Robert Lowell (March 1, 1917September 12, 1977), born Robert Traill Spence Lowell, Jr., was an American Confessionalist poet known for inspiring and teaching several literary superstars of the 1950s and 1960s, including Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath. He was part of the Brahmin Lowell family that included Amy Lowell. Lowell attended Harvard University but transferred to Kenyon College in Gambier, Ohio, from where he graduated, to study under the great American critic, John Crowe Ransom. He was a Roman Catholic from 1940 to 1946. His Catholicism influenced his first two books, Land of Unlikeness (1944) and Lord Weary's Castle (1946). Because of Allied bombings of civilians, he was a conscientious objector during World War II. He was also married to novelist Jean Stafford (1915-1979) from 1940 to 1948. Lowell was hospitalized approximately 20 times for acute mania, underwent shock therapy, and characterized one of his manic episodes as a "magical orange grove in a nightmare" He won the Pulitzer Prize for poetry in 1947 and 1974, and the National Book Award for poetry in 1960. Lowell is buried in Stark Cemetery, Dunbarton Center, New Hampshire.
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