Tuesday, February 11, 2014

Remembering Maxine Kumin (1925 – 2014)

Sad news in the Godine office today. We just learned that Maxine Kumin, Pulitzer prize winner and Poet Laureate of New Hampshire, passed away at 88 in her New England home.

Kumin was a real visionary. Her work dealt with birth, death, and inspiration. It detailed suicide, questioned muses, reinvented the pastoral, and pushed boundaries for how audiences perceive poetry. It was guided by what Kumin described as her “inner compass,” her mind being attentive to her poems’ desires.

Maxine Kumin, The Light With the Light.
Engraving by Barry Moser

We had the special delight of getting to know Kumin in our 2007 book, The Light With the Light by Jeanne Braham. At 81 years old Kumin was described as “slender, athletic, with chiseled features and a thick mane of salt and pepper hair”—she was a warrior and a poetic icon. Despite having her health damaged in a car accident, Kumin was sharp and able, working on the farm in which she lived and tending to her poems. She no doubt carried her strong, uplifting spirit into her final days on earth.

We would like to take this time to remember Maxine Kumin, her fiery persona and her breathtaking poetic work. Thank you Maxine for being an inspiration, a visionary, and an open soul—but most of all, thank you Maxine for bringing everyone you met into your light.

If you are interested in learning more about The Light Within the Light, click here.

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