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Maxine Kumin (Maxine Winokur Kumin) Biography

(1925– ), (Maxine Winokur Kumin), Up Country: Poems of New England, New and Selected Poems

American novelist, poet, and short-story writer, born in Philadelphia, educated at Radcliffe College. Kumin is well known as a writer of children's literature. She is also a gifted, if underestimated, poet whose verse is frequently confessional, like much post-war American poetry. She won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry in 1973 for her volume Up Country: Poems of New England (1972), though the best introduction to her poetry is New and Selected Poems (1982); Looking for Luck: Poems appeared in 1992. Why Can't We Live Together Like Civilized Human Beings (1982) is an impressive collection of short stories, while The Passions of Uxport (1968) is among her best-known novels. She was a close friend of the American poet Anne Sexton, with whom she wrote two books for children; ‘How It Was’, her preface to The Collected Poems of Anne Sexton (1981), is one of the most sensitive essays on the poet and her work. The essay by Elaine Showalter and Carol Smith, ‘A Nurturing Relationship: A Conversation with Anne Sexton and Maxine Kumin’, in Women's Studies (April 1976), offers many insights into both writers. Women, Animals and Vegetables: Essays and Stories was published in 1994.

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Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: Knole Kent to Mary Lavin Biography