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Anne Sexton
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    (November 9, 1928-October 4, 1974)
    Birth name was Anne Gray Harvey
    Wrote 'Live or Die (1966),' winner of a 1967 Pulitzer prize
    Also wrote 'To Bedlam and Part Way Back (1960),' 'All My Pretty Ones (1962),' 'Love Poems (1969),' 'Transformations (1971),' 'The Book of Folly (1972),' 'The Death Notebooks (1974),' 'The Awful Rowing Towards God (1975),' '45 Mercy Street (1976)' and 'Words for Dr. Y. (1978)'
    Committed suicide at age 45
    Subject of the Diane Middlebrook book 'Anne Sexton: A Biography (1992)'
    She quit college and eloped at age 19.
    She smoked.
    She was an alcoholic.
    She was abusive to her two kids.
    She had extramarital affairs.
    She revised one of her poems 300 times.
    She went through a slew of nervous breakdowns and psychiatric hospitalizations.
    She attempted suicide several times until she finally succeeded.
    Her middle name, 'Gray,' described her mood most of her adult life.
    She was a victim of incest.
    After her first suicide attempt a shrink suggested she write poetry about her feelings.
    She was an important 'confessional poet' (one who writes from personal experience).
    She attended writing workshops with Sylvia Plath.
    She wrote about topics not normally discussed in the '50s & '60s, such as abortion, adultery, masturbation and menstruation.
    After a suicide attempt she asked a priest to give her the last rites who refused her, stating, 'God is in your typewriter.'
    She used the experience to write 'Awful Rowing Towards God.'
    Ironically, it was published posthumously (a year after her death).
    Peter Gabriel wrote a song about her, 'Mercy Street,' on his 'So' album (1986).

Credit: Scar Tactics

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