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Erin Dietel-McLaughlin

2002 Research

Abstract: When Culture Becomes Cultural voice: Explorations of Cultural self and other in the Works of Anne Sexton, Adriene Rich, and Maya Angelou

Mentor: Anthony Flinn, English

What does culture have to do with poetry? Most would agree that culture has a profound effect on how and what a writer writes about, and such areas as feminist, African American, and Chicano literature, among many others, have become popular areas of scholarly study and discourse within academia. The interest is appropriate, as writers have always written about their worlds and, consequently, the cultural forces within them. My goal is not to look at the writing of a particular culture in entirety, but to explore how and to what degree personal experiences within the multitude of intersecting cultural areas that is America have played a part in shaping the creative work of three different poets. The poets, Anne Sexton, Adrienne Rich, and Maya Angelou, are all three female, of the same generation, yet each unique in their cultural expression.

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