Estlin Cummings Wild West Show

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Long before Edward Estlin Cummings became known as E. E. Cummings, one of 20th-century America's most popular poets, he experimented with words and sketches that reveal a delightful childhood imagination. Many of these early childhood writings and drawings will be on display at the Society this summer along with portraits and photographs of the Cummings family. The writings and drawings, dating from 1900 to 1902, showcase the poet's early experiments with words and illustrations. Uncovered while processing a large collection of Cummings family papers with support from the Peck Stacpoole Foundation, these are likely some of the earliest works by E. E. Cummings. Among the items on display is a sketch of a rhinoceros and soldier drawn about 1902 that includes several lines of text showing his early use of capitalization and punctuation. There is also a self-portrait entitled "Edward E. Cummings, the animal emperor, famous importer, trainer, and exhibitor of wild animals." The exhibition will be open 13 June through 30 August.

Artwork and text: Artwork by E. E. Cummings. Used by permission of the Trustees for the E. E. Cummings Trust.