American poet Robert Lowell was born in Boston in 1917 in Boston. He graduated from Kenyon College. He was widely considered the preeminent poet of the mid-20th century. A grandnephew of James Russell Lowell, in 1940 he converted to Roman Catholicism and married the writer Jean Stafford. During World War II he served a jail sentence as a conscientious objector. He taught at Boston University and at Harvard. His second wife (1949–72) was the novelist and critic Elizabeth Hardwick.
Lowell's poetry is individualistic and intense, rich in symbolism and marked by great technical skill. His later work indicates a philosophic acceptance of life and the world. His Life Studies is a frank and highly autobiographical volume in verse and prose, one of the first and most influential works of what is widely called “confessional” poetry. Lowell often used his life as raw material for his verse, writing, for instance, of his family, his relationships with his wives, and his frequent bouts of depression and madness.
He died in 1977.