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A major influence on fellow New Jerseyite Allen Ginsberg, a close friend of Ezra Pound, and one of the key players in modernism, Williams is a heavyweight of American poetry. But he’s light on his feet, and his poems feel as fresh as ever. Even after his in-ring career faltered, he cannily established his own eponymous regional promotion, and by the 1990s, William Carlos Williams, or WCW for short, would go on to smash TV ratings and generate pay-per-view revenues of tens of millions of dollars.

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