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When Amy Clampitt's first collection, The Kingfisher, was published in Britain, Blake Morrison, in the Observer, welcomed 'the most gifted and acclaimed American poet to emerge for years', while the book itself was described by James Fenton, in Poetry Review, as 'a work of the most beautiful gravity, scope and movement'. That volume and the four which followed add up to one of the marvels of late twentieth-century American poetry: an oeuvre that addresses the big topics of nature and culture, and rises to the challenge each time with unflagging energy, grace, brilliance and humanity. The present volume of Collected Poems carries an introduction by Mary Jo Salter.
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Amy Clampitt was born and brought up in New Providence, Iowa, graduated from Grinnell College, and from that time on lived mainly in New York City. Her first full-length collection, The Kingfisher, published in 1983, was followed in 1985 by What the Light Was Like, in 1987 by Archaic Figure, and in 1990 by Westward. A Silence Opens, her last book, appeared in 1994.
The recipient in 1982 of a Guggenheim Fellowship, and in 1984 of an Academy of American Poets Fellowship, she was made a MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She was a member of the American Academy of Arts and Letters and was a Writer in Residence at the College of William and Mary, Visiting Writer at Amherst College, and Grace Hazard Conkling Visiting Writer at Smith College.
She died in September 1994.
A single-volume edition of the five collections of verse by the American poet, Amy Clampett, the first of which was published when she was 63. The poems address the big topics of nature and culture.
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