Friday, August 24, 2007



One of my favorite poets of all time. My favorite poem, “A Midrash on Bread” from “Long Walks and Intimate Talks” is a masterpiece.

She will be greatly missed.


August 24, 2007 -- Grace Paley, whose poetry and short stories became synonymous with the New York she grew up in, died Wednesday at home in Thetford Hill, Vt. She was 84.

Paley, who had battled breast cancer, died Wednesday, according to her husband, Robert Nichols, the playwright.

"She was able to capture the humor and pathos in a certain New York voice," said Jonathan Galassi, president of Farrar Straus & Giroux, her publisher, which plans to release a book of new poems by her.

Paley, born Grace Goodside in New York in 1922, was one of three children born to immigrant Russian Jews who spoke Russian, Yiddish and English, opposed the czar back home and supported the New Deal here.

She remained a New Yorker until she moved to Vermont in 1988. She was named the state poet laureate in 2003.

A published writer since the 1950s, Paley released only a handful of books over the next half-century, mostly short stories and poems.

Among her story collections were "Enormous Changes at the Last Minute" (1974) and "Later the Same Day" (1985).

She once said of her fiction: "None of it happened, and yet every word of it is true. It's truth embedded in the lie."

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