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 Deborah Leah <I>Sugarbaker</I> Digges

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Deborah Leah Sugarbaker Digges

  • Birth 6 Feb 1950 Jefferson City, Cole County, Missouri, USA
  • Death 10 Apr 2009 Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Burial Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA
  • Memorial ID 35967973

Poet. She drew on an unhappy childhood, two failed marriages, widowhood, and a troubled son, to create a large body of verse, and two volumes of memoirs. Raised in Missouri by a strict Southern Baptist family, she became an accomplished painter at an early age, and studied art at the University of Missouri. After her first marriage, to an Air Force pilot, she settled in California, and earned a degree in English from the University of California, Riverside, in 1975. This was to be followed by a master's from the University of Missouri in 1982, and a master of fine arts in poetry from the Iowa Writer's Workshop in 1984. In 1986, her first volume of poems, "Vesper Sorrows", received wide critical acclaim, and lead to her becoming a regular contributor to the "New Yorker", and other periodicals. That same year, she assumed a professorship at Tufts University, in Boston, which she held until her death. Mrs. Digges produced two volumes of memoirs, "Fugitive Spring" (1992), and "The Stardust Lounge: Stories From a Boy's Adolescence" (2001). After her initial effort, she was to publish three more poetry collections, "Late in the Millennium" (1989), "Rough Music" (1995), and "Trapeze" (2004); the last, considered by many her masterpiece, deals in-part with her third husband's death from cancer in 2003. In 1996, she won the Kingsley Tufts Poetry Award for "Rough Music". Mrs. Digges committed suicide by jumping from the top of the University of Massachusettes stadium. In her poem "Broom", she wrote: "Once I asked myself, when was I happy? I was looking at a February sky. When did the light hold me, and I didn't struggle?"

Bio by: Bob Hufford


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  • Maintained by: Find A Grave
  • Originally Created by: Bob Hufford
  • Added: 17 Apr 2009
  • Find A Grave Memorial 35967973
  • Find A Grave, database and images (https://www.findagrave.com : accessed ), memorial page for Deborah Leah Sugarbaker Digges (6 Feb 1950–10 Apr 2009), Find A Grave Memorial no. 35967973, citing Wildwood Cemetery, Amherst, Hampshire County, Massachusetts, USA ; Maintained by Find A Grave .