Born in Whiteville, North Carolina, Ammons grew up in a rural community, and the landscape, as well as growing up during the Great Depression, had great influences on his poetry. He served in the Navy during World War II and studied at Wake Forest University and the University of California at Berkeley after the war.
He held several jobs throughout his life, including working for his father's biological glass company, before he began teaching at Cornell University.
In 1955, Ammons published his first of what would be nearly thirty volumes of poetry. He received many awards and fellowships, including the Guggenheim and MacArthur Fellowships.
--Christie Finn Source: Academy of American Poets website