Queer Pulitzer Prize-Winning Poet Mary Oliver Dies Aged 83

Fans and friends of renowned lesbian poet Mary Oliver have been paying tribute to her online.

Mary Oliver making a speech looking at notes at a microphone.

Beloved poet Mary Oliver has passed away aged 83 from lymphoma. Oliver was in a 40-year relationship with photographer Molly Malone Cook.

The death of the poet, who was known for her love of nature and animal life, was announced by her literary executor Bill Reichblum. Oliver passed away on Thursday at her home in Hobe Sound, Florida.

She often referred to fellow queer poet Walt Whitman as the ‘brother she never had’, dedicating one of her last essays, My Friend Walt Whitman, to him. Oliver’s long-term partner Molly Malone Cook passed away in 2005.

Fans and friends of the Pulitzer Prize-winning poet have been paying tribute to her online, including Belgian writer Maria Popova, who said, “Mary Oliver has died, having left us the eternal gift of finding beauty and gladness in life’s seemingly unremarkable moments.”

She added in another tweet, “I still cannot believe that Mary Oliver is gone.”

Meanwhile, British writer Robert Macfarlane shared some of Oliver’s work on Twitter, writing, “The poet Mary Oliver died today. Her poetry spoke — with a calm & tender lucidity — of commonalities that joined human hearts to the more-than-human world.”

Many other fans shared touching tributes to the famous poet, including photographs of Oliver with her partner.

Madonna also paid tribute to Oliver by sharing a photo of her, writing on Twitter, “I raise a glass and shed a tear to the passing of one of my favourite poets… Mary Oliver. Her words were a bridge from Nature to the Spiritual World… God Bless You, Mary!”

While American actress and director Sally Field expressed her grief, saying, “I hate that Mary Oliver is no longer living with us on this planet. But maybe she is; in her words, her staggeringly alive words. Thank you, Mary. Rest.”

Oliver studied at Ohio State University and Vassar College and went on to win the Pulitzer prize in 1984 for American Primitive.

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