The American Academy of Arts and Letters recently inducted poets Lawrence Ferlinghetti and C.K. Williams into the 250-member organization. The two poets were among eight artists, composers, and photographers to enter the Academy, which was founded in 1898 to "foster, assist, and sustain an interest in literature, music, and the fine arts."
The Academy also recently awarded W.S. Merwin its highest honor—the Gold Medal for Poetry. The award is given annually in two categories which rotate among various disciplines. The other 2003 Gold Medal winner is the composer and writer, Ned Rorem.