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Mary Oliver - book author

Librarian Note: There is more than one author in the Goodreads database with this name. See this thread for more information.

“In a region that has produced most of the nation's poet laureates, it is risky to single out one fragile 71-year-old bard of Provincetown. But Mary Oliver, who won the Pulitzer Prize in poetry in 1983, is my choice for her joyous, accessible, intimate observations of the natural world. Her Wild Geese has become so popular it now graces posters in dorm rooms across the land. But don't hold that against her. Read almost anything in New and Selected Poems. She teaches us the profound act of paying attention—a living wonder that makes it possible to appreciate all the others.”

—Renée Loth, Boston Globe, September 2, 2007



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Mary Oliver is the author of books: A Thousand Mornings, New and Selected Poems, Volume One, Upstream: Selected Essays, Dog Songs, Felicity, Why I Wake Early, A Poetry Handbook, American Primitive, Thirst, Blue Horses

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Author Books

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01
In A Thousand Mornings, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has come to define her life’s work, transporting us to the marshland and coastline of her beloved home, Provincetown, Massachusetts. In these pages, Oliver shares the wonder of dawn, the grace of animals, and the transformative power of attention. Whether studying the leaves of a tree or mourning her adored dog, Percy, she is ever patient in her observations and open to the teachings contained in the smallest of moments.

Our most precious chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver opens our eyes to the nature within, to its wild and its quiet. With startling clarity, humor, and kindness, A Thousand Mornings explores the mysteries of our daily experience.
02
Features previously published and new poems that explore the natural world and how it is connected to human beings and spirituality.
03
Comprising a selection of essays, Upstream finds beloved poet Mary Oliver reflecting on her astonishment and admiration for the natural world and the craft of writing.  

As she contemplates the pleasure of artistic labor, finding solace and safety within the woods, and the joyful and rhythmic beating of wings, Oliver intimately shares with her readers her quiet discoveries, boundless curiosity, and exuberance for the grandeur of our world. 

This radiant collection of her work, with some pieces published here for the first time, reaffirms Oliver as a passionate and prolific observer whose thoughtful meditations on spiders, writing a poem, blue fin tuna, and Ralph Waldo Emerson inspire us all to discover wonder and awe in life's smallest corners.
04
Mary Oliver's Dog Songs is a celebration of the special bond between human and dog, as understood through the poet's relationship to the canines that have accompanied her daily walks, warmed her home, and inspired her work. Oliver's poems begin in the small everyday moments familiar to all dog lovers, but through her extraordinary vision these observations become higher meditations on the world and our place in it.


Dog Songs includes visits with old friends, like Oliver's beloved Percy, and introduces still others in poems of love and laughter, heartbreak and grief. Throughout, the many dogs of Oliver's life emerge as fellow travelers and guides, uniquely able to open our eyes to the lessons of the moment and the joys of nature and connection.
05
Mary Oliver, winner of the Pulitzer Prize, celebrates love in her new collection of poems  

“If I have any secret stash of poems, anywhere, it might be about love, not anger,”

Mary Oliver once said in an interview. Finally, in her stunning new collection, Felicity, we can immerse ourselves in Oliver’s love poems. Here, great happiness abounds. 
 
Our most delicate chronicler of physical landscape, Oliver has described her work as loving the world. With Felicity she examines what it means to love another person. She opens our eyes again to the territory within our own hearts; to the wild and to the quiet. In these poems, she describes—with joy—the strangeness and wonder of human connection. 
 
As in Blue Horses, Dog Songs, and A Thousand Mornings, with Felicity Oliver honors love, life, and beauty. 
06
The forty-seven new works in this volume include poems on crickets, toads, trout lilies, black snakes, goldenrod, bears, greeting the morning, watching the deer, and, finally, lingering in happiness. Each poem is imbued with the extraordinary perceptions of a poet who considers the everyday in our lives and the natural world around us and finds a multitude of reasons to wake early.
07
With passion, wit, and good common sense, the celebrated poet Mary Oliver tells of the basic ways a poem is built-meter and rhyme, form and diction, sound and sense. Drawing on poems from Robert Frost, Elizabeth Bishop, and others, Oliver imparts an extraordinary amount of information in a remarkably short space. “Stunning” (Los Angeles Times). Index.
08
Winner of the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry

Her most acclaimed volume of poetry, American Primitive contains fifty visionary poems about nature, the humanity in love, and the wilderness of America, both within our bodies and outside.

"American Primitive enchants me with the purity of its lyric voice, the loving freshness of its perceptions, and the singular glow of a spiritual life brightening the pages." -- Stanley Kunitz

"These poems are natural growths out of a loam of perception and feeling, and instinctive skill with language makes them seem effortless. Reading them is a sensual delight." -- May Swenson
09
Thirst, a collection of forty-three new poems from the Pulitzer Prize-winner Mary Oliver, introduces two new directions in the poet's work. Grappling with grief at the death of the love of her life and partner of over forty years, the remarkable photographer Molly Malone Cook, she strives to experience sorrow as a path to spiritual progress, grief as part of loving and not its end. And within these pages she chronicles for the first time her discovery of faith, without abandoning the love of the physical world that has been a hallmark of her work for four decades. In three stunning long poems, Oliver explores the dimensions and tests the parameters of religious doctrine, asking of being good, for example, "To what purpose? / Hope of Heaven? Not that. But to enter / the other kingdom: grace, and imagination, / and the multiple sympathies: to be as a leaf, a rose,/ a dolphin."
10
In this stunning collection of new poems, Mary Oliver returns to the imagery that has defined her life’s work, describing with wonder both the everyday and the unaffected beauty of nature.

Herons, sparrows, owls, and kingfishers flit across the page in meditations on love, artistry, and impermanence. Whether considering a bird’s nest, the seeming patience of oak trees, or the artworks of Franz Marc, Oliver reminds us of the transformative power of attention and how much can be contained within the smallest moments.



At its heart, Blue Horses asks what it means to truly belong to this world, to live in it attuned to all its changes. Humorous, gentle, and always honest, Oliver is a visionary of the natural world.