01 October 2018

Triple-Threat Woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath

The British Library will host an event on 23 October 2018 entitled "Triple-Threat Woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath". Tickets went on sale on 10 September and it has been exciting to see and hear of people making bookings. This blog post is simply to reiterate the information on the British Library events page.

Insights into the life and work of a great writer

Poet and novelist Sylvia Plath was a great letter writer, and a newly published collection (The Letters of Sylvia Plath Volume II: 1956–1963, Faber and Faber) gathers letters from the period when she wrote her best-known works Ariel and The Bell Jar. Join the editors Peter K Steinberg and Karen V Kukil, and leading Plath scholars Heather Clark and Mark Ford, to explore the insights that they provide into her life and work.

Alternating reflections on literature with quotidian episodes, the letters offer insights about her life as an American woman in England in the late 1950s and 60s, and her experience with writing, her marriage to Ted Hughes and motherhood.

'If I want to keep on being a triple-threat woman: writer, wife and teacher…I can't be a drudge'. From a letter to Marcia B Stern, 9 April 1957

Heather Clark is the author of two award-winning books on 20th-century poetry: The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 and The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (2011) both published by Oxford University Press. Her biography of Sylvia Plath will be published by in 2019.

Mark Ford is a poet, critic and Head of the Department of English Language and Literature at University College London. He has written four collections of poetry: Landlocked (1992), Soft Sift (2001), Six Children (2011), and Enter, Fleeing (2018).

Karen V Kukil curates literary manuscripts at Smith College in Northampton, Massachusetts, including the papers of Sylvia Plath and Virginia Woolf. She is the editor of the Journals of Sylvia Plath (2000) and Woolf in the Real World: Selected Papers from the Thirteenth International Conference on Virginia Woolf (2005) and co-editor of the Letters of Sylvia Plath (2 vols. 2017-2018). Kukil's exhibitions include 'No Other Appetite': Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry (Grolier Club, 2005) and One Life: Sylvia Plath (National Portrait Gallery, Washington, D.C, 2018).

Archivist Peter K Steinberg is co-editor the Letters of Sylvia Plath (Faber) and co-author of These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath (2017). He authored the biography Sylvia Plath (2004), the introductions to The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath (2010) and Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning by Elizabeth Sigmund and Gail Crowther (2015), and articles on Plath have appeared in Fine Books & Collections, Notes & Queries, and Plath Profiles.

In association with Faber and Faber and supported by the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library

Details
Name: Triple-Threat Woman: The Letters of Sylvia Plath
Where: Knowledge Centre
The British Library
96 Euston Road
London
NW1 2DB

When: Tue 23 Oct 2018, 19:00 - 20:30
Price: Full Price: £12.00
Member: £12.00
Senior 60+: £10.00
Student: £8.00
Registered Unemployed: £8.00
Under 18: £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546
boxoffice@bl.uk

All links accessed 12 September 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