Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006)

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Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) wrote eight books of poetry, co-authored a nonfiction book on poetry and gardening, co-translated three books of poetry, and edited three books of poetry. After graduating from Harvard College, he was forced to serve in the Army despite his request to be a conscientious objector. He then went on to teach at several universities including Yale, Princeton, and the University of Washington. He also served as Consultant in Poetry to the Library of Congress for two years, and in 2000 was appointed the United States Poet Laureate. His book Passing Through: The Later Poems, New and Selected won the National Book Award, his book Selected Poems: 1928-1958 won the Pulitzer Prize, and his book The Poems of Stanley Kunitz, 1928-1979 won the Lenore Marshall Poetry Prize. He was also awarded the Bollingen Prize, the Levinsen Prize, and the National Medal of the Arts. Kunitz was State Poet of New York and a Chancellor Emeritus of the Academy of American Poets. He helped found the Fine Arts Work Center in Massachusetts and Poets House in New York. He felt that poetry was “life-sustaining” and “for the sake of the life,” and was a firm believer in the importance of building a community among artists. His early poetry was known as elegant and laden with metaphor, and his later poetry focused on a search for meaning. AND

Written by Monica Root December 2013

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