American Jewish poet Linda Pastan lived in Potomac, Maryland, for the majority of her life and died in Chevy Chase, Maryland, on Jan. 30, 2023.

She was born on May 27, 1932, in the Bronx, New York, and raised in Armonk, New York. Before graduating from Radcliffe College, Pastan won Mademoiselle magazine’s collegiate poetry prize during her senior Year. After, she received a master's degree in library science from Simmons University in Boston and a master's degree in English and American literature from Brandeis University in 1958. 

In 1991, she served as the Poet Laureate of Maryland, which is a government- or conferring-institution-appointed poet who composes poems for special events and occasions, until 1995. She also served as staff for the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference for 20 years.

Pastan’s many accolades include the 2003 Ruth Lilly Poetry Prize, Radcliffe College Distinguished Alumnae Award, Pushcart Prize, Charity Randall Citation, Dylan Thomas Award, Bess Hokin Prize and the Di Castagnola Award.

Two of her works, “Carnival Evening: New and Selected Poems 1968–1998” and “TPM/AM: New and Selected Poems,” were nominated for the National Book Award. “The Imperfect Paradise” was nominated for the Los Angeles Times Book Prize. 

Her other works include “The Five Stages of Grief,” “A Perfect Circle of Sun,” “Almost an Elegy,” “Insomnia,” “Traveling Light,” “Queen of a Rainy Country,” “An Early Afterlife” and “Heroes In Disguise.” 

To read some of her works, click here.

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