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William Alfred

William Alfred

William Alfred  was a playwright and Professor of English literature at Harvard University. Alfred was a specialist in early English literature. He was chairman of Harvard's Standing Committee on Dramatics for many years, and he taught a course in playwriting. His lyrical play, Hogan's Goat, about turn-of-the-century Brooklyn-Irish politics, had a long and successful off-Broadway run in 1966 and provided a breakout role for actress Faye Dunaway, who became a lifelong friend of Alfred's. Other works included Agamemnon, The Curse of an Aching Heart (also starring Dunaway), Nothing Doing, and Cry for Us All, a musical adaptation of Hogan's Goat. In 1980 he was named Abbott Lawrence Lowell Professor of the Humanities. William Alfred was the recipient of the New York Drama Desk Award (for Hogan's Goat) and served on the poetry panels of the Pulitzer Prize and National Book Award committees. He was a member of the Medieval Academy of America, the Modern Language Association, ASCAP, and the Dramatists Guild. In addition to his plays, he was the author of a book of poems, The Annunciation Rosary, and a translation of Beowulf.


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