Anne Sexton lived in Massachusetts and traced her ancestry to the Mayflower Pilgrims. However her poetry was not concerned with heritage or religion, rather she dealt frankly with 'her first-hand experience'. She won the Pulitzer Prize with Live or Die (1966), and despite a life-long battle with addictions and mental illness she produced eight collections featuring her work; three were published after her suicide.
'Sexton like to describe herself as a witch ("mouth wide, / ready to tell a story or two"), and she wanted "to scare people," certainly one of the things her forensically deadly art does'.
Conarroe, Joel, 1997, 'Anne Sexton' in Eight American Poets: an anthology, Vintage Books, New York, p.163.)
The Oxford Companion to American Literature, 6th edition, p.600
I have gone out, a possessed witch,
haunting the black air, braver at night;
dreaming evil, I have done my hitch
over the plain houses, light by light:
lonely thing, twelve-fingered, out of mind.
A woman like that is not a woman, quite.
I have been her kind.
Her Kind. 1981
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