Vince Clemente, Consultant Editor: America 2005-2020


 Peter and Vince, New York Public Library, 2008


Vince Clemente (April 28th, 1932-April 4th, 2020)

It is with a deep sadness that I announce the passing of my beloved friend and mentor for over two decades, Vince Clemente, Consultant Editor: America of the magazine and Press. I will treasure forever his genuine friendship, his support for the magazine and Press, and my writing.

Peter Thabit Jones, April 2020.


Vince was a State University of New York English Professor Emeritus, poet, biographer, and critic, whose many books include John Ciardi: Measure of the Man (University of Arkansas Press, 1987), Paumanok Rising (1981), and volumes of poetry including Under A Baleful Star (Cross- Cultural Communications, 2006) and Sweeter Than Vivaldi (Cross-Cultural Communications, 2002), which features art work by the late Ernesto F. Costa, who is represented in permanent collections in the Museum of Modern Art, New York, and America's Library of Congress, and The Heartbreak at the Heart of Things (The Seventh Quarry Press, 2012).

One of his books of poetry A Place for Lost Children (1997) was a text studied on Poets and Poetry, a Certificate module and a part-time degree module, taught by Peter Thabit Jones at Swansea University until Peter's early retirement in 2015.

Brought up in Brooklyn, New York, Vince's work has also appeared in The New York Times, The Boston Book Review, Newsday, South Carolina Review, and newspapers and other publications in Britain. It has also been featured in major anthologies, such as Darwin: A Norton Critical Edition, Blood To Remember: American Poets On The Holocaust (Texas Tech University Press) and September 11th: American Writers Respond.

For many years a trustee of the Walt Whitman Birthplace and founding editor of West Hills Review: A Walt Whitman Journal, he lectured at Hofstra, CW Post, SUNY Albany, as well as at museums like the Hecksher and Parish.

His literary friends have included John Ciardi, who organised many influential New England Bread Loaf events, where Robert Frost was a frequent participant, House of Scribner's New York Editor John Hall Wheelock, who edited many of Thomas Wolfe's novels, and James Dickey, author of Deliverance.

The VINCE CLEMENTE PAPERS, which is an impressive display of his long life as a writer, biographer, and critic, and which includes the seventeen years of correspondence between Vince Clemente and Peter Thabit Jones and poem manuscripts and other materials by the Welsh poet, is part of the Department of Rare Books & Collections of Rochester University, New York.

Clemente, Vince | RBSCP

There are also items relating to The Seventh Quarry at the Vince Clemente Archive at Smithtown Library, Long Island, New York: 

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 Three poems by Vince Clemente (c) 2021 Vince Clemente:


You must try to understand
the deep wonder of it:
blue-cold of morning
a field stretching to the horizon

then to come upon 
an owl's wing print
in the snow, length
of a man's body.

The saints know:
traces and shadows of God,
even now
in such a time.

Vince Clemente



He slept with a brakeman's lantern 
by his bed  for the Muse
on foot, up from the Harbor
to the cottage in Northport &

woke to St. Matthew's Passion &
black coffee &
where to set the ampersand
to piece together the graph

which was the poem
for the lightning in his head.

Vince Clemente



We wake and find at seventy
still fidgety lovers, the morning
porous through the blinds

in a room where just last night
we journeyed as we have together
for forty years or so, you

my wife and lover, and I
an old diffident plover
hovering between the underbrush

and savannah of stars,
prayful between your leaning cairn,
effulgent in the wilderness.

Vince Clemente