|Mary Oliver (born September 10, 1935) is an American poet who has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. She writes in a simple direct way, and many of her poems paint a close relationship with nature.
“Tell me, what is it you plan to do
with your one wild and precious life?”
– Mary Oliver
Mary Oliver originates from Cleveland Ohio where she was born in 1935. Her parents’ names are Edward William Oliver and Helen M. V. Oliver. Her father was a teacher. Mary Oliver went to college at Ohio State University, but she only stayed for one year. After that she attended Vassar College, a prestigious women’s college, well known for its graduates in the arts particularly its writers and actors. Oliver was strongly influenced by the New York poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. Oliver lived for some time in Provincetown, Massachusetts. During the early 1980’s, Mary Oliver taught at Case Western Reserve University. In 1984, her collection of poetry American Primitive won the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry. In 1986, she moved to Bucknell University where she was honored with the title “Poet In Residence.” In 1991, she moved to Sweet Briar College in Virginia where she serves as the Margaret Banister Writer in Residence.
Poems by Mary Oliver
View: Mary Oliver Poems
- Mary Oliver Page
- On American Poetry