William Heath ’64
Author and Poet
Dr. William Heath ’64 has always loved to write. However, he first became a writer as a young instructor at Kenyon College in 1967 after attending the 80th birthday party of John Crowe Ransom, the respected poet and editor of The Kenyon Review.
Dr. Heath first came to Hiram as it was close to home, he was interested in playing varsity sports, and he thought he would feel comfortable at a small liberal arts college. “It turned out to be a very wise choice by a rather impulsive high school senior,” said Dr. Heath. “I found it easy to make friends at Hiram, I was able to participate in various activities, my professors interested me in the life of the mind, and all these things gave me the confidence to believe I could become a college teacher and a writer.” The relationships he made at Hiram have survived over the years. Dr. Heath continues to play tennis with his Hiram teammate, calls several close friends frequently, and occasionally keeps in touch with his college roommates.
Hiram’s education advanced Dr. Heath into pursuing his doctorate in American Studies from Case Western Reserve University. Later, he taught at Kenyon and Vassar College, Transylvania University, the University of Seville, and Mount Saint Mary’s University. After his retirement as a professor emeritus, Dr. Heath was the Libman Professor of Humanities at Hood College for a year.
In addition to his academic career teaching American literature and creative writing, Dr. Heath has published various award-winning novels and poetry. While teaching as a Fullbright professor at the University of Seville, he completed his first novel “Devil Dancer” and met his wife, Roser Caminals, who later became a prize-winning Catalan novelist. For the next forty years, both lived in Frederick, Maryland where Roser taught Spanish literature at Hood College and Dr. Heath taught American literature and creative writing at Mount Saint Mary’s University. There, he published an award-winning novel, “The Children Bob Moses Led.” Following his retirement in 2007, he devoted much of his time to publishing two novels and an award-winning work of history, “William Wells” and “The Struggle for the Old Northwest.” In 2017, he published two books, “Stelle Vally Elegy” and “Going Places,” and over 200 poems.
Hiram recently recognized Dr. Heath with the 2023 Lifetime Achievement Award this past summer and Dr. Heath claims it as “an honor he considers the capstone of his career.”