Galway Kinnell, Pulitzer-Winning Poet, Dies at 87!

Pulitzer Prize-winning US poet Galway Kinnell, best known for his spiritual poems connecting the experiences of daily life to larger forces, has died aged 87.

His wife, Barbara, said he died on Tuesday at their home in Vermont, after suffering from leukaemia.

Kinnell was among the most celebrated poets of his time and wrote more than a dozen books spanning five decades.

He won the Pulitzer for his 1982 book Selected Poems.

The collection also won the National Book Award for Poetry, sharing the honour with contemporary Charles Wright.

His other best-known works include The Book of Nightmares, inspired by the horror of the Vietnam war, When One Has Lived a Long Time Alone and Mortal Acts, Mortal Words.

One his most famous poems is The Bear, telling of a hunter who, after consuming animal blood and excrement, comes to identify with his prey.

Other notable poems include After Making Love We Hear Footsteps and When the Towers Fell, about the September 11 terrorist attacks in New York.

‘Warm hearted’

Born in Providence, Rhode Island, on 1 February 1927, Kinnell was the son of immigrants from Scotland and Ireland.

The Los Angeles Times reported the poet once told students he was “a very silent child, almost mute”.

“I developed a big sense of isolation from others… Gradually I felt that if I was ever going to have a happy life, it was going to have to do with poetry,” he said.

He attended Princeton University, where he was roommates with future US poet laureate WS Merwin, who introduced him to the works of WB Yeats.

Merwin told Associated Press he and Kinnell had been “like brothers” and remembered his friend as a “very generous soul”.

He praised the poet’s work as “warm hearted” and the creations of “someone who was independent but felt sympathy with other people”.

Kinnell’s breakthrough poem came in 1960, with The Avenue Bearing the Initial of Christ Into the New World – a 14-part work about Avenue C in Manhattan and the people that walked the street.

He served as poet laureate for Vermont from 1989 to 1993, and moved there in 2005.

The Academy of American Poets later gave him the Wallace Stevens Award for lifetime achievement in 2010.

He married his first wife, Spanish translator Ines Delgado de Torres, in 1965 and had two children, Fergus and Maud, but divorced 20 years later. He married second wife Barbara in 1997.

Sri Lanka Flood, Landslide Toll Rises!

A Landslide destroyed a plantation in Haldummulla, Central Sri Lanka on Wednesday (29) morning and have killed at least 100 people and leaving more than 150 trapped, a media report said.

“More than 100 people are believed to have died,” Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management had told Reuters news agency.
“We have suspended the rescue operations because of darkness and inclement weather. There is also a threat of further landslides.”

The mudslide smashed into Meeriyabedda tea plantation of Haldummulla, at 07:30 local time. About 150 people were trapped under the rubble while another 75 children and 75 adults were safe, said Mahinda Amaraweera, Minister of Disaster Management.

An about 330 people had been living at the location at the time of the tragedy.
The mobilized armed forces and civilians are positioned to help with the rescue operation. The land slide had also destroyed 120 estate line rooms and three government quarters, Sri Lankan media agency Daily mirror had reported.

The Disaster Management Centre (DMC) said an area of about two kilometres had been affected in the landslide.

Sri Lanka experiencing heavy rain over the past few weeks due to the monsoon season in the Indian Ocean. The DMC had issued warnings of mudslides and falling rocks.

In June, 2014 landslides during the monsoon rains in Sri Lanka killed at least 22 people and forced thousands from their homes.

Happy Birthday Rob Schneider!

ABOUT
He popularized the phrase ‘You Can Do It!’ in the Adam Sandler film The Waterboy. He was also featured in the comedic film Deuce Bigalow: Male Gigolo, in which he played a desperate fish tank cleaner in search of love.

BEFORE FAME
He graduated from Terra Nova High School in San Francisco in 1982. Early in his career, he was a writer and cast member on Saturday Night Live (SNL).

TRIVIA
He starred in The Hot Chick and Grown Ups.

FAMILY LIFE
He was married to London King from 1988 to 1990 and in 2011, he married Patricia Azarcoya. He had a daughter named Elle with London and another daughter named Miranda with Patricia.

ASSOCIATED WITH
He appeared with Drew Barrymore in 50 First Dates.

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