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Anthony Hecht, at 81; won Pulitizer for poetry

WASHINGTON -- Anthony Hecht, a Pulitzer Prize-winning poet, died here Wednesday after suffering from lymphoma. He was 81.

Born in New York City in 1923, Mr. Hecht won the Pulitzer in 1968 for his work ''The Hard Hours." He received numerous other prizes including the Bollingen Prize, the Ruth Lilly Prize, and the Los Angeles Book Prize.

Deborah Garrison, his editor for the last few years at Alfred A. Knopf, said Mr. Hecht was a formal poet who wrote about war, corruption, and ''taking on society in the largest sense" with other serious issues but could also write humorous, witty, and playful pieces demonstrating his ''wonderful dark humor."

''He was someone who both was very magisterial and symphonic in what he could take on, but also he could be very light on his feet-- somebody who'd waltz as well as write a symphony," Garrison said.

She said Mr. Hecht continued to write poetry until the end, noting that he had a piece in The New Yorker magazine a few weeks ago.

He had several fellowships, including the Guggenheim Foundation. He was also chancellor emeritus of the Academy of American Poets.

Some of his other works include ''Flight Among the Tombs" and ''The Darkness and the Light." In addition to his wife, Helen, Mr. Hecht leaves two sons from his first marriage, Jason of Northampton, Mass., and Adam of North Bend, Ore.; a son from his second marriage, Evan of New York; and two grandchildren.

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