One of the first American poets. Born in Northamptonshire, England around 1612 or 1613 as Anne Dudley, she married Simon Bradstreet, a former assistant to her father, in 1628 and when she was 18 they moved to the colonies. The couple had a happy marriage and eight children, and Anne wrote poetry without really intending to publish. Her brother-in-law gathered up her poems and took them to England, publishing then in 1650 as "The Tenth Muse, Lately Sprung Up In America" -- the first book of poems by an American, and the first American book of a woman's writing. She died in 1672 and an edition was published after her death with a few more poems, and corrections supposedly by Anne.

She was a devout Puritan and wrote long religious poems, but the shorter ones on more everyday subjects interest modern readers more. They are fascinating for their use of metaphor and their window into the thoughts of the colonists. "Before the Birth of One of Her Children" tells her husband what to do if she dies in childbirth. "A Dialogue Between Old England and New" is an interesting view of the current issues of the day. "The Author To Her Book" describes her poetry as a bastard child not worthy of attention, though other poems of hers say she as a woman has as much right to write as a man does. (unpimp notes, "I disagree. I think the poem is describing when her brother-in-law took her poems for publishing to England. She was dissatisfied with them, obviously, and they were not ready for print. 'Till snatched from thence by friends, less wise than true, Who thee abroad, exposed to public view.'" English professors make a living out of such different interpretations of the same work.)

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