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New York. 1987. Knopf. 1st Paperback Edition. Very Good In Wrappers. 115 pages. March 1987. paperback. Amy Clampitt was born on June 15, 1920, and brought up in New Providence, Iowa. She wrote poetry in high school, but then ceased and focused her energies on writing fiction instead. She graduated from Grinnell College, and from that time on lived mainly in New York City. To support herself, she worked as a secretary at the Oxford University Press, a reference librarian at the Audubon Society, and a freelance editor. Not until the mid-1960s, when she was in her forties, did she return to writing poetry. Her first poem was published by The New Yorker in 1978. In 1983, at the age of sixty-three, she published her first full-length collection, THE KINGFISHER. In the decade that followed, Clampitt published five books of poetry, including WHAT THE LIGHT WAS LIKE (1985), ARCHAIC FIGURE (1987), and WESTWARD (1990). Her last book, A SILENCE OPENS, appeared in 1994. The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Foundation Fellow in 1992. She was also a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and taught at the College of William and Mary, Amherst College, and Smith College. She died of cancer in September 1994. Cover: Chip Kidd. 039475090x. keywords: 40293. inventory # 31983. FROM THE PUBLISHER-ARCHAIC FIGURE, which followed WHAT THE LIGHT WAS LIKE in 1987, continues in the vein of Clampitt's ‘idiosyncratic style, ' as William Logan called it in the Chicago Tribune. But he added that in this volume ‘style occasionally lapses into mannerism: the long, sometimes wearying sentences; the sharp enjambments that seem a nervous mania; the vocabulary whirled through a Waring Blender. ' New York Times Book Review contributor Mark Rudman maintained, however, that the collection ‘gets better as it goes along— as it becomes less archaic, less mythy, less Grecian and moves into cooler climes and grassier realms. ' Rudman also approved of the poet's ‘spontaneity and humor; she is quick to react, hasty, impulsive, responsive to place-and to space. ' In the London Sunday Times, David Profumo further praised Archaic Figure. Taking the example of the poem ‘Hippocrene, ' the critic asserted that this work ‘demonstrates her new powers of economy, the sureness of her rhythmic touch and the sheer readability of her magnificent narrative skills. '-From The Poetry Foundaation.
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