Monthly Archives: November 2018

Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez is a 68 year old poet and novelist. She was born in New York but her parents moved back to Dominican Republic when she was a child. She was raised in Dominican Republic, but in 1960 her family returned to New York. Julia Alvarez had to learn English and embrace a new culture which became a hassle for her.  Most of her poems are about her experience of fitting in both American and Dominican culture. She is most known for ‘How the Garcia Girls Lost their Accents’, in which she discusses the struggles her family had to face after migrating to United states from Dominican Republic. The novel has fifteen stories mentioning the lives of her four sister sisters and her parents. Another novel she is very known for was the ‘Time of Butterflies’. The novel was published in English in 1994 and in Spanish in 2001, it described the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo (Dominican politician). Julia Alvarez continued to write more famous poems and novels relating to her homeland. She received many grants from the National Endowment for the Arts and the Ingram Foundation. Alvarez wrote outstanding multicultural literatures expressing her feelings on immigration reminiscing her childhood.


Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath led a very interesting life. To start at the beginning, Sylvia was born on October 27th 1932 in Boston Massachusetts. At a young age of 8, Sylvia’s father died which is attributed to her writing of her poem “Daddy“. Continuing Chronologically, she attended Smith College where while a student she attempted her first suicide attempt at the age of 20 where she took sleeping pills and went basement of her house. Unsuccessful, she stayed in intensive care for 6 months after. She then moved to Cambridge England in 1956 where she promptly married a man who was also a poet, Ted Hughes. She published her set of poems in 1960 named “Colossus“. That same year she had her first child Frieda, and shortly after in 1962 she had her second child named Nicholas. In June of that same year Sylvia Plath had a car accident that seemed to be another suicide attempt. Also that same year she had found out that her husband was having an affair with a woman named Assia Gutmann Wevill. After these events she was severely depressed and in 1963 was found dead in her home by suicide. She had left a note for her neighbors to call for a doctor, while she left her head in the oven with the gas turned on and her children safe in another room. Sylvia Plath was deeply disturbed and had a traumatic series of events in her life, while quite tragic, led to great literary works. A lot of her works were not released until after death. She is also the first person to receive a Pulitzer prize after death.


“Mark Doty.”, Academy of American Poets, 15 Mar. 2017,

Kean, Danuta. “Unseen Sylvia Plath Letters Claim Domestic Abuse by Ted Hughes.” The Guardian, Guardian News and Media, 11 Apr. 2017,

“Sylvia Plath.”, A&E Networks Television, 28 Apr. 2017,


Part of Speech: Noun

Definition: a person who repairs and maintains machinery, or motors.


Found in “I Hear America Singing” by Walt Whitman

“ Those of mechanics, each one singing his as it should be blithe
and strong, ” line1/line2

Mechanics are known to be strong and smart because they work on big machinery. In this poem the speaker is talking about the different jobs that makes America the place it is because everyone is always working everyday and that is what he hears.

Anne Sexton

Anne Gray Harvey was born in Newton, Massachusetts, on November 9, 1928. She married to Alfred Muller Sexton at age 19, after attending to Garland Junior College for one year. Later on at age 25, she gave birth to a daughter and after a year Sexton was distinguish with a “postpartum depression” and has suffered her first mental breakdown. It took her awhile to recover from it. Sexton had her second child at age 27 but following that year she suffered another mental breakdown and was hospitalized. In addition, in the same year she attempt to suicide on her birthday. While she was getting her treatment to recover her mental emotions, Sexton’s doctor encouraged her to attend an interest of writing a poetry. So as she started to writing poems,“in 1957 she enrolled in a poetry workshop at the Boston Center for Adult Education.” Along with the workshop she met her close friend Maxine Kumin where she describes her “belief that it was the writing of poetry that gave Sexton something to work toward and develop and thus enabled her to endure life for as long as she did.” Anne Sexton tried her best to stay strong in life and fight over her illness over writing poems. Throughout her lifetime she also was abused by his husband and lost her parents that made her not have a faith in life. However, her work was extremely famous throughout her lifetime and she received many honors and awards, including “the Frost Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters traveling fellowship, the Shelley Memorial Prize, and an invitation to give the Morris Gray reading at Harvard.” Even though she gained lots of improvements by writing poetry to encourage herself to live in life. But at age 46, she couldn’t battle her mental emotions anymore and end up committing suicide.


Working on Paper #2 on November 28

Hi everyone,

I hope you found today’s library session with Prof. Anne Leonard helpful.  Below is the handout she distributed in class to assist you with finding sources:

Handout on Research

For Wednesday’s class, you should keep working on your paper, using this handout, and refine your thesis and conduct some research.

Please bring hard copies of the sources you’ve found for the paper to class on Wednesday, as well as your annotated poem. If you have a draft of the paper, you may bring that also.

Here’s what we’ll work on in class on Wednesday:

  • refining your thesis and developing the paper
  • brief recap of finding sources
  • review of MLA format 8th edition for Works Cited page
  • work on draft of Works Cited page–entry for your poem and for the news sources you plan on using in your paper

One last reminder that Blog Post #2 needs to be posted by 11:59 pm on Wednesday, November 28th for you to receive credit. 


Online Resources for Works Cited in MLA format

To help you compose the Works Cited page for Paper #2, there are different online resources available:

Works Cited: A Quick Guide

Or, you can look at MLA format (8th edition) on the Purdue University Online Writing Lab (OWL):

You can also use a citation manager when you do your research, or export the citations.  There are many roads that can lead you to a correctly formatted Works Cited page!

Prof. Leonard mentioned as a free citation manager that you might try.


My Research on Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez was born in New York City in the year 1950, but three months after her birth she and her family moved to the Dominican Republic. The decision her parents made, as they preferred living under the dictatorship of Rafael Trujillo, compared to life in the United States of America, this decision soon backfired on them. A year later in 1960, they were fledding the Dominican Republic back to the United States, this was because of Julia’s father involvement in a group that was plotting a coupe on then president, Trujillo. Arriving in the U.S  Julia experienced a lot of culture shock and bullying due to her Spanish accent. besides her rude returning and welcoming back to America, she excelled in her studies. attending Bread Loaf School of English, Syracuse University and Middlebury College. with a passion for writing, she published her first novel “How The Garcia Girls Lost Their Accents” and it landed her success.  after her first success, Alvarez continued writing novels and poetry such as, “in the time of the butterflies” which was made into a motion picture, some poetry, “Papi working”, “Homecoming” and more. on her website,, something that stood out to me that she stated was “I also discovered the welcoming world of the imagination and books” despite her tough entry into life,  she found herself within books and her imagination.



Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts on October  27, 1932 and died in , London, England on February 11, 1963. She published her first poem when she was eight years old. But it was also the year that her father died. Her father’s death became one of the main causes of her mental problems. She was admitted by Smith College on scholarship. During her college life, she started to feel depressed. And she even tried to swallow lots of sleeping pills to kill herself at the age of 19. After her first suicide failed, she then continued her degree and earned a chance to study at Cambridge University in England. She met poet Ted Hughes there and married him in 1956; however this marriage came to an end in 1962 due to the man cheated on her. During that time, they had their first kid Frieda, on April 1st, 1960. But she miscarried her second child. According to her therapist, Hughes physically abused her even when she was pregnant. In 1962, her son Nicholas was born. In 1963, she published a novel called “ The Bell Jar” which describes her mental illness while she was in college in 1953. After that, she killed herself by inhaling gas from a kitchen oven.


  1. “Sylvia Plath.” Poetry Foundation, Poetry Foundation,
  2. Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Sylvia Plath.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 12 Nov. 2018,
  3. “The Tragic Relationship of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes.” Literary Ladies Guide,

My Research on Julia Alvarez

Julia Alvarez was raised in Dominican Republic and born in New York on March 27, 1950. Her father was involved with a plot to overthrow the dictator of Dominican Republic, Rafael Leonidas Trujillo Molina when she was ten years old. Her father was able to get the family out of the country with the help of an American Agent. In an interview with the Chicago Public Library, she states that moving to the United States made her a writer because the Dominican society that she grew up in did not encourage women to have careers. So when she go to the United States she thought she knew the language but turns out she spoke it with a heavy accent and the young American kids were not forgiving about it. This led to the company of books and since she didn’t know the language too well she had to pay close attention to the words which made good practice. One of her most popular works is actually a novel called “In the Time of the Butterflies”, this novel was made into a movie. Yes Alvarez has many other type of works for example, like children books and stories, novels, and essays. A few examples are “How Tia Lola Saved the Summer”, “Return to Sender” and “A Wedding in Haiti.” Something that stood out to me was that in her website it says “La Napa” which means a little extra or what is left over and in that section of the website she writes little essays about topics she deems important in society.

The websites that I used for this blog post are