Mac Hammond

(1926 - 1997)

Biography of Mac Hammond

Mac Hammond poet

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 man who stands above the bird, his knife
Sharp as a Turkish scimitar, first removes
A thigh and leg, half the support
On which the turkey used to stand. This
Leg and thigh he sets on an extra
Plate. All his weight now on
One leg, he lunges for the wing, the wing
On the same side of the bird from which
He has just removed the leg and thigh.

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