Sexton’s work is usually grouped with other Confessional poets such as Plath, Lowell, John Berryman, and W. D. Snodgrass. In an interview with Patricia Marx, Sexton discussed Snodgrass’s influence: “If anything influenced me it was W. D. Snodgrass’ . … It so changed me, and undoubtedly it must have influenced my poetry. At the same time everyone said, ‘You can’t write this way. It’s too personal; it’s confessional; you can’t write this, Anne,’ and everyone was discouraging me. But then I saw Snodgrass doing what I was doing, and it kind of gave me permission.”
Sexton’s work was enormously popular during her lifetime and she was the recipient of numerous honors and awards, including the Frost Fellowship to the Bread Loaf Writers’ Conference, the Radcliffe Institute Fellowship, the Levinson Prize, the American Academy of Arts and Letters traveling fellowship, the Shelley Memorial Prize, and an invitation to give the Morris Gray reading at Harvard. She also received a Guggenheim Fellowship, grants from the Ford Foundation, honorary degrees, and held professorships at Colgate University and Boston University. Despite her many achievements, critical discussions of her work tended to focus on the apparently autobiographical elements of her verse. bye.