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America Loses a Treasure: Stanley Kunitz

The former U.S. poet laureate Stanley Kunitz has died. He was 100. The Pulitzer Prize-winner was known for his expressive verse, social commitment and generosity to young writers. His career spanned three-quarters of a century.

Kunitz once said poems are "born of the wisdom of the body." And he deliberately kept his tools simple. Physical. Pencils, paper and an old manual typewriter. "I usually start with notes and keep pushing ahead in my notebook, working with pencil or pen," he said. "And at a certain point when I feel the poem is beginning to roll, I turn to my trusty old Hermes 3000 and I start to type."

Melissa Block talks with poet Marie Howe, a former student and close friend of Stanley Kunitz. She teaches creative writing at Sarah Lawrence College.

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As special correspondent and guest host of NPR's news programs, Melissa Block brings her signature combination of warmth and incisive reporting. Her work over the decades has earned her journalism's highest honors, and has made her one of NPR's most familiar and beloved voices.