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The Selected Poems of Amy Clampitt

  • Edited by Mary Jo Salter

  • Published 2010

  • 352 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • PB: 978-0375711930


“Amy Clampitt has the sensibility of a painter and the mind of a contemplative. A Keatsian luxury of detail is combined with worldly insight in the flexible texture of her lines . . . An assured and distinguished voice resembling no other has been added to the sum of American poetry.”

—Helen Vendler

“Here is a keen mind combined with rich feeling. Dealing with significant acts of observations Amy Clampitt does a dance of language that is extremely enjoyable.”

—May Swenson

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Love, Amy: The Selected Letters of Amy Clampitt

  • Edited by Willard Spiegelman

  • Published 2005

  • 336 Pages

  • Columbia University Press

  • HC: 978-0231132862

  • PB: 978-0231132879


“In giving us these frank, unpretentious, immensely revelatory letters, Love, Amy enables us to learn more about the remarkable woman who created a splendid body of poetry more likely than many others to endure.”

Merle Rubin The Los Angeles Times

“Here is what e-mail has no patience for: grace, wit, wonder, embellishment, asides, details and real vocabulary.”

—Isabel Nathaniel Dallas Morning News

The Collected Poems of Amy Clampitt

  • Foreword by Mary Jo Salter

  • Published 1997

  • 496 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0375400087

  • PB: 978-0375700644


“A wealth of poetry almost mind-altering in its density of description and its mental breadth . . . Her faith in microscopic detail is balanced by her sense that our vocabulary, no matter how precise, is hardly adequate for wondering at our existence”

The New Yorker

“Clampitt, a poet who at her best joins Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, and May Swenson as a great maker in the tradition that includes Emily Dickinson and Wallace Stevens, is moved to extraordinary eloquence throughout A Silence Opens. With Westward, A Silence Opens establishes a canonical splendor, one that skilled readers never will allow to die away.”

—Harold Bloom, The Yale Review

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A Silence Opens

  • Published 1994

  • 106 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0679429975

  • PB: 978-0679750222


“Undeviatingly splendid. Clampitt has absolute command, an authentic, original voice . . . Her excellence has become a kind of standard by which the work of most contemporaries can be measured.”

—Anthony Hecht


“Her voice is so distinctive, such a feature of the current scene, that we would probably recognize an unsigned poem of hers if we enoutered it on the moon.”

—Phoebe Pettingell, The Yale Review



  • Published 1990

  • 105 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0394584553

  • PB: 978-0679728672


In Westward Clampitt takes on an extraordinary challenge: to illuminate her Iowa past, the rural backdrop, the stoic ‘hinterland’ . . . In poem after poem she returns to the scene that ‘daunts’ her, and her familiar guides rush to her assistance—Keats, Coleridge, James, Chekhov, Emerson—along with a deepening sense of history and a new ‘spiritual widening’. The oats, the plantain, the people, the hard past, yield to their poet. Believe me, Amy Clampitt can do anything!”

—Mona Van Duyn

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Archaic Figure

  • Published 1987

  • 128 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0394559193

  • PB: 978-0571150434


Archaic Figure differs from The Kingfisher and What the Light Was Like rather more than either of those books differed from the other. As the title and the epigraph from Virginia Woolf suggest, a central concern is with the experience of women, as individuals and as part of human history.”

—Amy Clampitt (from the back cover)

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What the Light Was Like

  • Published 1985

  • 128 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0394543185

  • PB: 978-0394729374


“Amy Clampitt . . . is that rare being, an original poet working within a tradition to which she has already substantially contributed. Her work pulses with sympathies that years of discipline have mellowed into wisdom.”

—Anne Stevenson, London Sunday Times

“After one of the most extraordinary late starts in our literature . . . Amy Clampitt has become one of our poetry’s necessary imaginations.”

—William Logan, Chicago Tribune

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The Kingfisher

  • Published 1983

  • 149 Pages

  • Alfred A. Knopf

  • HC: 978-0394528403

  • PB: 978-0394712512

“One of the most brilliant debuts in recent American literary history.”

—Edmund White, The Nation


“For several years now I have been excitedly following Clampitt’s poems as they appear in magazines . . . Now that the poems have been brought together in a book, their achievement seems all the more remarkable . . . A genius for places . . . a large, confident, humane imagination.”

—J. D. McClatchy, Poetry

“Amy Clampitt, with the publication of her brilliant first book, The Kingfisher, immediately merits consideration as one of our most distinguished contemporary poets. It is hard to think of any poet who has written as well about the natural world.”

—Richard Tillinghast, The New York Times Book Review