Stanley Kunitz was born in Worcester in 1905 and shortly after college moved away. Beginning in the 1960s, he returned to give poetry readings and to receive honors. Kunitz searched unsuccessfully for his boyhood home on Woodford Street. Then, in 1985, he came to Worcester for the week-long Stanley Kunitz Poetry Festival in honor of his 80th birthday and on the last day of the festival, Kunitz decided to try once more to find the house on Woodford Street. Greg and Carol Stockmal, who had bought the house in 1979, found Kunitz and his entourage standing in front of their home. They invited everyone in, and when Kunitz mentioned a pear tree he and his mother had planted in the backyard, Greg told him one still grew there, and it produced abundant fruit. The 20 year friendship between the Stockmals and Kunitz and his wife, artist/poet Elise Asher, began on that day.
The Stanley Kunitz-Stockmal Collection consists of materials collected by Greg and Carol Stockmal and includes: correspondence from Kunitz to the Stockmals; books signed and inscribed by Kunitz and his wife, poet/artist Elise Asher; audiovisual material on Kunitz; photographs of Kunitz and the Stockmals; and newspaper clippings and other articles on Kunitz collected by the Stockmals.
The Stanley Kunitz-Stockmal Collection. Clark University Archive. Clark University. Worcester, MA.