Ammons, A. R.

Ammons, A. R. (Archie Randolph Ammons), 1926–2001, American poet, b. Whiteville, N.C., grad. Wake Forest College (1949). He began writing poetry while serving in the Navy during World War II, and, after working as a school principal and sales executive, he taught creative writing at Cornell from 1964 until his death. His first book of poetry was published in 1955. His second, Expressions of Sea Level (1964), established him as a major American poet and exhibited his characteristic tone and themes: conversational free verse that frequently deals with the human interrelationship with nature in a modern echo of transcendentalism . His other books of poetry include Tape for the Turn of the Year (1965), Collected Poems 1951–1971 (1972, National Book Award), Sphere (1974, Bollingen Prize), The Snow Poems (1977), Garbage (1993, National Book Award), Glare (1996), and the posthumously published Bosh and Flapdoodle (2005).

See his complete poems, ed. by R. M. West (2 vol., 2017); Z. Burr, ed., Set in Motion: Essays, Interviews, and Dialogues/A. R. Ammons (1996); studies by A. Holder (1978), H. Bloom, ed. (1986), R. Kirschten, ed. (1997), S. P. Schneider, ed. (1999), and D. Burak and R. Gilbert, ed. (2005).

The Columbia Electronic Encyclopedia, 6th ed. Copyright © 2012, Columbia University Press. All rights reserved.

See more Encyclopedia articles on: American Literature: Biographies