Introduction

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