Sexton

Sexton

[sek-stuhn]
Sexton, Anne (Harvey), 1928-74, American poet, b. Newton, Mass. Educated at Garland Junior College and at Radcliffe, she worked briefly as a fashion model in Boston. Her "confessional poetry" is highly autobiographical, marked by irony and lyrical emotion, and often dwells on themes of madness and death. Her first work, To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), deals in personal terms with her efforts to retain her sanity. Other works include Selected Poems (1964, 1988), Live or Die (1966; Pulitzer Prize), Love Poems (1969), Transformations (1971), The Book of Folly (1973), The Death Notebooks (1974), the posthumous The Awful Rowing Toward God (1975), and The Complete Poems (1981). Sexton died at 46, an apparent suicide. Her daughter, Linda Gray Sexton, is a novelist and essayist.

See D. W. Middlebrook, Anne Sexton: A Biography (1991); J. D. McClatchy, ed., Anne Sexton, the Artist and Her Critics (1978); L. G. Sexton, Searching for Mercy Street: My Journey Back to My Mother, Anne Sexton (1994).

orig. Anne Gray Harvey

(born Nov. 9, 1928, Newton, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 4, 1974, Weston, Mass.) U.S. poet. She worked as a model, librarian, and teacher. Her first book of poetry, To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), examines her mental breakdowns and subsequent recoveries with confessional intensity. She continued probing her personal life in All My Pretty Ones (1962) and Live or Die (1966, Pulitzer Prize). Her other works include the nonfiction collection No Evil Star (1985). She died a suicide. Several volumes of poetry were published posthumously.

Learn more about Sexton, Anne with a free trial on Britannica.com.

orig. Anne Gray Harvey

(born Nov. 9, 1928, Newton, Mass., U.S.—died Oct. 4, 1974, Weston, Mass.) U.S. poet. She worked as a model, librarian, and teacher. Her first book of poetry, To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960), examines her mental breakdowns and subsequent recoveries with confessional intensity. She continued probing her personal life in All My Pretty Ones (1962) and Live or Die (1966, Pulitzer Prize). Her other works include the nonfiction collection No Evil Star (1985). She died a suicide. Several volumes of poetry were published posthumously.

Learn more about Sexton, Anne with a free trial on Britannica.com.

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