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Did you know:... Caution: Sylvia Plath's "Three Women" in Winter Trees

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Sylvia Plath in Smith College newspapers

One way to add context to Sylvia Plath's letters and journals---that is, to her autobiographical life---during her years at Smith College is to read what was written about her by her classmates and/or other peers in the Smith College Associated News ( SCAN ) or The Sophian .  Plath mentioned SCAN in a letter from her first days at Smith (26 September 1950). But even though mentions in her own writings are scant, Plath was familiar with the newspapers and likely read them eagerly. It can be both enjoyable and illustrative to read the very words Plath read about herself in a way that feels more direct and immediate than through the transformation or translation of events by biographers. Here are some of the articles that appeared where Plath's name was mentioned. The article below appeared in The Sophian when Plath returned to teach at Smith and is about her prose work "Cambridge Vistas", which was first published in March 1956 as "Leaves from a Cambridge Notebo

Reprinting Sylvia Plath

Sylvia Plath meticulously kept track of her publication endeavors. She made submissions lists from around the time she a junior in High School (1948-1949) to within days of her death in February 1963. She was assuredly the consummate professional. If a work was published she usually kept a copy of its appearance for herself, though there are some instances were poems or works in prose were not retained by her (or her estate)--- see this post on her "Class Poem", for example . However, her poetry was reprinted periodically in publications (newspapers mostly) about which she likely never knew. That is the subject of this blog post. Stephen Tabor's seminal Analytical Bibliography did not have the advantage of so much text-searchable digital content. But even if it had, some of these publications that will be mentioned today may not have appeared in the pages of his cherished book. His book tended not to include second publications of Plath's works. Which is absolutely f

New Articles on Sylvia Plath's First Suicide Attempt

Normally this kind of update appears in August, but for various reasons it is appearing today. Since I wrote last year , a number of new articles on Sylvia Plath's first suicide attempt have been digitized. Each was transcribed and was added to the full bibliography of articles on Plath's first suicide attempt on my website, A celebration, this is . The ten new articles appear below. "Missing Student." Birmingham Post-Herald . 26 August 1953: 23. "Missing Poetess Hunted 3 Days Found in Cellar."  Birmingham Post-Herald . 27 August 1953: 11. "Student Disappears." The Macon News . 26 August 1953: 1. "Student Found." The Macon News . 27 August 1963: 25. "100 Hunt Smith Girl in Mass. Woods." The Lewiston Daily Sun . 26 August 1953: 1. "Find Smith Girl Under House Porch." The Lewiston Daily Sun . 27 August 1953: 1. "Missing Mass. Girl is Found." The Lewiston Evening Journal. 26 August 1953: 2. "Brilliant Stud

Sylvia Plath Periodical Appearances for sale

The last few months have been interesting as I have been trying to get better organized with my Sylvia Plath files. I thought  that I was really organized. At one time I was; but the move a few years back threw things funky. I recently found in my Letters of Sylvia Plath files some original periodical appearances and this post is to see if anyone wants to take them off me.  Please note that two hard-to-find vinyl LP records are still available. Please email me at peterksteinberg AT hotmail DOT com if you are interested in one of these. I will consider reasonable offers. If you want all, then let's discuss!  Shipping included within the US. Actual cost if overseas. 1. Accent , Autumn 1957: First publication of "Recantation" and "Tinker Jack and the Tidy Wives".  Price: $75 2: Granta , 26 January 1957: First UK publication of "The Wishing Box", and features the poem "Ceramics" by David Wevill.   Price $100 All magazines are in good to very goo

Sylvia Plath's Toll House Cookies

On 5 July 1943, Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother from Camp Weetamoe in New Hampshire that she consumed "5 Tollhouse cookies" ( Letters Vol I , 10). From Smith College seven years later, Plath casually mentioned that if her mother wanted to send her something that "Toll house cookies will be most welcome. I’m too hungry to share many, so will eat them with my before-bed glass of milk" (202). By summer 1951 when she was living with the Mayo family in their Swampscott house, Plath was making them herself (350). Her love of Toll House cookies is rather legendary. (What Plath called Toll House cookies are, largely, to us, the simple chocolate chip cookie). There are about sixteen references to these cookies between the two volumes of letters and just one in her journals.  When the batch of Plath's recipes cards (and rolling pin) hit the auction house last summer ( Lot 45 ), many were excited about the Tomato Soup Cake recipe . Being a lover a chocolate myself, I want

An undated, untitled prose work of Sylvia Plath

A friend recently let me know about a typescript page of some unidentified, untitled prose of Plath's wondered if I had seen it before. The answer was no, not really. However, after reading said typescript and Googling a random phrase, I learned that it was in fact published in the 1982 abridged edition of The Journals of Sylvia Plath (published in the US only).  Said text was printed in the Cambridge years section (1955-1957) under the heading of "Novel" on pages 150-51 of the abridged edition. It followed a subsection entitled "All the Dead Dears" and a "Poem" idea on page 149. The interlude from Plath's actual journals continues with the rather famous 25 February 1956 entry "Hello, hello. It is about time I sat down and described some things: Cambridge, people, ideas..." (151). For those with the unabridged Journals, the "All the Dead Dears" notes appears in an appendix on page 579; and the "Poem" idea a bit latae