Portrait of A. R. Ammons
Ithaca, New York
55 at time of award
February 25, 2001
Area of Focus
Published June 1, 1981

A. R. Ammons was a poet.

Among the most prolific of American poets, he began writing poetry in earnest while serving in the United States Navy during the Second World War.  His poems are experimental in style and focus on the dilemma of reinventing the self.  Ammons’ books include Corsons Inlet (1965), Tape for the Turn of Year (1965), Sphere (1974), The Snow Poems (1977), A Coast of Trees (1981), Worldly Hopes (1982), Lake Effect Country (1983), Selected Poems (1987), Sumerian Vistas (1987), The Really Short Poems of A. R. Ammons (1990), Garbage (1993), Rarities (1994), Stand-in (1994), The North Carolina Poems (1994), Brink Road: Poems (1996), and Glare (1997).

Ammons taught at Cornell University, where he was the Goldwin Smith Professor Emeritus of Poetry.  He was the recipient of a Guggenheim Fellowship (1966), and a Lannan Foundation Grant for Poetry (1994).  He numbers among his awards the National Book Award for poetry (1973, 1993), the Bollingen Prize for Poetry (1974), the National Book Critics Circle Award (1981), the Library of Congress Bobbitt Prize (1994), and the Ruth Lilly Prize for Poetry (1995).

Ammons received a B.S. (1949) from Wake Forest College, and later studied English at the University of California, Berkeley. 

Last updated January 1, 2005.

Select News Coverage of A. R. Ammons
December 4, 2017
"The Great American Poet of Daily Chores"
The New Yorker
A. R. Ammons, 1981 MacArthur Fellow
February 27, 2001
"A. R. Ammons, Poet of Eclectic Tastes, Dies at 75"
The New York Times
A. R. Ammons, 1981 MacArthur Fellow
February 27, 2001
"Award-Winning Poet Archie Ammons Dies"
The Washington Post
A. R. Ammons, 1981 MacArthur Fellow
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