- The Washington Times - Wednesday, April 20, 2005

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (AP) — A Massachusetts Institute of Technology literary scholar said he regrets failing to credit some passages in his biography of the poet E.E. Cummings, but denied charges of plagiarism.

An article in the latest issue of Harper’s magazine accuses Christopher Sawyer-Laucanno of “wholesale borrowing” from the 1980 book “Dreams in the Mirror: A Biography of E.E. Cummings,” by Richard S. Kennedy.

Mr. Sawyer-Laucanno’s book, “E.E. Cummings, A Biography,” was published last fall. He said in Monday’s Boston Globe that he regrets what he called an oversight in documenting his sources.

“I deeply regret that I missed what I missed,” Mr. Sawyer-Laucanno said. “But while I clearly missed a few citations, I am not willing to admit to plagiarism.”

E.E. (Edward Estlin) Cummings, who lived from 1894 to 1962, was one of the country’s most popular poets; his name often is rendered in lowercase.

The 10-page review in Harper’s says Mr. Sawyer-Laucanno’s book is “jammed with instances of wholesale borrowing, not only of research but of storytelling and language.”


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