Robert Earl Hayden was born on August 4th, 1913, with his birth name of Asa Bundy Sheffey. It wasn’t until he later lived with foster parents William and Sue Ellen Hayden, that his name was legally changed. Hayden was raised in a poor neighborhood in Detroit, Michigan known as Paradise Valley. After many years of witnessing both physical and verbal confrontations amongst his foster parents, he suffered from depression, and utilized poetry as an escape. In 1932, Hayden graduated from high school and attended Detroit City College, which would later become known as Wayne State University. At the age of 27, he published his first book of poems, Heart-Shape in the Dust, and then attended the University of Michigan. There, he was taken under the wing of Anglo-American poet Wystan Hugh Auden, who soon became a huge influence in Hayden’s writing. He admired a variety of poets, Edna St. Vincent, Carl Sandburg, and Langston Hughes just to name a few, and developed an interest in African-American his...
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...ntrism that is common in contemporary literature written by blacks” (Mann, James).
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"Robert E(arl) Hayden." Contemporary Authors Online. Detroit: Gale, 2003. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
Mann, James. "Robert E(arl) Hayden." American Poets Since World War II. Ed. Donald J. Greiner. Detroit: Gale Research, 1980. Dictionary of Literary Biography Vol. 5. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
Johnson, Jeannine. "An overview of “Those Winter Sundays”." Poetry for Students. Detroit: Gale. Literature Resource Center. Web. 5 Dec. 2013.
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