Romanian poet, dissident Nina Cassian dies

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BUCHAREST, Romania (AP) -- Romanian poet and translator Nina Cassian, who obtained political asylum in the United States after the Communist-era secret police found her critical poems scribbled in a friend's diary, has died in New York City. She was 89.

Her husband, Maurice Edwards, told The Associated Press she died at home Monday from a heart attack.

The Securitate found her poems in 1985 in the diary of Gheorghe Ursu, who was questioned and later died in prison. Cassian, then visiting the United States, was granted asylum.

In the 1950s, Cassian published a series of books flattering the Communist regime. She also wrote children's books and translated Shakespeare, Moliere and Bertolt Brecht, and her work was published in The New Yorker, The Atlantic Monthly and other publications.

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