Cover image for Westward : poems
Title:
Westward : poems
Author:
Clampitt, Amy.
Personal Author:
Edition:
First edition.
Publication Information:
New York : Knopf : Distributed by Random House, 1990.
Physical Description:
x, 107 pages ; 22 cm
Language:
English
ISBN:
9780394584553

9780679728672
Format :
Book

Available:*

Library
Call Number
Material Type
Home Location
Status
Central Library PS3553.L23 W47 1990 Adult Non-Fiction Central Closed Stacks
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Summary

Author Notes

Amy Clampitt was born in New Providence, Iowa on June 15, 1920. She graduated from Grinnell College and moved to 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. Her first published poem appeared in The New Yorker in 1978. Her first volume of poetry, The Kingfisher, was published in 1983. Her other books include What the Light Was Like, Archaic Figure, Westward, A Silence Opens, and Her Collected Poems.

A recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship in 1982, she was also granted the Fellowship Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1984 and the MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She taught at the College of William and Mary, Smith College, and Amherst College She died of cancer on September 10, 1994.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Amy Clampitt was born in New Providence, Iowa on June 15, 1920. She graduated from Grinnell College and moved to 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. Her first published poem appeared in The New Yorker in 1978. Her first volume of poetry, The Kingfisher, was published in 1983. Her other books include What the Light Was Like, Archaic Figure, Westward, A Silence Opens, and Her Collected Poems.

A recipient of the Guggenheim fellowship in 1982, she was also granted the Fellowship Award of the Academy of American Poets in 1984 and the MacArthur Prize Fellow in 1992. She taught at the College of William and Mary, Smith College, and Amherst College She died of cancer on September 10, 1994.

(Bowker Author Biography)


Reviews 4

Booklist Review

Clampitt ranges across the U.S. land~scape--California, Kansas, Georgia--observing "the round earth's numbly imagined rim" ("John Donne in California"), "refineries, trellised and turreted illusory cities" ("Iola, Kansas"), and "thicketings / of juniper, bull brier / and yaupon" ("Savannah"). In characteristically lush, though at times impenetrable, language, she views the terrain metaphorically, reporting that the human spirit somehow survives, despite the hardships it encounters--the lack of love, the violence, the poverty. Nowhere in the book is this idea more succinctly expressed than in "Vacant Lot with Pokeweed": "notwithstanding . . . / . . . wholesale upheaval and dismemberment, weeds do not hesitate." Clampitt's fans will be delighted by her fourth collection. --Jim Elledge


Library Journal Review

``Nothing stays put,'' writes Clampitt in a poem from her fourth collection: ``All that we know, that we're/ made of, is motion.'' It is against this motion, particularly the westward movement that seems to drive the fates of both humans and wildlife, that the poet holds her ``frail wick of Metaphor.'' But given Clampitt's well-established reputation for opulent language and rich, almost heady, description, the claim to frailty is disingenuous indeed. Though many poems rely on the now-familiar wildflower litanies that typify much current poetry, Clampitt's interest in transplants (``what had been alien begins/ as it alters, to grow as though it were indigenous'') adds an extra dimension to a book that grows gradually stranger as the reader's imagination travels through it.--Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


Booklist Review

Clampitt ranges across the U.S. land~scape--California, Kansas, Georgia--observing "the round earth's numbly imagined rim" ("John Donne in California"), "refineries, trellised and turreted illusory cities" ("Iola, Kansas"), and "thicketings / of juniper, bull brier / and yaupon" ("Savannah"). In characteristically lush, though at times impenetrable, language, she views the terrain metaphorically, reporting that the human spirit somehow survives, despite the hardships it encounters--the lack of love, the violence, the poverty. Nowhere in the book is this idea more succinctly expressed than in "Vacant Lot with Pokeweed": "notwithstanding . . . / . . . wholesale upheaval and dismemberment, weeds do not hesitate." Clampitt's fans will be delighted by her fourth collection. --Jim Elledge


Library Journal Review

``Nothing stays put,'' writes Clampitt in a poem from her fourth collection: ``All that we know, that we're/ made of, is motion.'' It is against this motion, particularly the westward movement that seems to drive the fates of both humans and wildlife, that the poet holds her ``frail wick of Metaphor.'' But given Clampitt's well-established reputation for opulent language and rich, almost heady, description, the claim to frailty is disingenuous indeed. Though many poems rely on the now-familiar wildflower litanies that typify much current poetry, Clampitt's interest in transplants (``what had been alien begins/ as it alters, to grow as though it were indigenous'') adds an extra dimension to a book that grows gradually stranger as the reader's imagination travels through it.--Fred Muratori, Cornell Univ. Lib. (c) Copyright 2010. Library Journals LLC, a wholly owned subsidiary of Media Source, Inc. No redistribution permitted.


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