In 2005, Columbia University Press published Love, Amy: The Selected Letters of Amy Clampitt, edited by Willard Spiegelman. Professor Spiegelman was selected to be the first resident of the Amy Clampitt House in Lenox, Massachusetts, where he spent the year working on the project of reading, selecting, and editing the letters. His introduction to Love, Amy can be found in the Biography section of this site. The letters chosen to appear here cover the span of Clampitt's life as a writer, living in New York, summering in Corea, Maine, up until the purchase of the house in Lenox. In many of the letters, we get an inside glimpse of poems-in-process. At the end of each letter here, you can link directly to the published version of poems mentioned.

From Willard Spiegelman’s introduction

“As a writer about place—whether the Midwest, Maine, Manhattan, or Europe, which she visited with a renewal of giddiness, balanced by her spiritual profundity about place, on each successive trip—she opens our eyes by focusing her own. Her prose is limpid, clear, classic in its simplicity—the exact opposite of the sinuous, swirling, baroque exuberance we find in her poems. . . .Virtually every letter makes some mention, even in passing, of a new discovery, or of some book that she brings to the attention of her correspondent.”

Click on the letter below to read the full text

13 February 1952

to Philip Clampitt

13 November 1960

to Philip and Hanna Clampitt

Christmas 1968

to Barbara Blay

8 July 1977

to Barbara Blay

20 March 1978

to Sister Mary John

5 June 1979

to Mary Jo Salter

13 March 1983

to Helen Vendler

2 July 1992

to the Clampitt Family


The letters listed above appear with many others in
Love, Amy: The Selected Letters of Amy Clampitt, edited by Willard Spiegelman