Biography of Mac Hammond
Mac S. Hammond was a poet, a professor emeritus of English, and the director of the graduate program in creative writing at the university of New York at Buffalo.
The author of four volumes of poetry, The Horse Opera and Other Poems (1966); Cold Turkey (1969); Six Dutch Hearts (1978), and Mappamundi, New and Selected Poems (1989), Hammond also wrote for magazines such as The Paris Review, and Poetry and Choice. He was invited to the White House in 1980 by President Jimmy Carter for a program honoring 200 American poets.
Hammond made audio and video recordings, including The Holidays in 1968, a a three-track tape comprising a selection of poems for simultaneous voices. He combined video art and poetry in videos that were shown in Buffalo, Chicago and San Fransciso. He was cofounder of the Nickel City Poetry-Video Association, and president of Squeaky Wheel, a non-profit organisation devoted to the video arts.
Carl Dennis -his colleague and fellow poet- described Hammond's poetry as "a mixture of romantic hoping and very down-to-earth concreteness...He was very much his own man. He wasn't part of any school."
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The butcher knife goes in, first, at the top
And carves out the round stemmed lid,
The hole of which allows the hand to go
In to pull the gooey mess inside, out -
The walls scooped clean with a spoon.
A grim design decided on, that afternoon,
The eyes are the first to go,
Isosceles or trapezoid, the square nose,
The down-turned mouth with three