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“1942 Letter from William Carlos Williams”

By Hampton Fancher

Letter by Williams Carlos William written in 1942. From the Williams Carlos Williams Papers, YBeinecke Rare Book and Manuscript Library. Reproduced in the issue with the kind permission of the William Carlos Williams Estate. Copyright ©2015 the Estates of Paul H. Williams and William Eric Williams.

Hampton Fancher was born in East Los Angeles in 1938, and moved in his teens to Spain to become an accomplished flamenco dancer (briefly changing his name to Mario Montejo in the process). He returned to L.A. in the early ’60s and entered into a career as an actor in TV westerns such as Maverick and Have Gun, Will Travel. Fancher eventually gave up acting to pursue a career in screenwriting, and he is perhaps best known as the screenwriter for Ridley Scott’s seminal 1982 film Blade Runner. He also wrote the scripts for a number of other films, including The Other Side of the Mountain (1975) and The Minus Man (1999), which he also directed. Based in Brooklyn, he recently finished writing the Blade Runner sequel.

Esopus 22 (Spring 2015)

Hampton Fancher reads William Carlos Williams

To open the Esopus 22: Medicine event at the exhibition and performance space The Kitchen on May 26, 2015, actor, director and screenwriter Hampton Fancher performed this dramatic reading of a 1942 letter written by William Carlos Williams (included in the issue as a removable facsimile insert) to a young medical student, in which the Pulitzer Prize–winning poet details his reasons for choosing to practice both medicine and poetry.


Hampton Fancher
1942 Letter from William Carlos Williams