagism influenced many poets throughout the twentieth century.