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Gwendolyn Stewart Essay Research Paper BEYOND POLITICS

Gwendolyn Stewart Essay, Research Paper BEYOND POLITICS: THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHS This photograph to me captures Anne’s duality, and argues against reducing her to her death.

Gwendolyn Stewart Essay, Research Paper

BEYOND POLITICS: THE POWER OF PHOTOGRAPHS

This photograph to me captures Anne’s duality, and argues against

reducing her to her death.

Cover the top part of the picture; look at the legs tortuously twisted together. It is

well known that she made a number of attempts to kill herself. Now cover the bottom half

of the photograph, and look at the arms and radiant face. She told me she always felt

joyous when she was rescued from those attempts. There was of course no final rescue, but

I am not convinced that she "really" meant this suicide attempt, that she would

not have welcomed another rescue. — Gwendolyn Stewart

"The high point of the winter for Sexton was the reading arranged for

her at Sanders Theater on 7 March [1974] by the Harvard Literary Club. Since this reading

was to serve as the Boston debut of The Death Notebooks, she was ambitious for a big

turnout. When she saw the mimeographed flyer — with a typo in the book title — produced

by the Literary Club, she went into high gear. Bob Clawson now owned an advertising

agency, so she hired him to produce a poster, using the photograph by Gwendolyn Stewart

she had wanted Houghton Mifflin to print on the dustjacket of The Death Notebooks. This

was inserted into both the Harvard Crimson and the Boston Phoenix as a flyer, and was also

distributed around greater Boston by a flying wedge of friends. …

"Sexton paced slowly to the stage with Dan Wakefield. While he made a warm

introduction, she stood leaning against the wall behind him, stunning in a black jersey

top that wrapped her body and a long black-and-white skirt slit to the knee. (The poster

did its work so well that later, people who had been in the audience thought she had been

wearing the dress in the photograph, which one person remembered as red.)" — from ANNE

SEXTON, by Diane Wood Middlebrook.

"Another of her [Anne Sexton's] reading outfits is on display in a famous photo by

Gwendolyn Stewart that was on the cover of Diane Wood Middlebrook’s controversial 1991

biography of Sexton…. [T]he image on the front is so glorious and alive, it reveals a

lust for life that makes it perfectly understandable why the book’s terrible revelations

of character deficiencies … are delivered in a tone that is sad and loving and

forgiving…. The photo is all charisma and charm, the poet is shown twisted into place,

her legs tightly crossed, her feet in white shoes with a crisscross buckle, her sleek

black-and-white dress aswirl in Matisse-style geometry, bangles spangled down her arms,

her hands lively and expressive, as if arguing a point or responding with glee to some

juicy gossip, a Salem menthol draped between her fingers." — from BITCH, by

Elizabeth Wurtzel.

Link: ANNE

SEXTON The Biography by Diane Wood Middlebrook

ANNE SEXTON, DIANE MIDDLEBROOK, and GWENDOLYN STEWART were all BUNTING

FELLOWS.

Two Links: THE BUNTING

| THE BUNTING II

Visit Gwendolyn

Stewart’s Web Site for more of her work

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