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Stanley Kunitz

Poet

Born: 29 July 1905
Died: 14 May 2006 (pneumonia)
Birthplace: Worcester, Massachusetts
Best known as:

U.S. Poet Laureate, 2000-01

Name at birth: Stanley Jasspon Kunitz

 

Stanley Kunitz had a long career as a poet, editor and teacher and served as the Poet Laureate of the United States from 2000 to 2001. He was educated at Harvard University, earning a bachelor's degree in 1926 and a master's degree in 1927. He worked as an editor for reference books while writing poetry, and published his first collection, Intellectual Things, in 1930. Kunitz also taught at various colleges during his career, including the New School for Social Research (1950-57) and Columbia University (1967-85), both in New York. Known as a master craftsman -- a "poet's poet" -- Kunitz wrote spare, direct poems, and during his eight decade career he went from intellectual and metaphysical poems to a more personal, confessional style. His Selected Poems, 1928-1958 won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, and his collection Passing Through won the National Book Award in 1995. His other poetry collections include The Testing Tree (1971) and The Terrible Threshold (1974).

Extra credit:

 

Stanley Kunitz was born about six weeks after his father committed suicide... From 1974 to 1976 Kunitz served as Poetry Consultant to the Library of Congress (a position that in 1985 was changed to Poet Laureate)... Under the pseudonym of Dilly Tante, he edited a collection of biographies titled Living Authors: A Book of Biographies (1931).

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