The Pulitzer Prize winning poet, Mary Oliver, passed away today in her home, in Hobe Sound, Florida. She was 83. Writing poetry that focused on the natural world, over the years, Oliver obtained the critical and popular success that many poets never achieve.
Being born and raised in Maple Hills Heights, a suburb of Cleveland Ohio, she went on to attend Ohio State University and then Vassar College. After settling down with long time partner, photographer Molly Malone Cook, in Provincetown, Massachusetts, Oliver began to publish and generate early attention from critics and fans.
However, it wasn't until 1983, with the publication of American Primitive, that she obtained a Pulitzer Prize for poetry. Oliver went on to publish over 15 volumes of poetry among other prose collections.
As a poet, Mary Oliver is often compared to Marianne Moore, Elizabeth Bishop, Edna St. Vincent Millay and Walt Whitman.
In her collection, Red Bird, Oliver writes, “it is a serious thing/ just to be alive/ on this fresh morning/ in this broken world.” To read more by Mary Oliver, search for her in our library catalog, check out one of her many volumes of poems, and be inspired.