Even before his groundbreaking style helped change the landscape of American poetry, E. E. Cummings was going against the grain. Defying the traditionalists of the early 20th century, Cummings lived a life devoted to the shifting archetypes of art and literature, and wrote some of the most celebrated poetry of the modern era. Nearly a century after his first works were published, E. E. Cummings is still inspiring readers. Noted nonfiction writer Catherine Reef provides a well-rounded portrait of Cummings while examining the culture in which he lived as he developed his craft. Serving as both an exploration of his rich and sensational life as well as a foundation from which readers can learn about his work, this comprehensive biography includes Cummings's original sketches and paintings, quotes from friends and family, photographs, and the poetry of Cummings and his peers. Bibliography, endnotes, index.