Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton in Lowell’s Early Workshop: Fierce Friendships and Raw Rivalries

Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton in Lowell’s Early Workshop: Fierce Friendships and Raw Rivalries
a presentation from
With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others
by Kathleen Spivack

Thursday, October 10th, 7 pm
Shakespeare & Company
37 rue de la Bûcherie, 75005, Paris

 

The friendships and rivalries amongst the poets in Robert Lowell’s circle in Boston, especially Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, were complex and multi-layered. Respect, help, support, competition, jealousy, and even a suicide pact were some of the aspects. I’ll read from my latest book, With Robert Lowell and His Circle, and add my own insights into what I, as a young writer in Lowell’s workshop, personally observed through my own long-term friendships with the poets involved. After the reading, there will be time for questions and discussion, as well as book signing. Hope to see you there!

More information about the book below…

 



With Robert Lowell and His Circle: Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, Elizabeth Bishop, Stanley Kunitz and Others
by Kathleen Spivack
University Press of New England, 2012

In 1959 Kathleen Spivack won a fellowship to study at Boston University with Robert Lowell. Her fellow students were Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, among others. Thus began a relationship with the famous poet and his circle that would last to the end of his life in 1977 and beyond. Spivack presents a lovingly rendered story of her time among some of the most esteemed artists of a generation. Part memoir, part loose collection of anecdotes, artistic considerations, and soulful yet clear-eyed reminiscences of a lost time and place, hers is an intimate portrait of the often suffering Lowell, the great and near great artists he attracted, his teaching methods, his private world, and the significant legacy he left to his students. Through the story of a youthful artist finding her poetic voice among literary giants, Spivack thoughtfully considers how poets work. She looks at friendships, addiction, despair, perseverance and survival, and how social changes altered lives and circumstances. This is a beautifully written portrait of friends who loved and lived words, and made great beauty together.

A touching and deeply revealing look into the lives and thoughts of some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, With Robert Lowell and His Circle will appeal to writers, students, and thoughtful literary readers, as well as to scholars.

 

“This book is absorbing and alive, human and compelling . . . the best memoir yet about Robert Lowell.” – Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside

“Spivack’s portrait offers a window on a man, a city, and a method for anyone not lucky enough to have taken part in those times.” – Valerie Duff, The Boston Globe

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One Response to Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton in Lowell’s Early Workshop: Fierce Friendships and Raw Rivalries

  1. Pingback: No. 15 – Happy birthday, Anne Sexton | daily english diary

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