Carolyn Kizer Biography | Author of To an Unknown Poet

Carolyn Kizer
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Carolyn Kizer has fashioned her career as a poet by being part of the very institutions that poets once loved to criticize: the government and the university. The only child of activists Benjamin Hamilton, a lawyer, and Mabel Ashley Kizer, a union organizer who held a doctorate in biology, Kizer was born December 10, 1925 in Spokane, Washington. She was raised in a heady and rich learning environment. Diplomats, artists, poets, and intellectuals frequently visited her parents, and her house was filled with books, paintings, and various art objects, in many ways resembling the house of the speaker in her poem, "To an Unknown Poet." Mabel Kizer poured her energies into her daughter's development, encouraging her artistic inclinations. It was not until after her mother died, however, that Kizer recognized the influence her mother had on her.

After Kizer received her undergraduate degree from Sarah Lawrence College in 1945, she took...

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This section contains 482 words
(approx. 2 pages at 400 words per page)
Buy the To an Unknown Poet Study Guide
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Poetry for Students
To an Unknown Poet from Poetry for Students. ©2005-2006 Thomson Gale, a part of the Thomson Corporation. All rights reserved.