William (Bill) Edmund Messenger was a professor of English at UBC from 1966 to 1988. He was born in Independence, Missouri on February 21, 1931. He grew up in Missourri, Kansas and Washington State. While working at Boeing Aircraft in Seattle, he entered the Air Force where he learned and taught electronics for four years. After leaving the Air Force, he went back to Boeing. In 1955, Messenger entered the University of Washington in Seattle and completed a B.A. in English in 1956. In September, 1957, he began graduate work at Cornell University where he met Ann Parshall. also a student of English. They were married in 1960 and came to teach at UBC in 1966. She soon took a teaching job at Simon Fraser University. In 1968, he completed his doctoral degree from Berkeley and became an Assistant Professor at UBC in 1969. In 1988, he retired and spent the next eight years caring for his wife, who died in February, 1996 of multiple cancer. After her death, he established the Ann and William Messenger Fellowship for doctoral students in the English department. He co-edited the Canadian Writers Handbook in 1986 and Currents: Stories, Essays, Poems and Plays. With William New, he also co-edited Active Voice, (first, second and third editions) and Literature in English. He died on June 15, 2003 after a lengthy illness.

[BCBW 2003] "Literary Criticism"