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Cover for E. E. Cummings

E. E. Cummings

A Poet's Life

Catherine Reef


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Even before his groundbreaking style helped change the landscape of American poetry, E. E. Cummings was going against the grain. Defying the traditionalists of the early 20th century, Cummings lived a life devoted to the shifting archetypes of art and literature, and wrote some of the most celebrated poetry of the modern era. Nearly a century after his first works were published, E. E. Cummings is still inspiring readers. Noted nonfiction writer Catherine Reef provides a well-rounded portrait of Cummings while examining the culture in which he lived as he developed his craft. Serving as both an exploration of his rich and sensational life as well as a foundation from which readers can learn about his work, this comprehensive biography includes Cummings’s original sketches and paintings, quotes from friends and family, photographs, and the poetry of Cummings and his peers. Bibliography, endnotes, index.

Praise For E. E. Cummings: A Poet's Life

"[A] compelling, thoroughly researched survey of Cummings's fascinating life...that will speak directly to teens." Booklist, ALA, Starred Review

"An excellent resource for students of the poet's literary works, this is also a solid example of literary biography." School Library Journal, Starred

"Careful research and judicious quoting allows Cummings to speak for himself and his contemporaries to speak upon him." (starred review) Bulletin of the Center for Children's Books

"A cogent biography weaves life and poetry together for an appreciative look at the unconventional and exacting artist." Kirkus Reviews

"Cummings's life reads like a romantic adventure, though Reef takes care to include his darker moments of conflict." Horn Book

"Black-and-white photographs vivify the facts, while the spacious format gives Cummings's words room to spread out." Horn Book Guide, Pointer

Clarion Books, 9780618568499, 160pp.

Publication Date: December 20, 2006

About the Author

Catherine Reef is the author of more than 40 nonfiction books, including many highly acclaimed biographies for young people. She lives in College Park, Maryland.