Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

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Mary Oliver

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Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The New York Times described her as "far and away, this country's best-selling poet".

Early life

Mary Oliver was born to Edward William and Helen M. V. Oliver on September 10, 1935, in Maple Heights, Ohio, a semi-rural suburb of Cleveland.Her father was a social studies teacher and an athletics coach in the Cleveland public schools. She began writing poetry at the age of 14, and at 17 visited the home of the late Pulitzer Prize winning poet Edna St. Vincent Millay, in Austerlitz, upper New York state. She and Norma, the poet’s sister, became friends and Oliver “more or less lived there for the next six or seven years, running around the 800 acres like a child, helping Norma, or at least being company to her” and assisting with organising the late poet's papers.

Adult life and career

Oliver’s first collection of poems, Voyage, and Other Poems, was published in 1963, when she was 28. During the early 1980s, Oliver taught at Case Western Reserve University. Her fifth collection of poetry, American Primitive, won the Pulitzer Prize for...
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