Acclaimed poet James Tate, a distinguished professor in the English department at the University of Massachusetts Amherst, died Wednesday evening after a long illness, according to a university spokesman. He was 71.

Tate is the author of more than 20 books of poetry, including “Worshipful Company of Fletchers,” which won the 1994 National Book Award. His 1991 collection “Selected Poems” won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry and the William Carlos Williams award.

Tate was born in Kansas City and attended Kansas State College, and later earned a master’s degree at the University of Iowa. His first book of poetry, “The Lost Pilot, was published in 1967, when Tate was only 22. It was selected for the Yale Series of Younger Poets.

He served as a chancellor for the Academy of American Poets from 2001 to 2007.

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GazetteNET | James Tate

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