Worcester County Poetry Association / PO Box 804, Worcester, MA 01613 / 508-797-4770 / email@example.com
Footsteps in History 2007: Stanley Kunitz Childhood Home
Tours, Poetry Readings, Art Exhibits, Film
Saturday, October 6 and Sunday, October 7 - 10:00am to 4:00pm
4 Woodford Street, Worcester, Massachusetts
The pear tree.......
.....and the pears.
Stanley's highchair, found in a basement storage room and identified by him on a visit in the 1980s.
The front porch of 4 Woodford Street.
The door leads to the second floor.
Once occupied by Stanley's older sisters, the apartment has been restored by the Stockmals and now serves as a gallery.
Below: The second floor parlor and dining-
room currently house an exhibit of
Marnie Crawford Samuelson's photos
from Kunitz's last book, The Wild Braid:
A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden
The Stockmals have restored the interior to reflect a home of the early part of the 20th century, when the Kunitz family lived there. The piano is very much like the one played by his sisters and occupies the same place of pride in the front parlor.
The first floor rooms display Kunitz poetry, photographs, and correspondence.
Below, the room that was Stanley's childhood bedroom.
All events are FREE & Open to the Public.
Tours of the home will be conducted by the current residents, Greg and Carol Stockmal throughout
Saturday and Sunday.
Exhibit:The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects
on a Century in the Garden
Photographs by Marnie Crawford Samulelson
Exhibit: Worcester Window, Work and Leisure
Paintings by Susan J. Champeny
and Christina Pappas O’Neill
Open Mic - 2pm to 4pm each day:
The Poets Next Door: Poems To and From Poets of the Blackstone River Valley
Participants are invited to read poetry written by or inspired by Worcester area poets.
Film - Saturday Only:
"Stanley's House" by award-winning filmmaker Tobe Carey
Local premier of documentary film will be screened at the following times:
10:10am, 11:10am, 12:10pm, 1:10pm, 2:10pm, 3:10pm
A Brief Stanley Kunitz Biography
Stanley Kunitz (1905-2006) was born on Providence Street in Worcester on July 29, the son of Solomon and Yetta Jasspon Kunitz. His early years are the subject of several poems. “The Magic Curtain” recalls memories of movies he had seen in his childhood. “The Portrait” is an extremely powerful piece which recalls his father’s untimely death and his mother’s refusal to discuss it. “The Testing Tree” tells about Kunitz’s boyhood ritual which involved throwing rocks at an oak tree on the edge of the city. This ritual carried implications which “challenged his destiny.” A later poem, “My Mother’s Pears,” describes the pear tree in the back yard of his home on 4 Woodford Street, where he lived until 1922.
Kunitz graduated from Worcester’s Classical High School and then earned an AB and an MA from Harvard. He edited the Wilson Library Bulletin and numerous important reference works on British and American authors. Kunitz established himself as an extremely influential writer in this country. He won the Pulitzer for Selected Poems 1928-1958; other awards include the Guggenheim Fellowship and the Fellowship Award of the Academy of American Poets, the Bollingen Prize and the Lenoire Marshall Prize, the Brandeis Medal of Achievement, the Walt Whitman Citation of Merit, the National Book Award, and in 1993 President Clinton awarded him the National Medal of Art. He was a Professor of Poetry at Columbia, a translator of the works of several Russian writers, including Voznesensky, Akhmatova, and Mandelstam, an editor of the Yale Series of Younger Poets, and was named the first official New York State Poet. From 1974 to 1976, he served as poetry consultant to the Library of Congress and again named U.S. Poet Laureate (as the position is now designated) in July 2000, a few days after his 95th birthday.
At the age of 100, he published his last book, The Wild Braid: A Poet Reflects on a Century in the Garden. Written in collaboration with his literary assistant Genine Lentine and accompanied by photographs by Marnie Crawford Samulelson of the writer in his beloved Provincetown garden, the book includes essays, favorite poems, and reminiscences. Stanley Kunitz died in his Greenwich Village apartment on May 15, 2006