Anne Stevenson Biography

Anne Stevenson (born January 3, 1933) is an American-British poet and writer.
Stevenson's parents Louise Destler Stevenson and C.L. Stevenson met at a Cincinnati High School. They were living in Cambridge, England, where Charles was studying philosophy under I. A. Richards and Wittgenstein, when their first daughter, Anne was born. The family returned to America when Anne was six months old, moving to New Haven, her father going on to teach at universities including Harvard and Yale. She was raised in New England, the eldest of three daughters and was educated in Ann Arbor, Michigan, where her father was a professor of philosophy. Her father was a devoted pianist and lover of poetry and her mother wrote fiction and was a talented storyteller. Stevenson learnt piano and cello and she assumed until she was 19 that she would be a professional musician. She studied music and languages, at the University of Michigan, where she began to lose her hearing; she prepared to be a writer instead. Obtaining her bachelors degree in 1954 and graduating with honours, she returned to the UK where she has lived most of her life.

Stevenson married a childhood friend but her romantic ideals dissolved and the marriage was not a success. She notes that "it took me two unhappy marriages and three children to make me reconsider my assumptions." In the 1960s she lived and wrote in Cambridge, Glasgow, Dundee and Oxford. She was writer in residence at the University of Dundee and co-founded Other Poetry (magazine) with Evangeline Patterson. In 1979, with Michael Farley, she started The Poetry Bookshop in Hay-on-Wye and in 1982 she moved to Sunderland, then Durham, where she now lives with her husband Peter Lucas. As of 2011 she had six grandchildren.

Stevenson is the author of over a dozen volumes of poetry, of some books of essays and literary criticism, of a controversial biography of the American poet Sylvia Plath, Bitter Fame: A Life of Sylvia Plath (1989), and two critical studies of Elizabeth Bishop. Stevenson uses a hearing aid; several of her poems (including "Hearing with my Fingers" and "On Going Deaf") refer to her experience of deafness.

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