Mary Oliver

In honor of LGBTQ+ History Month


Elizabeth Rivera, Staff Writer

Mary Oliver was a National Book Award and a Poet.  She died of lymphoma at age 83. Mary was a lover of the natural world and her poetry complemented nature.  She became a LGBTQ saint by popular acclaim. She was sexually abused by her father and left home as a young woman and never looked back. She came from a dysfunctional family and writing helped her heal from her past. Oliver lived in Provincetown, with her partner of more than 40 years who was Molly Malone Cook. She was a poet of wisdom and generosity whose visions allowed us to look intimately at a world not of our making. Oliver’s story inspired people to leave the place where bad things happen behind and make a new life. She was not taken seriously by many critics. She wrote about her parnter Cook and said “I took one look and fell, hook and tumble.” Cook also became Oilver’s literary agent. Mary compiled her partner’s photographs of the life they had shared together and published a book titled “Our World”. As of 2017, Oliver won over eleven prestigious poetry and book awards, including a 1984 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry for American Primitive and the 1992 National Book Award for Poetry for New and Selected Poems. She filled the lives of those who knew of her and her powerful poetry.