Ammons, A.R. 1926-2001
Ammons, A.R. 1926-2001
(Archie Randolph Ammons)
Born February 18, 1926, in Whiteville, NC; died February 25, 2001, in Ithaca, NY; son of Willie M. and Lucy Della Ammons; married Phyllis Plumbo, November 26, 1949; children: John Randolph. Education: Wake Forest College (now University), B.S., 1949; also attended University of California—Berkeley, 1950-52.
Poet and painter. Elementary school principal in Hatteras, NC, 1949-50; Friederich & Dimmock, Inc. (manufacturer of biological glassware), Atlantic City, NJ, executive vice president, 1952-61; Cornell University, Ithaca, NY, teacher of creative writing, 1964-69, associate professor, 1969-71, professor of English, 1971-98, Goldwin Smith Professor, 1973-98, professor emeritus, 1998-2001. Wake Forest University, Winston-Salem, NC, visiting professor, 1974-75. Nation, poetry editor, 1963. Military service: U.S. Naval Reserve, 1944-46; served in the South Pacific.
Scholarship in poetry, Bread Loaf Writers' Conference, 1961; Guggenheim fellowship, 1966; American Academy of Arts and Letters traveling fellowship, 1967; Levinson Prize, 1970; D.Litt., Wake Forest University, 1972, and University of North Carolina—Chapel Hill; National Book Award in Poetry, 1973, for Collected Poems, 1951-1971, and 1993, for Garbage; Bollingen Prize, Yale University, 1974-75; MacArthur Prize fellowship, 1981-86; American Book Award nomination and National Book Critics Circle Award, 1982, for A Coast of Trees: Poems; North Carolina Award for Literature, 1986; inducted into the National Institute of Arts and Letters, 1990; Rebekah Johnson Bobbit National Prize for Poetry, 1994; Frost Silver Medal Award, Poetry Society of America, 1994; Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, 1995; Tanning Prize, for Glare; inducted into the North Carolina Literary Hall of Fame, 2000.
Ommateum, with Doxology, Dorrance (Bryn Mawr, PA), 1955.
Expressions of Sea Level, Ohio State University Press (Columbus, OH), 1964.
Corsons Inlet: A Book of Poems, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1965.
Tape for the Turn of the Year, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1965, reprinted, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1994.
Northfield Poems, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1966.
Selected Poems, Cornell University Press (Ithaca, NY), 1968.
Uplands, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1970.
Briefings, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1971.
Collected Poems, 1951-1971, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1972.
Sphere: The Form of a Motion, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1973.
Diversifications: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1975.
Recording, Shadowy Waters Press (Winston-Salem, NC), 1975.
For Doyle Fosso, Press for Privacy (Winston-Salem, NC), 1977.
Highgate Road, Inkling X Press (Ithaca, NY), 1977.
The Snow Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1977.
The Selected Poems, 1951-1977, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1977, expanded edition, 1986.
Breaking Out, Palaemon, 1978.
Six-Piece Suite, Palaemon, 1978.
Selected Longer Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1980.
Changing Things, Palaemon, 1981.
A Coast of Trees: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1981.
Worldly Hopes: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1982.
Lake Effect Country: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1982.
Sumerian Vistas: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1987.
The Really Short Poems of A.R. Ammons, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1990.
Garbage, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1993.
Rarities, Larch Tree Press (Brooktondale, NY), 1994.
Stand-in, Larch Tree Press (Brooktondale, NY), 1994.
The North Carolina Poems, edited by Alex Albright, North Carolina Wesleyan College Press (Rocky Mount, NC), 1994.
Brink Road: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1996.
Glare, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 1997.
Bosh and Flapdoodle: Poems, W.W. Norton (New York, NY), 2005.
Selected Poems, edited by David Lehman, Library of America (New York, NY), 2006.
Also author of foreword for The Eighth Continent, by Don Boes, Northeastern University Press (Boston, MA), 1993. Contributor to Set in Motion: Essays, Interviews, and Dialogues, edited by Zofia Burr, University of Michigan Press (Ann Arbor, MI), 1996. Contributor to periodicals, including Hudson Review, Poetry, and Carleton Miscellany.
Poet A.R. Ammons was born in rural North Carolina, and his experiences growing up on a cotton and tobacco farm during the Great Depression inspired a great deal of his verses. He wrote his first poems while serving aboard a Navy destroyer during World War II. After the war, he completed his education, then held a variety of jobs before beginning his teaching career at Cornell University in 1964. Ammons once told the Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel: "I never dreamed of being a Poet poet. I think I always wanted to be an amateur poet." But critics have long recognized Ammons as a major American poet, and the measure of their esteem is implied by the stature of the poets to whom they compare him. Tracing his creative genealogy, they are apt to begin with Ralph Waldo Emerson and Henry David Thoreau and work chronologically forward through Walt Whitman, Ezra Pound, Robert Frost, Wallace Stevens, and William Carlos Williams. Of those poets, Harold Bloom felt that the transcendentalists Emerson and Whitman have influenced Ammons the most. In his book The Ringers in the Tower: Studies in Romantic Tradition, Bloom contended that "the line of descent from Emerson and Whitman to the early poetry of Ammons is direct, and even the Poundian elements in [Ammons's poem] ‘Ommateum’ derive from that part of Pound that is itself Whitmanian." "Ommateum" refers to an insect's compound eye, and presages the inclusiveness that marks Ammons's canon and the works of earlier transcendentalists.
While inheriting both the emancipation from strict metrical forms won by Ralph Waldo Emerson and the multiplicity of alternatives recognized by Walt Whitman, Ammons brought to poetry a fidelity to the details of nature and a contemporary, conversational tone, thus revitalizing a significant portion of traditional American literature. According to Bloom, Ammons "illuminate[d] Emerson and all his progeny as much as he needs them for illumination."
While they acknowledged Ammons's debt to other writers, reviewers found that he forged a style that was distinctly his own. The poet's avoidance of punctuation was irksome to some critics, but others observed that this style was indicative of his minimalistic approach. Peter Stevens maintained that Ammons's punctuation and form served his intents well in some cases, poorly in others. Writing in the Ontario Review, Stevens argued that the "ongoing flux" in Tape for the Turn of the Year—a long poem composed on an adding machine tape—works as "an almost perfect method to allow his notion of organic form to function," but that "no such wedding of form and content" occurs in another long poem, Sphere: The Form of a Motion. In the latter work, commented Stevens, "the looseness that Ammons believes in derives from the use of a form the poet has tried before. [The poem is] written in three-or four-line stanzas.… Breathing space is provided by commas and colons only. Such a form fits snugly into Ammons' concern with flux and motion, and yet somehow the form seems too arbitrary."
In his work, Ammons focused on change both in nature and in daily life. In the poems "Cascadilla Falls," "The Wide Land," "Poetics," and many others, Ammons articulated the tension between the individual's sense of self as bound to particulars of space and time, and the sense of self as part of a larger continuum—an identity man learns from nature. According to Robert B. Shaw in Poetry, Ammons did more than describe; he forced the reader to become involved. "The interest in an Ammons poem," Shaw wrote, "is less in the thing perceived than in the imaginative effort of the perceiver." Richard Howard explained further in Alone with America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States since 1950 that "Ammons rehearses a marginal, a transitional experience[;] he is a literalist of the imagination because the shore, the beach, or the coastal creek is not a place but an event, a transaction where land and water create and destroy each other, where life and death are exchanged, where shape and chaos are won and lost." This is clearly depicted in "Corson's Inlet" (published in Collected Poems, 1951-1971), a loosely formed poem where line lengths vary in order to imitate "the few sharp lines" and "the disorderly orders" of nature, according to the poet. While acknowledging that any poem lends an order to its materials, the poet celebrates "that there is no finality of vision, / that I have perceived nothing completely, / that tomorrow a new walk is a new walk." Collected Poems won Ammons his first National Book Award in 1973.
M.L. Rosenthal felt that although Ammons shares Wallace Stevens's desire to intellectualize rather than simply describe, he falls short of Stevens's success. Rosenthal wrote in Shenandoah: "Ammons does have certain advantages over Stevens: his knowledge of geological phenomena and his ability to use language informally and to create open rhythms.… What he lacks as compared to Stevens, is a certain passionate confrontation of the implicit issues.… There is a great deal of feeling in Ammons; but in the interest of ironic self-control he seems afraid of letting the feeling have its way [as Stevens does]." Partisan Review contributor Paul Zweig agreed that "unlike [T.S.] Eliot or Stevens, Ammons does not write well about ideas." Zweig felt that "only when his poem plunges into the moment itself does it gain the exhilarating clarity which is Ammons' best quality." Zweig asserted that Ammons's strength was in his form. "At first glance," he wrote, "Ammons … seems to be a maverick, working vigorously against the limitations of the plain style.… Yet his best poems are closer to the plain style than one might think. It is when one hears William Carlos Williams in the background of his voice that the poems work clearly and solidly."
Though shorter than the poems in his other books, those in A Coast of Trees: Poems are remarkably inclusive. Robert Phillips wrote in the Hudson Review that the volume contains some of the poet's best work. The poem "Rapids," for example, begins "with a case for the superiority of autumn over spring and end[s] in the nature of the universe 100-million years from now—all within 12 lines!" Helen Vendler, writing in the New Republic, called the poem "Easter Morning" "a new treasure in American poetry, combining the blankest of losses with the fullest of visions." Of the other poems in the book, she wrote: "The poems enable us to watch this poet going about the business of the universe, both its ‘lost idyllic’ and its present broken radiance. He has been about this business for years now, but I notice in reading this new collection how much more secure his language has become.… Now the scientific world in Ammons is beautifully in balance with the perceptual one, and the tone is believably, and almost perfectly, colloquial." Phillips concluded: "In this tidy book there is less abstraction, more people, and a continuation of Ammons' explorations of light, color and radiance. It is a fine place to begin for any reader not yet familiar with this poet who is determined to capture the shape and flow of the universe and to untell its dreams." Though some critics gave the book negative reviews, others gave it high praise. A Coast of Trees was nominated for the National Book Award and won the National Book Critics Circle Award in 1982.
Sumerian Vistas: Poems, published in 1989, further develops the theme of transcendental unity found in Ammons's other work. In many poems that address the writing process, the poet related that writing is an ordering process while nature is a continuum in flux. Alice Fulton commented in a Poetry review: "Poetry and epitaphs are seen as efforts to fix time, while nature is read as a script of motion, a text of regeneration.… Sumeria is invoked [in the title] as a metaphor of inception. It was there that writing first developed, and antiquity serves as a backdrop for explorations of beginning and closure, of generative cycles." The relationship between time and flux, the personal and the nonpersonal, the holy and the profane are explored in these poems. At times, these polarities meet and paradoxically remain in balance; Ammons's metaphor for these times is "a ridge … a line where two upward sloping surfaces meet," observed Fulton. As in his other poems, Ammons pointed out the comforting aspects of nature. Fulton noted: "Nature consoles because it has designs without having designs on us. In fact, Ammons goes to nature precisely because it lets him ‘miss anything personal / in the roar of sunset.’ In contrast to human cruelty, which frightens since it is ‘like one's own mercilessness,’ nature's cruelty is mitigated by its impersonality."
"Though Ammons's vistas do not deny age … his tone has not changed: it still has the spring and backlash and curiosity of his young voice," Helen Vendler commented in the New Yorker. She added that the poet's distinctive voice accounts for the success of these poems. "It is Ammons' entrancing Southern storytelling voice that carries us along in his narratives of natural fact," she believed, referring to a long poem about finding a dead mole in a neglected watering can. The poem begins, "I noticed last fall's leaves in the / can and thought well that will improve / the juice but I thought it did smell / funny." When the narrator finds the dead mole under the leaves, he says, "mercy: I'd just had / lunch: squooshy ice cream: I nearly / unhad it." Vendler commented: "There has been nothing like this in American poetry before Ammons—nothing with this liquidity of folk voice."
Critics found echoes of other poetic voices in Ammons's Sumerian Vistas. David McDuff observed in Stand: "Taking W.C. Williams' dictum [No ideas but in things] one step further, Ammons shows that things may possess the quality of ideas, and ideas those of things." In short statements called "Tombstones," the poet sees "through layers of memory, emotion and experience to reveal the spiritual cohesion that lies behind the observed reality, and the elemental forces that unite the animate and inanimate phenomena of the world with the processes of human existence." The reviewer also saw a connection between the poems in Sumerian Vistas and Robinson Jeffers's vision of sinful man fallen from grace, yet Ammons emphasizes man's place as a part of nature and the poet's role as "an interpreter of the cosmic will."
Bloom suggested in his The Ring in the Tower that while readers may indeed hear other voices in the background, Ammons's poems are uniquely valuable because of the personal voice that not only borrows from but also adds to the poetic tradition. Bloom wrote: "Ammons's poetry does for me what Stevens's did earlier, and the High Romantics [Bloom's term for William Blake, William Wordsworth, Samuel Coleridge, Percy Bysshe Shelley, John Keats, and Lord Byron] before that; it helps me to live my life. If Ammons is, as I think, the central poet of my generation, because he alone has made a heterocosm, a second nature in his poetry, I deprecate no other poet by this naming.… He has emerged as an extraordinary master, comparable to the Stevens of Ideas of Order and The Man with the Blue Guitar." Bloom concluded that as one tracks Ammons through the body of his work, one finds "by not only a complete possibility of imaginative experience, but by a renewed sense of the whole line of Emerson, the vitalizing and much maligned tradition that has accounted for most that matters in American poetry."
Ammons's concerns with the transcendental everyman coalesce in what may prove to be his finest effort: the National Book Award winner of 1993, Garbage. The title, suggested when Ammons drove by a Florida landfill, is characteristically flippant and yet perfectly serious. "Garbage is a brilliant book," asserted David Baker in the Kenyon Review. "It may very well be a great one … perhaps even superior to his previous long masterwork, Tape for the Turn of the Year." Once again evoking an Emersonian view of nature, Baker noted: "Ammons discovers that nature everywhere is composed of the decadent and entropic, the aged, the tired," and also shows that matter transforms and renews itself, turning "garbage into utility, decay into new life." As Shaw pointed out in Poetry, however, Ammons's transcendent meditations are always seasoned with "jokes, slang, ironies, Li'l Abnerisms."
Elizabeth Lund criticized Ammons in a Christian Science Monitor article for his tendency to jump "unexpectedly from one image or idea to another." And yet this very disjointedness may be a strength, suggested David Kirby in his Southern Review essay, since Ammons's poetry "does not communicate everything it finds" and because poetry in general "is less subject than fiction to a demand for clarity." It is even through the illogical ideal of "not making sense," Kirby argued, that Ammons was able to communicate "under the world of sameness … what is different." New York Times Book Review contributor Edward Hirsch articulated what may be the consensus regarding Garbage. He saw the poem as a brilliant summation of the poet's life work, "an American testament that arcs toward praise, a poem of amplitude that confronts our hazardous ends and circles around to saying, ‘I'm glad I was here, / even if I must go.’"
Brink Road: Poems contains more than 150 poems, many about nature. Booklist reviewer Donna Seaman called it a "grand collection" and concluded by saying that Ammons "has a Zen point of view and a voice that harmonizes well with e.e. cummings and Robert Frost." Other critics offered generous praise as well. "The poems present us with many bright descriptive and meditative passages," wrote Ashley Brown in World Literature Today. "Each poem is a sentence deployed through short unrhymed stanzas, which readers familiar with Ammons's earlier books will recognize." Brown felt that "Summer Place," a poem of more than a thousand lines describing one day in 1975, is reminiscent of John Ashbery: "It presents the reader with a thoroughly enjoyable and sustained view of a poet who is sometimes a bit solemn." A Publishers Weekly reviewer remarked that "Summer Place" contains "enough humor and sarcasm to make it fun." America reviewer Edward J. Ingebretsen called the poems "sinuous and surprisingly pared to the moment.… Many, perhaps most … seem focused away from any kind of collectivity; they are meditative rather than narrative. … In Ammons's Miltonian sense of things, we are east of Eden, and welcome."
Writing in Poetry, Christian Wiman reviewed one of Ammons's last works, the long poem Glare, saying that "much of it, particularly after the first fifty pages or so, is simply a kind of disposable poetry, not without its casual pleasures—the cleverness, the nimble wordplay and associative progressions of each section—but neither requiring nor rewarding much sustained attention." Ingebretsen wrote: "His topics are desultory, sometimes leading to serendipity, other times to banality—sometimes both, pointedly." The poem is in two parts, titled "Strip" and "Scat Scan." Library Journal contributor Rochelle Ratner compared the longest section to Garbage. "He wants ‘Strip’ to be akin to litter, however, casually strewn everywhere," attested Ratner, who called the volume "essential." Michael Graber wrote in Commercial Appeal that "we are taken to a mall, a church, a school, the scene of a drive-by shooting, to black holes and more, all though the eyes of an unrelenting witness with an obsessive mind that tries to make meaning out of anything but ends up settling for laughter." A Publishers Weekly contributor concluded that "some of this work is witty, and some of it slaps a reader with a bracing metaphysical humor."
In addition to a new collection of Ammons's verse, Selected Poems, edited by David Lehman and appearing in 2006, another collection was also released after his death in 2001. The poems in 2005's Bosh and Flapdoodle: Poems were written from 1997 and after. Penned near the end of the poet's life, they naturally tend toward the subject of aging. He addresses his growing physical infirmities and the loss of friends with some resignation, yet also with some evident anger, according to Danielle Chapman in a Poetry review. Chapman felt the poems collected here still often indicate an impressive mind behind the pen, but she also noticed a lack of control that reveals itself in some of the cruder verses as if the poet "had seemingly lost the strength, or the will, to suppress his most banal thoughts." On the other hand, Karla Huston attested in her Library Journal assessment that the poems in Bosh and Flapdoodle are "wistful, sad, and unfailingly (failingly?) human" and lend "eerie insight" into their subjects.
In an obituary for the Cornell Chronicle, Franklin Crawford wrote that Ammons was "quite literally, a modern poetical phenomenon. His influence over American letters is immeasurably profound, and, while his style may inspire comers of every stripe, his literary accomplishments are not likely to be duplicated in our time or any other." In the same article, former Cornell provost Don Randel and then-president of the University of Chicago wrote of his friend's passing: "Archie Ammons once began a poem by saying, ‘Nothing's going to become of anyone except death.’ He was right, as usual, and right in the same poem to urge us in the face of this fact to ‘drill imagination right through necessity.’ But in that opening line, he was in an important way also wrong about himself. For what has become of Archie is also that he has given many of us the words with which we will continue to think about nature, art, death, life, and a good deal else. By this method he will outlive us all."
BIOGRAPHICAL AND CRITICAL SOURCES:
Authors in the News, Volume 1, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1976.
Bloom, Harold, The Ringers in the Tower: Studies in Romantic Tradition, University of Chicago Press (Chicago, IL), 1971.
Bloom, Harold, Figures of Capable Imagination, Seabury-Continuum, 1976.
Bloom, Harold, editor, A.R. Ammons, Chelsea House (New York, NY), 1986.
Contemporary Literary Criticism, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), Volume 2, 1974, Volume 3, 1975, Volume 5, 1976, Volume 8, 1978, Volume 9, 1978, Volume 25, 1983, Volume 57, 1990.
Dictionary of Literary Biography, Volume 5: American Poets since World War II, Thomson Gale (Detroit, MI), 1980.
Holder, Alan, A.R. Ammons, Twayne (New Haven, CT), 1978.
Howard, Richard, Alone with America: Essays on the Art of Poetry in the United States since 1950, enlarged edition, Atheneum (New York, NY), 1980.
Kirschten, Robert, editor, Critical Essays on A.R. Ammons, G.K. Hall (Boston, MA), 1997.
Schneider, Steven P., A.R. Ammons and the Poetics of Widening Scope, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Rutherford, NJ), 1994.
Schneider, Steven P., editor, Complexities of Motion: New Essays on A.R. Ammons's Long Poems, Fairleigh Dickinson University Press (Madison, NJ), 1999.
Waggoner, Hyatt H., American Visionary Poetry, Louisiana State University Press (Baton Rouge, LA), 1982.
America, October 26, 1996, Edward J. Ingebretsen, review of Brink Road: Poems, p. 26; April 25, 1998, Edward J. Ingebretsen, review of Glare, p. 24.
Audubon, September-October, 1996, Jon Gertner, "A Walk with A.R. Ammons; an ‘Extravagantly Inventive’ and Widely Acclaimed American Poet Offers His Own Way of Looking at Nature," p. 74.
Booklist, June 1, 1996, Donna Seaman, review of Brink Road, p. 1667.
Christian Science Monitor, December 30, 1993, Elizabeth Lund, review of Garbage, p. 13.
Commercial Appeal (Memphis, TN), Michael Graber, "Glare Offers Seriocomic View of Existence," p. G3.
Contemporary Literature, spring, 1989, Cary Wolfe, "Symbol Plural: The Later Long Poems of A.R. Ammons," p. 78; fall, 1989, Bonnie Costello, "The Soil and Man's Intelligence: Three Contemporary Landscape Poets," p. 412.
Essays in Literature, spring, 1990, James S. Hans, "The Aesthetic of Worldly Hopes in A.R. Ammons's Poetry," p. 76.
Georgia Review, spring, 1999, Jay Rogoff, review of Glare, p. 176.
Highlights for Children, March, 2001, Ruth M. Kirk, "A.R. Ammons: ‘Poetry Astonishes Me,’" p. 20.
Hudson Review, autumn, 1981, Robert Phillips, review of A Coast of Trees: Poems; spring, 1988, James Finn Cotter, review of Sumerian Vistas: Poems, p. 225.
Journal of American Studies, August, 1990, William Klink, "Site and Sense in Corson's Inlet by A.R. Ammons," p. 221.
Kayak, Number 32, 1973, Jascha Kessler, article on Ammons, p. 64.
Kenyon Review, fall, 1994, David Baker, review of Garbage, pp. 161-171.
Library Journal, June 15, 1987, Lisa Mullenneaux, review of Sumerian Vistas, p. 74; September 1, 1996, Daniel L. Guillory, review of Brink Road, p. 182; July, 1997, Rochelle Ratner, review of Glare, p. 86; January 1, 2005, Karla Huston, review of Bosh and Flapdoodle: Poems, p. 116.
New Republic, April 25, 1981, Helen Vendler, review of A Coast of Trees.
New Yorker, February 15, 1988, Helen Vendler, review of Sumerian Vistas, p. 100.
New York Times Book Review, May 10, 1981, Vernon Shetley, review of A Coast of Trees, p. 12; September 4, 1983, Alfred Corn, review of Lake Effect Country: Poems, p. 8; December 12, 1993, Edward Hirsch, review of Garbage, p. 30.
Ontario Review, fall-winter, 1975-76, Peter Stevens, review of Tape for the Turn of the Year and Sphere: The Form of a Motion.
Paris Review, summer, 1996, David Lehman, "A.R. Ammons: The Art of Poetry LXXIII," interview with Ammons, p. 62.
Partisan Review, Volume 41, number 4, 1974, Paul Zweig, article on Ammons.
Pembroke Magazine, Number 18, special Ammons issue, 1986.
Poetry, January, 1988, Alice Fulton, review of Sumerian Vistas; May, 1994, Robert B. Shaw, review of Garbage, pp. 97-107; August, 1998, Christian Wiman, review of Glare, p. 277; September, 2005, Danielle Chapman, review of Bosh and Flapdoodle, p. 458.
Publishers Weekly, May 22, 1987, Genevieve Stuttaford, review of Sumerian Vistas, p. 60; June 24, 1996, review of Brink Road, p. 51; June 30, 1997, review of Glare, p. 72; January 24, 2005, review of
Bosh and Flapdoodle, p. 236.
Shenandoah, fall, 1972, M.L. Rosenthal, review of Ammons's work.
Southern Review, autumn, 1994, David Kirby, review of Garbage, pp. 869-880.
Stand, autumn, 1988, David McDuff, review of Sumerian Vistas.
Times Literary Supplement, September 15, 1995, Nicholas Everett, review of Garbage, p. 25.
Twentieth Century Literature, spring, 1990, Miriam Marty Clark, "The Gene, the Computer, and Information Processing in A.R. Ammons," p. 1; winter, 1994, Frank J. Lepkowski, "‘How Are We to Find Holiness?’: The Religious Vision of A.R. Ammons," p. 477; spring, 1997, John Adams, "A.R. Ammons's Stevensian Search for a Supreme Fiction in Sphere," p. 41.
Virginia Quarterly Review, spring, 1988, review of Sumerian Vistas, p. 65.
Winston-Salem Journal and Sentinel, December 1, 1974, interview with Ammons.
World Literature Today, spring, 1997, Ashley Brown, review of Brink Road, p. 389; spring, 1998, Ashley Brown, review of Glare, p. 376.
Academy of American Poets,http://www.poets.org/ (September 7, 2001), David Lehman, "Archie: A Profile of A.R. Ammons."
New York Times, February 27, 2001, Doreen Carvajal, "A.R. Ammons, 75, Poet of Eclectic Tastes," p. A24.
Cornell Chronicle,http://www.news.cornell.edu/ (March 1, 2001), Franklin Crawford, "A.R. Ammons Is Remembered as a Generous and Profound Presence."