Category Archives: Blog Post #2: Research a Poet

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,

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.


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


Langston Hughes Bio

James Mercer Langston Hughes, was born on February 1, 1902 in Joplin Missouri. At a early age he found himself moving state to states.  His parents got a divorce at a young age, resulting in his father moving to Mexico, and him being move Lincoln, Illinois with his grandmother then to Cleveland,Ohio with his mother. Hughes found his passion for poetry in Illinois while living with his grandmother. Fast forward to his later life,  Hughes was first started getting recognized in 1920s during the ” Harlem Renaissance” , in 1926, he published his first poetry book ” The Weary Blues”. Despite being recognize as in  ” important literally figure” , Hughes early works was criticizes by many black intellectual, for portraying a different view of black life.  It so much to say about someone’s life that a blog post can’t cover.  Langston Hughes was more than an American poet, he was a novelist, fiction writer, playwright and a social activist. His works brought an insightful portray of black life in America during the Renaissance.  In addition to his poetry works, Hughes wrote eleven plays, countless work of prose.. Hughes once said ” … the only way to get a thing done is to start to do it, then keep doing it, and finally you’ll finish it,….”. On May 22,1967 he died of complications from prostate cancer.

Britannica, The Editors of Encyclopaedia. “Langston Hughes.” Encyclopædia Britannica, Encyclopædia Britannica, Inc., 15 Aug. 2018,

“I, Too.”, Academy of American Poets, 9 June 2017,

Langston Hughes Bio

Langston Hughes born “James Mercer Langston Hughes”  was born on February 1st, 1902 in Joplin, Missouri. During his early childhood he was raised by his grandmother until he was 13 then moved to Illinois  to live with his mother and her husband at the time. Even though he started writing poetry when he was in High School or a little bit before then, he moved around a lot from Mexico to New York City. Hughes held several jobs  during his such as cook, assistant, launderer and busboy. In 1926, Hughes first book of poetry was published titled, “The Weary Blues” and was published by Alfred A. Knopf. Also after he finished college at Lincoln University, in 1930 his first novel “Not Without Laughter” was published by Knopf, which ended up winning the Harmon gold medal for literature. Hughes was also known for his knowledge and views on black life in America. Hughes’ belief in humanity and belief that people of all walks of life could understand each other and get along ultimately led to his popularity downfall.  Hughes also wrote 11 plays and multiple prose poems, which included his well known series of books called “Simple’. Unfortunately, Hughes died of prostate cancer on May 22, 1967 in New York City.


Anne Sexton Bio

Anne Sexton was born Anne Gray Harvey in Massachusetts, 1928. She attended college for a year, modelled for a time and got married. At 26, Sexton was diagnosed with postpartum depression, a mental illness due to a chemical imbalance from childbirth, which she developed after the birth of her first daughter. She suffered her first mental breakdown and she found herself in a neuropsychiatric hospital for treatment. She would continue to receive help after many more breakdowns. After another breakdown she had after her second daughter, her children were sent to live with her husband’s, Alfred Muller Sexton II, parents. And in that same year, Sexton attempted suicide. It was Sextons doctor that suggested and encouraged her to pursue and take up writing poetry as an outlet for her troubled mind. In 57, she got into a poetry workshop where she met a close friend and fellow poet, Maxine Kumin. Kumin was able to see firsthand the benefit of Sextons writing, as she described her writing as something “that gave Sexton something to work toward and develop and thus enabled her to endure life for as long as she did” ( Anne faced many challenges throughout her life and her many breakdowns stemmed from traumatic experiences. These included the loss of both her parents, the physical abuse of her husband leading to a divorce that also contributed to a decline in health, and due to this decline, she ended up having issues with her daughters taking care of and dealing with her. She had to deal with loneliness, alcoholism along with her depression. Yet, despite all these considerably major obstacles and though they could be considered setbacks, Sexton made a very successful career in poetry. She obtained many awards and much recognition. She received the Pulitzer Prize. She accumulated honors like the Frost Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the Shelley Memorial Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters traveling fellowship and she was recognized by Harvard and was extended an invitation to give the Morris Gray reading. She didn’t stop there though. Following all those, she added the Guggenheim Fellowship, Ford Foundation grants, honorary degrees, professorships at Colgate University and Boston University and more. Unfortunately in 1974, at the age of 46, Anne Sexton couldn’t win her battle mentally and committed suicide.

My research on Langston Hughes


James Mercer Langston Hughes  lived ( February 1,1901 -May 22,1967), he was a american poet, social activist, novelist,playwright, and columnist from Joplin,Missouri.Hughes had a complex ancestry, both of Hughes paternal great grandmothers were enslaved African Americans and his Paternal great grandfathers were white slave owners in Kentucky. Hughes mother was a school teacher, his father left the family after Hughes was born and divorced Caroline Mercer Hughes mother.His father traveled to Cuba and then mexico to escape racism in the united states.Hughes was raised in Kansas by his maternal grandma she installed racial pride in him as a young boy.In Hughes autobiography “The Big Sea’ he wrote: “I was unhappy for a long time, and very lonesome, living with my grandmother. Then it was that books began to happen to me, and I began to believe in nothing but books and the wonderful world in books—where if people suffered, they suffered in beautiful language, not in monosyllables, as we did in Kansas”,this where his love for literature started.In 1925 Hughes poem ”The Weary Blues ” showed his poetic style and his dedication to his black heritage. This poem won first prize in in a Opportunity magazine literary competition, and he also received a scholarship to Lincoln university in Pennsylvania.