Poet, short story writer, and critic Alan Batcher Williamson was born in Chicago, Illinois. He earned a BA at Haverford College and a PhD at Harvard University, where he studied with Robert Lowell. He is the author of several collections of poetry, including The Pattern More Complicated: New and Selected Poems (2004), Res Publica (1998), and Love and the Soul (1995). His lyric poetry explores the intersection of public and personal geographies.
Williamson’s critical writing includes Almost a Girl: Male Writers and Female Identification (2001), Eloquence and Mere Life: Essays on the Art of Poetry (1994), and Pity the Monsters: The Political Vision of Robert Lowell (1974).
His honors include fellowships from the Guggenheim Foundation and the National Endowment for the Arts as well as a grant from the Massachusetts Arts Council. Williamson, who has taught at the University of Virginia, Harvard University, and Brandeis University, joined the UC Davis faculty in 1983. The university library holds a selection of his papers.