Date of Award


Document Type



Language, Literature and Writing


Poet and critic Randall Jarrell calls E. E. Cummings a “magical bootlegger . . . of language, one who intoxicates us with a clear liquor no government has legalized with its stamp” (qtd. in Alfandary 118). Cummings’ craft with language establishes him as an entertaining and provocative poet, one whose innovations to word and sentence form make his poetry easily distinguishable. His artistic independence and meticulous determination led to nearly twenty volumes of verse, a novel and a handful of plays over his lifetime (1894-1962). Despite an initial lack of public appreciation for his work, Cummings persevered, and his craft with language—at times the cause of criticism—eventually won over audiences.