Thursday, January 03, 2008

January 3: Anne Stevenson (b. 1933)

Anne Stevenson, poet
an older white woman wearing glasses and short brown hair
I've lost a sense. Why should I care?
Searching myself, I find a spare.

I keep that sixth sense in repair

And set it deftly, like a snare.

--Anne Stevenson, "On Going Deaf"
American-raised English poet Anne Stevenson turns 74 today. She was studying music in college, a cellist, when she started becoming deaf, and turned to literature. (Stevenson now uses a cochlear implant.) She's published eighteen volumes of poetry, a biography of Sylvia Plath, and two studies of Elizabeth Bishop's work. Some of Stevenson's poems, "What I Miss" and "Hearing with my Fingers" among them, are about music and deafness; she dispels the common misconception that deaf people only experience silence.  "Silence I miss," she declares. 

Visit Anne Stevenson's website for more information.

See also: 
Angela Leighton, ed. Voyages over Voices:  Critical Essays on Anne Stevenson (Liverpool University Press 2010).

[Image, text, and links updated 3 January 2014]

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