Mary Oliver (born,1935) is an American gay writer. She has won the National Book Award and the Pulitzer Prize. The NY Times describes her as “far and away, this country’s best-selling poet”.
A prolific writer of both poetry and prose, Oliver publishes a new collection every year or two.
In the late 1950s, Oliver met photographer Molly Malone Cook, who became her partner of more than four decades. Oliver wrote “I took one look and fell, hook and tumble”. Cook worked as Oliver’s literary agent. The couple lived in Provincetown until Cook’s passing in 2005. Greatly valuing her personal privacy, Oliver has given very few interviews, saying she prefers for her writing to speak for itself. Of Provincetown she wrote:
“I too fell in love with the town, that marvelous convergence of land and water; Mediterranean light; fishermen who made their living by hard and difficult work from frighteningly small boats; and, both residents and sometime visitors, the many artists and writers. M and I decided to stay.”