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Area native, poet Jack Gilbert, dead at age 87

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By The Associated Press
Tuesday, Nov. 13, 2012, 2:59 p.m.

NEW YORK -- East Liberty native Jack Gilbert, a prize-winning poet known for his clear and subtle verse, has died at age 87.

Publisher Alfred A. Knopf announced that Gilbert died Tuesday in Berkeley, Calif., after suffering for years from Alzheimer's disease.

His many honors included the Yale Younger Poets prize for his 1962 debut, "Views of Jeopardy," and a National Book Critics Circle award for "Refusing Heaven."

He also wrote the novels "My Mother Taught Me" and "Forever Ecstasy."

A graduate of the University of Pittsburgh, Gilbert was a private man who rarely attended book parties or gave readings. He wrote often about Pittsburgh and his childhood, food and sex, and personal pain.

His "Collected Poems" came out in March and was praised by The New York Times as among the year's "most important" poetry books.

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