32 Commercial Street

"Aftermath," portrait of Stanley Kunitz, by Raymond Elman (1991). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

“Aftermath,” portrait of Stanley Kunitz, by Raymond Elman (1991). National Portrait Gallery, Smithsonian Institution.

This was once the densest, most complex and most poignant garden in town. Together with an extraordinary body of poetry, the garden was the life work of Stanley Kunitz, a founder of the Fine Arts Work Center. He won the Pulitzer Prize in 1959, the National Medal of the Arts in 1993, and the National Book Award in 1995. In 2000, at 95 — when most people think about slowing down — he was named Poet Laureate of the United States. “I conceived of the garden as a poem in stanzas,” he told The New York Times in 2005. “Each terrace contributes to the garden as a whole in the same way each stanza in a poem has a life of its own.” Kunitz died in 2006. He and his wife, the poet and artist Elise Asher, are buried in Town Cemetery.


More than 2,000 buildings and vessels are searchable on buildingprovincetown.com. The Building Provincetown book is available for purchase ($20) at Town Hall, Office of the Town Clerk, 260 Commercial Street, Provincetown 02657.

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