Amy Clampitt was a poet and author from the United States who was recognized for her rich vocabulary and subtle references. At the age of 63, she released her first book of poems. ‘The Kingfisher,’ her critically lauded collection of poetry, read more like the work of a seasoned poet than a debut. Following the publication of ‘The Kingfisher,’ four more major literary works were released, the last of which was ‘A Silence Opens.’ She spoke with a fluent stream of words that gave a sense of energy, reflecting a mix of Quaker heritage and bohemian New York culture. Her books are full of intellectual allusions that are backed up by extensive footnotes. Her poetry is noted for its liberal use of dashes and hyphens, single letters, extended dependent clause strings, and esoteric language. Her major books are regarded as masterworks of art. She wrote with the knowledge that she had to produce a lifetime’s worth of work in a fraction of the time. Journeys, classical myth, ideas of femaleness, and a sense of the natural world as numinous were all common themes in her works. Her poetry is complex, deep, and densely packed with cryptic allusions, as well as intellectual and linguistically elegant. Her work continues to be interpreted, and she became a key voice for contemporary American poetry.
Childhood and Adolescence
She was born on a three-hundred-acre farm belonging to her paternal grandparents in New Providence, Iowa on June 15, 1920 to Quaker parents. She was the first of five children and lived on the farm until she was ten years old, when her parents relocated.
She began composing poetry when she was nine years old. In high school, she began to write fiction. She transferred to Grinnell College after 12 years in the local public schools, where she felt out of place. She graduated with a B.A. in English in 1941 and spent the rest of her life in New York City.
Career of Amy Clampitt
She started graduate school at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research, but dropped out to work as a secretary at Oxford University Press. She worked a variety of jobs during the 1940s and early 1950s while attempting to create novels. She worked as a reference librarian at the National Audubon Society from 1952 to 1959, and then as a freelance writer, researcher, and editor from 1960 to 1977.
Simultaneously, she was attracted into political action, and she took part in the 1971 protests outside the White House against the bombing of North Vietnam. Her first two poetry collections, ‘Multitudes, Multitudes’ (1974) and ‘The Isthmus’ (1981), were both published by modest presses and received little notice. From 1977 through 1982, she worked as an editor at the E.P. Dutton publishing business.
In the 1980s, her career as a full-time poet took off. ‘The Kingfisher,’ her first full-length collection of poems, was published in 1983. During the 1980s, she worked as a writer-in-residence at the College of William and Mary and as a visiting writer at Amherst College.
Her volume of poems, ‘Westward’ (1991), has aging and mortality themes that reflected her increasing years. It was about people and lifestyles migrating across America, as well as plants and birds. ‘A Silence Opens,’ her most recent big work, was published in 1994. It dealt with the subject of faith and its mysteries. ‘The Summer Solstice’ (1983), ‘Manhattan: An Elegy, and Other Poems’ (1990), and ‘The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt’ were her other published poetry volumes (1997).
Major Projects of Amy Clampitt
Her poems are famous for their complex syntax, language, and metaphors. ‘The Kingfisher,’ a collection of poetry published in 1983 that was organized around the four elements of earth, water, fire, and air, received immediate critical praise. ‘What the Light Was Like,’ a collection of poems published in 1985, is regarded one of her greatest works. It was a collection of poems on nature that cemented her status as a talented modern poet. ‘Archaic Figure,’ her 1987 poetry collection, was inspired by her European travels and ancient Greek mythology. Amy’s storytelling abilities were praised in the poetry anthology.
Achievements & Awards
In 1982, she received a Guggenheim Fellowship. In 1990, she received the Lila Wallace Readers Digest Writer’s Award. In 1992, she was awarded a MacArthur Fellowship, and she used some of the funds to purchase a home in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Personal History and Legacy
She grew up seeing her mother devote all of her time and energy to her children and home tasks, and as a result, she opted not to marry or have children. For the last 25 years of her life, she shared an Upper East Side apartment with Harold Korn, a Columbia University Law School professor. She married him three months before her death, in June 1994.
She died of ovarian cancer on September 10, 1994, in Lenox, Massachusetts. In March 2001, her husband died, and his estate founded the ‘Amy Clampitt Fund,’ which continues to support poet residencies at her home in Lenox, Massachusetts.
Estimated Net Worth
Amy is one of the richest Poet & featured on most popular Poet. According to our analysis, Wikipedia, Forbes & Business Insider, Amy Clampitt net worth is roughly $1.5 Million.