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Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt

Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt cover

Nothing Stays Put: The Life and Poetry of Amy Clampitt

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An evocative portrait of the beloved and acclaimed poet, whose late-in-life success took the literary world by storm.

“Clampitt comes to life here...Spiegelman’s Nothing Stays Put embodies a different kind of investigation, not surveillance but a thoughtful examination that at times still spins off into a kind of awe.” —The Washington Post

With the publication of her first book of poems in her sixty-third year, Amy Clampitt rose meteorically to fame, launching herself from obscurity to the upper ranks of American poetry all but overnight, and living a whirlwind eleven years, until her death in 1994. Years later, as renowned poetry scholar Willard Spiegelman wades into her papers and poems, he discovers a woman of dazzling intellect, staunch progressive politics, and an inexhaustible sense of wonder for the world and the words we’ve invented to describe it.

Giving equal weight to the life and the poetry, Spiegelman untangles Clampitt’s famously allusive lines to reveal the experiences they emerged from, pulling the curtain back on her nearly four decades of artistic anonymity, and in doing so assembling a rich period piece of Manhattan during the days in which Clampitt worked for Oxford University Press and the National Audubon Society—writing cheery, discursive office memos, and two novels that never got published, before hitting her stride in verse.

Nothing Stays Put is a gift to poetry fans, an inspiration to artists striving at any age, and an ode to this most unlikely of literary celebrities, who would publish five acclaimed books and win a MacArthur “Genius Grant” nearly all in the final decade of her life.

WILLARD SPIEGELMAN was for many years the Hughes Professor of English at Southern Methodist University in Dallas, and the longtime editor of the Southwest Review. Since 1987 he has written about books and the arts for The Wall Street Journal. A recipient of fellowships from the National Endowment for the Humanities, Guggenheim, Rockefeller, and Bogliasco Foundations, he is the author of eight books of literary criticism and personal essays, and the editor of  Love, Amy: The Selected Letters of Amy Clampitt. Spiegelman currently lives in Stonington, Connecticut, and New York City.

ISBN: 9780525658269

ISBN-10: 9780525658269

Publisher: Knopf

Publication Date: 02/28/2023 - 12:00am

On Sale: 02/28/2023 - 12:00am

Pages: 432

Language: English


Biography & Autobiography / Women

Biography & Autobiography / Literary Figures

Poetry / Women Authors