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The University of Iowa Libraries

Guide to the Amy Clampitt Papers

Collection Overview

Date Span: 1983-1993
Creator: Clampitt, Amy (1924-1994)
Extent: .25 linear feet.
Collection Number: MSC0582
Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Summary: Poet: Kingfisher (1983), Manhattan: An Elegy (UI Center for the Book, 1990), MacArthur Fellow, 1992, Collected Poems (1997). Correspondence and typescripts of some of her writings.

Access: This collection is open for research.

Use: Please read The University of Iowa Libraries' statement on Property Rights, Copyright Law, and Permissions to Use Unpublished Materials.

Acquisition: This collection was given to the University of Iowa Libraries in 1995 by Margaret Sunday.

Preferred Citation: Amy Clampitt Papers, The University of Iowa Libraries, Iowa City, Iowa.

Repository: University of Iowa Special Collections
Address: Special Collections Department
University of Iowa Libraries
Iowa City, IA 52242
Phone: 319-335-5921
Curator: Greg Prickman

Amy Clampitt was born in New Providence, Iowa, in 1924. She graduated from Grinnell College and in 1941 studied at Columbia University and the New School for Social Research. Clampitt worked for Oxford University Press as a secretary and writer, from 1943 to 1951 and as a reference librarian at the National Audubon society from 1952 to 1959. She spent most of the 1960's and 1970's working as a freelance writer, editor, and researcher, and was an editor at E.P. Dutton from 1977 to 1982.
Clampitt's first small collection of poetry was published in 1974, after which her work began to appear regularly in the New Yorker. In 1983, at the age of 63, Clampitt earned acclaim when her first full-length book of poetry, The Kingfisher, was published. She went on to publish many more works of poetry before her death in 1994.

The papers of Amy Clampitt consist of .25 linear feet of literary manuscripts and correspondence. This small collection includes drafts of such works as Manhattan: An Elegy and Other Poems and The Three of Us: A Play in Two Acts.
Amy Clampitt: Selected Poems. Edited by Mary Jo Salter. Iowa Authors in Special Collections; also Main Library PS3553 L23 A6 2010. This book contains an introduction written by Salter, who knew Clampitt, with an analysis of Clampitt's poetry.

Browse by Series:
Series 1: GENERAL

  • Series 1: GENERAL
  • Box 1:
  • Clippings
  • Correspondence - 1984-1993
  • Manhattan: An Elegy and Other Poems.
    Typescript copy with the editor's comments
  • Miscellaneous
  • Poetry: "Hippocrene" and "Vacant Lot with Fencerow of Seedling Ailanthus"
  • Real Estate: A Group of Poems
  • The Three of Us: A Play in Two Acts
    Typescript copy
  • Clark, Tom. Review of What the Light Was Like.
    Holograph and carbon copy typescript

This collection is indexed under the following subject terms.

Personal Names:
Clampitt, Amy

20th century

American poetry


Genre/Form of Materials:


English & American Literature
Writers Archive at Iowa
Novelists, Story Writers, & Poets