Pulitzer-winning poet Maxine Kumin has died. She passed away at the age of 88 on Thursday, February 6 at her home in Warner, New Hampshire. Her daughter Judith Kumin announced the sad news, saying that her mother's health had been declining since a year and a half ago.
Kumin was born in Philadelphia in 1925 and she graduated from Radcliffe College and lived for a while in Newton, Massachusetts. In the 1950s, she enrolled in a poetry writing course at the Boston Center for Adult Education where she met and befriended poet Anne Sexton who later committed suicide in 1974.
In addition to poems, Kumin had written many essays, novels and even children's books during her lifetime. She won the Pulitzer Prize in 1973 for her work "Up Country". The book examined life on and around the tumbledown New Hampshire farm the couple had bought in 1963, on which they raised horses and grew organic vegetables.
Kumin was also a prominent teacher of writing. She occupied graduate or undergraduate visiting chairs or fellowships at Boston University, Brandeis, Columbia, MIT, Princeton and other institutions. She helped establish a new poetry master of fine arts program at New England College in Henniker, N.H.
Kumin's final books will be published later this year. "Lizzie!" and "And Short the Season" will be published by Seven Stories Press/Triangle Square in March and by W.W. Norton in April, respectively.