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Anne Sexton

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Mackenzie Peers

on 10 October 2012

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Transcript of Anne Sexton

Anne Sexton November 9, 1928
October 4, 1974 Poet and Playwright Family Born in Newton, Massachusetts
Father was Ralph Harvey, a successful wool manufacturer
Mom was Mary Gray Staples
Middle class family
Father was an alcoholic
Mother wanted to be successful in literature, but family took up all of her time
Sexually abused by parents
Feared abandonment
Close with her great aunt, who was hospitalized after a break Disliked school
Could not concentrate
Teachers wanted her to go to counseling, parents did not support
1945 sent to boarding school Rogers Hall, in Lowell MA where she began to write poetry and act
Age 19 eloped with Alfred "Kayo" Sexton II, while engaged to someone else
Husband shipped overseas to Korea and she became a fashion model Early Life After husband left, she began therapy
1953, had first daughter, Linda Gray Sexton
1954, Kayo returned home and took a job as a traveling salesman
1954, her great aunt died and her reoccurring depression increased
Following year she birthed her second daughter, Joyce Ladd Sexton
Returned to therapy
Depression worsened, began to abuse children
Hospitalized after first suicide attempt
Psychiatrist told her she could begin writing again 1957, joined many Boston University writing groups where she met many writers, including Sylvia Plath
1959, received Audience Poetry Prize
1960, first poetry book published - "To Bedlam And Part Way Back"
Further breakdowns because of sudden death of parents and issues in her marriage
1962, published second book "All my Pretty Ones" Pulitzer Prize for Poetry (1967)
Frost Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writer's Conference
The Radcliffe Institute Fellowship
Levinson Prize
American Academy of Arts and Letters Traveling Fellowship
Shelley Memorial Prize Fellowship
Invitation to give Moris Gray reading at Harvard
Guggenheim Fellowship
Ford Foundation Grants
Honorary Degrees Awards 1964, her therapist moved away and she found a new one who prescribed her Thorazine
Continued teaching and working on poetry, while becoming very dependent on therapist, medication and close friends
1973, divorced Kayo, led to alcoholism and deeper depression
Friends began to isolate her and had issues with daughters, poetry was often no appreciated
Began working with a rock group, but began writing about more personal subjects
Searched for company through love affairs Beginning of Her End Sexton's Death October 4, 1974
Had lunch with an old friend, came home, put on her mothers fur coat, poured a glass of vodka and locked herself in her garage with her running car •Sexton was (and is) so well-known for her “Confessional Poetry”
•Famous works include:
-Unknown Girl in a Maternity Ward
-Suicide Note
-Her Kind

•http://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15297 Most Famous Works •Very Beautiful
•She wrote therapeutically, and therefore, was invested in her work
•Wrote about highly personal topics—an open person
•Not easily satisfied—required a lot of attention
•Promiscuous Characteristics •Grew up in an upper middle-class home
•Her mother strived for literary fame, and after failing, encouraged Sexton
•Sexual Abuse
•Close friends with Sylvia Plath—discussed suicide and other personal topics amongst themselves
•However, her works were awarded and recognized during her lifetime—she didn’t suffer rejection from her peers Outside Influences Sources http://www.anb.org/articles/16/16-01490.html http://www.poetryarchive.org/poetryarchive/singlePoet.do?poetId=7172http://www.uta.edu/english/tim/poetry/as/bio1.htmlhttp://www.poets.org/viewmedia.php/prmMID/15297

http://www.nwc.cc.wy.us/waw/essays/Essay3.pdf http://www.poemhunter.com/anne-sexton/biography/
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