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James Tate Biography

(1943– ), The Lost Pilot, The Oblivion Ha-Ha, Hints to Pilgrims, Absences, Hottentot Ossuary

American poet, born in Kansas City, Kansas, educated at the University of lowa. Tate won the Yale Younger Poets competition whilst still a student at the Iowa Writers' Workshop and he was quickly recognized as one of the most inventive, and prolific, of that younger generation of American poets born towards the end of the Second World War. His early volumes of verse, The Lost Pilot (1967) and The Oblivion Ha-Ha (1970), reveal an essentially comic and frequently sardonic voice within structures that are loosely surrealistic, but later poems seem tempered by a more mature, contemplative intelligence. His other volumes include Hints to Pilgrims (1971), Absences (1972), Hottentot Ossuary (1974), Viper Jazz (1976), Riven Doggeries (1979), Constant Defender (1983), Reckoner (1986), and Distance From Loved Ones (1990). In 1970 he took up a teaching post at the University of Massachusetts at Amherst.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Sir Rabindranath Tagore Biography to James Thomson Biography