May Sarton was born in Belgium, and immigrated to the US during World War I. She attended one of the country’s first progressive grade schools, and received a scholarship to Vassar, which she declined to pursue acting. After failing as an actress, Sarton dedicated her energy to writing. She received some critical praise initially, but later reviews were often negative and caused her much personal despair. Over many decades, she managed to develop a sizable audience for both her poetry and her prose. In her poetry, she does not hold to any particular subject or form, writing in both free verse and meter, and about topics ranging from her personal love affairs to the student protests at Kent State.