Maxine Kumin, Poet and Author (1925-2014)

Maxine Kumin was the author of eighteen poetry collections as well as numerous novels, essays, memoirs, and children’s books.

Kumin’s many awards include the Eunice Tietjens Memorial Prize for Poetry (1972), the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1973) for Up Country, in 1995 the Aiken Taylor Award for Modern American Poetry, the 1994 Poets’ Prize (for Looking for Luck), an American Academy and Institute of Arts and Letters Award for excellence in literature (1980), an Academy of American Poets fellowship (1986), the 1999 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, and many honorary degrees. From 1981–1982, she served as the poetry consultant to the Library of Congress (now called U.S. Poet Laureate).

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Maxine Kumin is the author of 18 collections of poetry, from her first collection, Halfway, printed in 1961 when she was 36 years old to her final collection, And Short the Season, printed in 2014 after she died at the age of 88.

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Memoir, Essays & Fiction

It seems fitting that Maxine Kumin’s last published work was her memoir, The Pawnbroker’s Daughter (W.W. Norton, 2015), chronicling her life from childhood through advanced age, closing out a prolific writing career in grand style.

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Children’s Books

Maxine Kumin is the author of 25 books for children. She began writing children’s books in 1960, with Sebastian and the Dragon, about a boy who wins a prize for capturing the most unusual animal for a new zoo.

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