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Victor Williams Victor Williams i(A13871 works by) (birth name: Victor Robert Williams) (a.k.a. Vic Williams; V. Williams)
Born: Established: 1914 Perth, Western Australia, ;
Gender: Male
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BiographyHistory

Victor Williams was the son of Michael James and Ethel Williams, pioneers of the wheatgrowing area of Wyalkatchem, Western Australia. His father had been a prospector on the Coolgardie and Kalgoorlie goldfields. Williams spent his early years on the family farm before leaving to become a schoolteacher. He studied and taught for two years before World War II. Williams enlisted in the Australian Army on the 3 July 1942 and was on active service in Darwin, New Guinea and New Britain. He was discharged on 19 March 1946 and married that year.

After the war, Williams joined the struggle of workers for better conditions and was a member of the Waterside Workers Federation from 1953. He and his wife Joan (Justina Williams ) were both members of the Communist Party of Australia. She inspired many of his poems and her literary ability as a writer made her an ideal critic of his work. In 1945 his poem, 'Harvest Time', won the W. J. Miles prize in an Australia-wide competition.

Katharine Susannah Prichard was a close friend of Victor and Joan Williams, helping the publication of Hammers and Seagulls (1966) by the Australasian Book Society through royalties from her foreign rights. A poem by Williams, 'Katharine Susannah Prichard', was read at her funeral in 1969: 'The future gathers to your words and deeds, The hands you joined, no bombs can break apart, Writer and fighter in one human heart.' Williams also wrote political tracts such as Crisis on the Land : Who Will Bear the Burden? (1970?). As late as 1991 he wrote Who Wants War? : The Hidden Story in protest at the Iraq War.

Katharine Susannah Prichard wrote: 'There is, I think, a high, rare quality in Victor Williams' poetry. He fuses a passionate and sensuous vision of the earth he knows and loves with thought, direct and forceful, about the everyday life and work of men and women. He does this with a condensed imagery and a rythmic facility which gives an impression of the dynamic vitality and the broad humanism inspiring most of his poems.'

(Source: Katharine Susannah Prichard 'Introduction', Hammers and Seagulls: Poems (1966); Ric Throssell Wild Weeds and Wind Flowers (1975)).

Most Referenced Works

Notes

  • Victor Williams also wrote short stories in the 'Youth' section of the Australian Journal. In the September 1932 edition he entered a story titled 'On the Trail' for which he won 2nd Prize.

Awards for Works

Harvest Time "Across my life, this year's a watershed.", Hammers and Seagulls : Poems , Harvest Time and Other Poems , 1946 single work poetry
1945 winner W.J. Miles Memorial Competition Poetry Prize
Last amended 18 Sep 2017 16:34:38
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