maxine kumin

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The late Maxine Kumin was caring for a family of small children in the Massachusetts suburbs and writing little more than "jingly light verse" in the 1950s, when she saw a brochure for an adult education creative writing course on poetry, and signed up.

It was through that course that she met classmate Anne Sexton; they started carpooling together and began holding raucous poetry workshops at each other's houses with fellow poets (Maxine's kids would see her setting out snacks for a workshop and say, "Oh no, not the poets again!" and ask to sleep in the room over the garage). Kumin honed her craft by working on poems in her head while chauffeuring her children to their various activities, and the connections she made through that workshop helped to jumpstart her career. In 1981, Kumin became Poet Laureate of the United States.