(1935 - living) U.S.A.
Mary was born at Cleveland, Ohio. Her parents 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.
Mary was strongly influenced by the New York poet Edna St. Vincent Millay. She lived for some time in Provincetown, Massachusetts. During the early 1980's, Mary 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, at the time of this writing (1991), she serves as the Margaret Banister Writer in Residence.
She has published ten collections of poems, and her New and Selected Poems won the 1994 National Book Award. Her works include No Voyage and Other Poems (1963, enlarged 1965), The River Styx, Ohio (1972), The Night Traveler (1978), and Twelve Moons (1979).