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Bringing together scattered stories, essays, and interviews, No Evil Star offers some insight into the craft behind Anne Sexton's poems. The interviews dominate the small book, though, and as most of Sexton's responses were rehearsed and prepackaged, they start to read as repetitive after a short while. The co-interview given with Maxine Kumin after both poets achieved fame stands out as a highlight, because of how spontaneous it is.
The interviews here offer insight's into Sexton's poetry and writing process. I loved the joke about how after her poetry class she'd park in the No Loading zone by the bar and say that it was ok because she was going to get loaded. In another interview with Maxine Kumin, she down played how much she drank on those outings. I would have like for her to go more in depth in the interviews about whatever poem she just read. The best interviews were for college students. The ones at the ends kind of...
If you've read biographies of Sexton, this book won't add a lot to your understanding of her or her work, BUT, there's a sonnet in here that was uncollected in the books which I rather liked, and some interviews in here that do round out the time line of Sexton's learning as a poet as well as her approach to writing poetry and how it changed over time. This book really makes clear how ahead of her time Sexton was in her voice and subject matter, and once again makes me sad in terms of wondering
I am glad I read this book. The author committed suicide after a late career as a poet (which began with poems while in a mental institution). The interviews about writing and life show a woman with a very rich life and very insightful thoughts on the writing life. She is a good friend (and has an interview with a dear friend included in this collection). To me there was much in here that was helpful in reflecting on writing, but also in reflecting on life and death and pain and suffering and jo...
Sexton's thoughts on writing are rich, and ever worthwhile, and the honesty of her voice in these interviews is nothing less than haunting. I think anyone who reads and enjoys Sexton's poems will find something here to fall into and appreciate, and without doubt, I recommend it. I think there's also a lot to be gained here for beginning writers, or for writers who want a view into another artist's life.
I'm a huge Sexton fan and I read this book to introduce me to her personality during interviews. I would recommend reading her bio by Diane Middlebrook before this one--it was much more informative and less of a collection of random articles/interviews. The bio gave a more complete description of her life--this is purely supplemental.
Sexton's sometimes strange essays on poetry and poetics are not to be missed for writers in this genre (or any other).
Bitch be real crazazay. To have been a Brookline housewife with nothing to do but hang out with Sylvia Plath and Robert Lowell, fuck around, and borrow insanity...I was born in the wrong decade.