(born Oct. 14, 1894, Cambridge, Mass., U.S.—died Sept. 3, 1962, North Conway, N.H.) U.S. poet and painter. Cummings attended Harvard University. His experience in World War I of being held in a detention camp because of a censor's error gave rise to his first prose book, The Enormous Room (1922). His first book of poems, Tulips and Chimneys (1923), was followed by 11 more. Cummings's poetry, rooted in New England traditions of dissent and self-reliance, attracted attention for its lack of capitalization, eccentric punctuation and phrasing, and often childlike playfulness, which won it a wide readership. His Norton lectures at Harvard were published as i: six nonlectures (1953).
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