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Canadian-born Pulitzer poetry winner Mark Strand dead at 80

Mark Strand, the Canadian-born Pulitzer Prize winning poet who died over the weekend, always identified as an Islander.

He always said he was from Summerside, P.E.I.

Poet Mark Strand, a former poet laureate of the United States and a Pulitzer Prize winner, has died at the age of 80, according to the Academy of American Poets.

Strand died at his daughter's home in Brooklyn, New York on Saturday, the academy said in statement posted on Twitter. Strand formerly served on the academy's board of chancellors.

Strand won the 1999 Pulitzer Prize for poetry for his collection of poems published in a book called Blizzard of One. He won numerous other awards and served as the nation's poet laureate in 1990-1991.

He was one of the giants of American poetry, celebrated around the world for his decades of work, with a host of awards and titles to his name.

Recognized for his urbane wit

One of those titles was Islander. Strand was born in Summerside, P.E.I. in 1934. His family moved away when he was six weeks old and he spent much of his life living around North and South America. But he always said he was from Summerside.

"Mark Strand was recognized as one of the premier American poets of his generation as well as an accomplished editor, translator, and prose writer," the Poetry Foundation, publisher of Poetry magazine, said in a website posting after Strand's death.

The foundation said Strand used precise language and surreal imagery and that his later works focused on self-examination with "pointed, often urbane wit."

The foundation said Strand taught at several colleges over the years, including Columbia University in New York.

With files from Reuters