William Corbett--a poet, professor, and central figure in Boston’s literary scene--was born on October 11, 1942. He grew up in Pennsylvania and Connecticut and developed an interest in literature in his youth. He studied literature and history at Lafayette College in Easton, Pennsylvania, graduating in 1964. Corbett and his wife, Beverly Mitchell, lived in Boston, Massachusetts, from the 1960s-2012. During their time in Boston, their home at 9 Columbus Square in the South End served as a valuable salon for Boston’s literary scene. The couple welcomed both established and emerging writers into their home, frequently hosting dinners where writers could read poetry and connect with other artists.
Corbett has published collections of poetry and prose, as well as editing books and journals. His poetry bears the influence of modernist poetry and the Black Mountain College community; it is also influenced by the landscapes of New England and the people in Corbett’s life. In 1999 Corbett, along with Daniel Bouchard and Joseph Torra, founded Pressed Wafer. Originally based at 9 Columbus Square, Pressed Wafer publishes poetry, art, and fiction and nonfiction writing. He taught writing at institutions such as Harvard University, Emerson College, and Massachusetts Institute of Technology, where he was a professor for over twenty years. In 2012, the Corbetts relocated to Brooklyn, New York, to be nearer their children and grandchildren.