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Oliver, Mary (1935-)

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver

Mary Oliver was born in Cleveland, Ohio. She spent one year at Ohio State University and a second year at Vassar. Her distinctive poetic talent led to an appointment as the chair of the writing department of the Fine Arts Workshop in Provincetown, Massachusetts (1972-1973). Though she never graduated from college, she was awarded the Mather Visiting Professorship at Case Western Reserve University for 1980 and 1982, and, among her many awards and honors, she received a National Endowment of the Arts Fellowship (1972-1973) and a Guggenheim Fellowship (1980-1981).

The first of her several volumes of poems, No Voyage and Other Poems, appeared in 1963. Other books include New and Selected Poems (1992), A Poetry Handbook (1995), and Blue Pastures (1995), a collection of prose nature writing. One critic, commenting on her work, asserts that “her vision of nature is celebratory and religious in the deepest sense.”

—Courtesy of Bedford Books