"This book is absorbing and alive, human and compelling . . . the best memoir yet about Robert Lowell."
-- Steven Gould Axelrod, University of California, Riverside
"A portrait [of Lowell] that serves to define his role as poet and teacher in fresh and significant ways . . . . This is a memoir that will make an impact right away and that will be referred to by scholars, readers and biographers for many years to come."
-- Thomas Travisano, Hartwick College
"I devoured your book in one sitting last weekend; it's extraordinarily evocative of the poet and his time, your time. Thank you so much for writing it . . ."
-- Don Share, Senior Editor, Poetry Magazine
In 1959 Kathleen Spivack won a fellowship to study at Boston University with Robert Lowell. Her fellow students were Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, among others. Thus began a relationship with the famous poet and his circle that would last to the end of his life in 1977 and beyond. Spivack presents a lovingly rendered story of her time among some of the most esteemed artists of a generation. Part memoir, part loose collection of anecdotes, artistic considerations, and soulful yet clear-eyed reminiscences of a lost time and place, hers is an intimate portrait of the often suffering Lowell, the great and near great artists he attracted, his teaching methods, his private world, and the significant legacy he left to his students. Through the story of a youthful artist finding her poetic voice among literary giants, Spivack thoughtfully considers how poets work. She looks at friendships, addiction, despair, perseverance and survival, and how social changes altered lives and circumstances. This is a beautifully written portrait of friends who loved and lived words, and made great beauty together.
A touching and deeply revealing look into the lives and thoughts of some of the most influential artists of the twentieth century, With Robert Lowell and His Circle will appeal to writers, students, and thoughtful literary readers, as well as to scholars.