Nothing Stays Put

Nothing Stays Put

By Willard Spiegelman



An evocative portrait of the beloved and acclaimed poet, whose late-in-life success took the literary world by storm. With the publication of her first book of poems at the age of sixty-three, 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 no one would publish, 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.

ISBN: 9780525658269


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