14 December 2017

It's Apparently Sylvia Plath Gift Giving Season

So, I hope many of you are giving or receiving, as gifts, copies of The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956 and These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath.

As the Belfast conference approached I took advantage of Gail Crowther's coming and had a few things sent to her to save on overseas shipping to me in the US. So, thank you Gail for being a courier! Please accept my gratitude: it is genuine…

The first one is a July 1961 copy of Vogue, the British edition as it had an article in it I wanted to see by John Wain and featured a photograph of Ted Hughes taken by David Bailey. The article mentions the Poetry at the Mermaid Festival event but does not mention Plath.

The above and this item were gifts to myself. The second thing that I had sent to her was a somewhat rare copy of Trevor Thomas's 1989 self-published memoir Sylvia Plath: Last Encounters. There are two copies for sale right now on ABE books for, respectively, $659 and $902. These appear to be in really nice condition. The copy I got is anything but and as such was a fraction of the cost at about $60. The cover is completely mangled and in fact at some point it was trimmed and affixed to the first page by scotch tape which is so awful a thing to have done. The first page, too, is loose from the plastic spiral comb binding. Would I have liked a pristine copy? Yes, but that's well outside of my price range and this copy is readable and otherwise complete. There are copies available at a number of archives for those who may be interested in reading it. I hope to read it again (it has been years) sometime in 2018.

In addition to these, Gail brought me the new Faber editions of Crossing the Water and Winter Trees and a bunch of clippings related to The Letters of Sylvia Plath. And ton of vegan Cadbury chocolate. (I brought Gail a number of things---books, US vegan chocolates, etc---as well so it was effectively a zero net gain on the weight of my suitcase.)



A couple of gifts recently arrived for me in the mail that I would like to acknowledge. I have been advised another gift is in on the way, so look forward to a post on that in 2018.

First up from the author himself is the audiobook version of Carl Rollyson's 2013 biography American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath. The book is read by George Newbern and is unabridged. I have never listened to an audiobook before but will give this a "read". Thank you Carl.




At the Belfast Plath conference, one of the more interesting panels was Saturday's "Teaching and Learning in Sylvia Plath Studies and Women’s Studies: Community Engagement, Digital Humanities, and Service Learning". The panelists were Dr. Julie Goodspeed-Chadwick (Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus), Bailey Burnett (Ball State University), Brandi Rund (Indiana University and Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus), and Courtney Watkins (Indiana University-Purdue University Columbus); and it was moderated by Dr. Amanda Golden.

Brandi showed off a wicked awesome Ricoh Theta 360 degree view camera which absolutely blew me away. During her portion of the panel, Brandi exhibited the functionality and coolness of the camera with this panel and spectator photograph. How cool is that? Well, Brandi did just about THE nicest thing of all time and sent me my own beautiful blue Ricoh Theta SC. With the camera, Brandi sent a neat tripod and hardcase, which is a clear plastic tube, which I am calling a bell jar, to protect the camera in the elements. And a bag from the Hoosier Educational Computer Coordinators conference. I've been needing a new shoulder bag and this one is really nice.


 

Her gesture has floored me. The other day I went for a run at lunch and took some photographs of Willow Street in Boston: it's intersection with Mt. Vernon Street; Acorn Street, and Chestnut Street. On the way back, I ran through Boston Common and the Public Gardens. It had snowed two days before so it was all rather bright and lovely. Lastly, here is my little library. The camera is particularly neat and sweet as regardless of whether or not you are connected to WiFi, the camera and phone create their own network (or something) and you can take the photograph using the app on your phone. I hope at some point this winter to record some more Plath sites in and around Boston, as well as maybe Smith College if I can get out there. Brandi, thank you for the bottom of my increasingly bitter and shrived curmudgeonly black heart.

Gail, Carl, and Brandi: you are all so kind to me and I am trying to figure out what I ever did to deserve such treatment. Thank you thank you thank you very much for your gifts which will all be cherished (I promise to eat only the chocolates).

All links accessed 7-11 December 2018.

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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.

Interviews