25 December 2007

www.sylviaplath.info fully updated

Just in time for Christmas, my website for Sylvia Plath, "A celebration, this is", online at www.sylviaplath.info, is updated. There are about a dozen (or more) new photographs of Sylvia Plath places, and all photos are given fuller captions and reference descriptions. Also, there are over 100 new book covers ranging from works by Plath to works about Plath and works not in English.

Most of the web pages are updated too, including the biography, The Bell Jar, and the pages for Ariel, The Colossus, and other poetry collections. Later this year, I hope to add more information about Plath's Letters Home.

I hope that you all enjoy it, and please feel free to send me comments.

20 December 2007

Sylvia Plath 2007: Year in review

2007 review
2007 marked the 75th anniversary of Plath's birth, and it was an interesting and exciting year for the late poet. Several books were published, including three unique compilations of essays and a work of biographical poems. One book, Linda Wagner-Martin's Sylvia Plath's Poetry, was delayed for various reasons, disappointing many, including myself. The book is now scheduled for release on 7 August 2008. Books about Sylvia Plath that were published this year include:

The Unraveling Archive: essays on Sylvia Plath edited by Anita Helle
Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual edited by Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley
Lover of Unreason: Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's rival and Ted Hughes's doomed love by Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren
Chapters in a mythology: the poetry of Sylvia Plath by Judith Kroll
Sylvia Plath (Bloom's Modern Critical Views) edited by Harold Bloom
Your own, Sylvia: a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill
Letters of Ted Hughes edited by Christopher Reid

The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium took over Oxford for about five days in October. There was much buzz throughout the year surrounding this event, and it proved to be hugely successful. The papers presented, as well as talks from guest and featured speakers, provided each participant with new research, fresh ideas, and collegial conversations. No doubt that the research being conducted, and the resulting papers, dissertations, essays and books will benefit from the event. The future of Plath scholarship promises to be enlightening.

Amongst all these new publications, ideas, and events, there were several notable passing's. Elaine Connell, author of Sylvia Plath: Killing the Angel in the House and moderator of the Sylvia Plath Forum, passed away on 3 October. And, on 15 December, Diane Middlebrook, author of Anne Sexton: A Biography and Her Husband: Hughes and Plath, a Marriage, passed away. Their contributions to our knowledge of the poets will live on in the work we do. I had the pleasure of meeting Elaine in 2003 and Diane in 2004 and found them both inspirational and encouraging. Paul Roche, a poet and translator, who met Plath and Hughes in the 1950s, passed away on 30 October. Lastly, Elizabeth Hardwick, the second wife of Robert Lowell, who likely met Plath and Hughes in the late 1950s, passed away on 2 December.

In all my searching, I did not find many new Plath websites this year. Aside from this blog and contributions to the Sylvia Plath Forum, there was not much content added in this area of Plath studies. I started this blog for several reasons. One reason is, I had been unable to update my website (this issue was resolved and a big update will be coming between Christmas and New Year's). Another reason is my contributions to the Sylvia Plath Forum rarely appeared on the website; and the last reason was based on a conversation in February with Eilat Negev and Yehuda Koren. The conversation was about Plath's presence on the web which, for better or worse, seemed somewhat stalled. I hope the information presented here has been, is, or will be useful to you. That being said, Google Books and WorldCat are valuable resources for Plath scholarship. Please use them. If my web site does not have images you are looking for, use the satellite feature on Google Maps to get close-ups of neighborhoods. For example, you can really get great aerial views of Court Green and Heptonstall.

Looking forward
2008 should continue a revival of interest and inspection in Plath's life and works. Forthcoming books for the US market include Sylvia Plath's Poetry by Linda Wagner-Martin (Continuum) and A Sylvia Plath / Ted Hughes Chronology by Wim Van Mierlo (Palgrave MacMillan) are two notable books. Another new book scheduled for publication is Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and poems by Raychel Haugrud Reiff (Marshall Cavendish Benchmark). Negev and Koren's Lover of Unreason will be issued in paperback in January. This time around, the cover will feature an image only of Assia Wevill, a good decisions by the book designers.

A new journal, Plath Profiles, is scheduled to publish its first issue in the summer of 2008. I will post any information I can to keep you updated. There was some discussion about this journal at the Symposium in October. The panels were well attended and good ideas were shared.

And now, the much anticipated, highly unofficial Sylvia Plath Info Blog Awards (the SPIBAs) for 2007.

Favorite Book: The Unraveling Archive: essays on Sylvia Plath edited by Anita Helle

Most attractive book: Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of the visual edited by Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley

Now, for the most anticipated category of the year:

Ugliest book cover award: Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams by Sylvia Plath.

This award goes not to a book published this year, but to a book published in 2000. The HarperPerennial edition of Plath's Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams. If I were to judge this book by its cover, I would hand down a life sentence. In fact, this book wins the first ever Lifetime Achievement in Ugly Plath Book Covers Award (the LAUPBCA). I realize now I will never get a book deal with HarperPerennial.

15 December 2007

Diane Middlebrook

It is with sad news that I report the passing of Diane Middlebrook, author of biographies of Anne Sexton and Sylvia Plath.

The San Francisco Chronicle reports.

11 December 2007

Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of the visual

I saw a copy of Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of the visual at the Borders in downtown Boston this evening. The idiots shelved it under Fiction/Literature and also under editor Kathleen Connors last name, not with either The Bell Jar or with the Plath books in the poetry section. I took the liberty of moving it to the Plath books in the poetry section. They (Borders) did this for Koren and Negev's biography of Assia Wevill, A Lover of Unreason, too, shelving it under Koren rather than under Wevill, or even with the Plath and Hughes books in the poetry section. So, at any rate, the book is out there...Happy reading & viewing!

05 December 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: British Library and others...

Over the last few months, I have posted many different "Sylvia Plath Collections". In that time, I hope that any readers found the information useful to their own projects, or that the information will be useful in the future.

The following are listed "collections" in WorldCat with no library listed as owner, which is absolutely frustrating! For the sake of it, I attempted to inter-library loan one of them. This was the reply, "We have exhausted all possible sources. No library is able to supply this item. Unfortunately, according to Worldcat, zero libraries own this item. It is probably in a special collection somewhere that is unaccessible [sic.] for ILL. Sorry!"

My instincts tell me these are collections held in repositories in the United Kingdom and/or other countries. At least two of these are held by the British Museum (now the British Library). If anyone out there has any knowledge to help identify the collections, the libraries, and has worked with these materials, please post a comment!

In each entry, the title of the collection is in bold, followed by the author, the dates, and other information. For the first two collections, some sleuthing found that the British Library holds the materials.

Poems, etc. /

Ted Hughes; Sylvia Plath
Autograph & TS. Owned.

Nessie the mannerless monster by Ted Hughes, revised autograph & TS drafts
Poems published in 'Recklings' & 'Wodwo' & 4 unpublished poems by Ted Hughes
BBC scripts by Ted Hughes, autograph & TS fragments
The calm by Ted Hughes, revised TS fragments of an unpublished play
TS drafts of 2 poems by Sylvia Plath
Untitled short story by Sylvia Plath, revised TS fragments.

Date of collection: Jan 1983.
Reference: The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972

(What I do know: A catalogue was produced by Jenny Stratford entitled, The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. The catalogue reproduces a draft of Plath's poem "Insomniac". Copies are available here or a libraries worldwide.

According to the catalogue, these items are owned by the British Museum (now the British Library).

Insomniac :
[in 'Cheltenham Festival prize poems' collection] /
Sylvia Plath
4 autograph drafts & 2 TS drafts, numbered in sequence.
The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972:
Owned./ With a letter from Sylvia Plath, presenting the drafts, 1961./ Date of collection: Mar 1983.

(What I do know: For this collection, I found a reference to the six drafts of Insomiac here. The National Manuscript Collection for Contemporary Poets (NMCCP) sounds absolutely fascinating. It seems to be connected to the British Library, however, I did not find an entry for this item in the British Library Catalogue. This record also refers to The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. However, that still tells us nothing, really, about where these important drafts are held.)

These items are held by the British Museum (now British Library). They were written up in The Arts Council collection of modern literary manuscripts, 1963-1972. A nice facsimile reprint of a manuscript draft of "Insomniac" is produced in The Arts Council book. Another catalogue appeared in 1967. This one is by Jenny Lewis, Poetry in the Making: Catalogue of an exhibition of poetry manuscripts in the British Museum.


Poems /
Sylvia Plath
3 items, on 3 quarto sheets.
TS./ Owned./ Date of collection: Jan 1983

Three women :[a verse dialogue] by Sylvia Plath : script for production by Douglas Cleverdon, Third Programme, 9th June 1968.
16 sheets.
Duplicated TS./ Owned./ First production, also by Douglas Cleverdon, was on 19th August 1962./ Date of collection: Jan 1983.

Recordings of talks etc. by Ted Hughes.
Ted Hughes; Sylvia Plath
Owned./ Includes 'Poets in partnership', an interview of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath by Owen Leeming./ Date of collection: Mar 1987. (Two of a kind)

Recordings of talks etc. by Dannie Abse.
Dannie Abse
Archival Material

Owned./ Includes: P.E.N. Club editors' meeting - Lecture on Sylvia Plath - Item from BBC Radio 4 'Bookshelf' series./ Date of collection: Mar 1987.

Recordings of talks etc. by A. Alvarez.
A Alvarez
Archival Material
Owned./ Includes: Lecture on Sylvia Plath - Item from BBC Radio 4 'Now read on' series - 'Under pressure' [3 programmes: speakers include Lionel Trilling and W. H. Auden]./ Date of collection: Mar 1987.

03 December 2007

Sylvia Plath & WorldCat

WorldCat is beta testing an Identities search interface. This is a way to aggregate works by or about a certain author. It's very handy. I highly recommend checking it out if Plath in your favorite author or area of interest.

To see a complete listing of Sylvia Plath related books, archival material, and other formats, please click here.

02 December 2007

Eye Rhymes in USA, a review, and updates...

Amazon.com lists that Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley's Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of the visual is available (effective 6 November) for immediate shipping. The local Borders in Boston also lists the book as imminently available in stores. Additionally, OUP's USA site states that the book is available as well. It is clear that the 26 December release date was moved up.

Adam Philips at The Observer reviews the Letters of Ted Hughes in today's paper.

A number of my pages on my Sylvia Plath website are updated: index2.html, resources.html, and books.html. All other web pages are updated, but won't be online for several weeks yet. The image here is of a test page. I am still working on formating and content. When everything is up, there should be in excess of 350 images - both photographic images of Sylvia Plath places and scanned book covers.

29 November 2007

Sylvia Plath event: ICA London on 3 December

THE INSTITUTE of Contemporary Arts’ (ICA) Talks Programme for December begins on Monday, December 3 with Sylvia Plath Revisited.

In the light of the recent publication of Eye Rhymes, a book of largely unseen paintings and sketches by Sylvia Plath and new essays by Plath scholars, this evening revisits the great poet’s life and work, focusing on the relationship between the visual and verbal.

Poet Adam O’Riordan will be joining rapper and star of Michael Winterbottom’s documentary The Road to Guantanamo, Rizwan Ahmed; National Theatre multimedia designer, Mark Grimmer; and award-winning playwright and actor, Elisabeth Gray.

The talk will be preceeded by a specially commissioned series of responses to Plath in song, animation, and film.

Sylvia Plath Revisited, which will be held in the Nash room at 7pm, will be chaired by Sally Bayley of Jesus College, Oxford.

Tickets: £10, £9 concessions, £8 members.

27 November 2007

Updated at last!

My web site for Sylvia Plath (www.sylviaplath.info) is in the process of being updated. Please be patient as new pages, content, images, etc. are posted to the site.

26 November 2007

Bibliography of works about Sylvia Plath

Bibliography of books about Sylvia Plath

Ackerman, Diane, and Enid Mark. 1996. About Sylvia. Wallingford, Pa: ELM Press.

Agarwal, Suman. 2003. Sylvia Plath. New Delhi: Northern Book Centre.

Aird, Eileen M. 1973. Sylvia Plath. New York: Barnes & Noble Books.

Alexander, Paul. 1985. Ariel ascending writings about Sylvia Plath. New York: Harper & Row.

Alexander, Paul. 1991. Rough magic a biography of Sylvia Plath. New York, N.Y., U.S.A.: Viking.

Alvarez, A. 1972. The savage god; a study of suicide. New York: Random House.

Annas, Pamela J. 1988. A disturbance in mirrors the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Contributions in women's studies, no. 89. New York: Greenwood Press.

Anderson, Robert. 2005. Little fugue. New York: Ballantine Books.

Axelrod, Steven Gould. 1990. Sylvia Plath the wound and the cure of words. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Bassnett, Susan. 2005. Sylvia Plath an introduction to the poetry. New York: Palgrave Macmillan.

Becker, Jillian. 2002. Giving up the last days of Sylvia Plath. London: Ferrington.

Becker, Jillian. 2003. Giving up the last days of Sylvia Plath. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Biography: Sylvia Plath. 2005. New York: A & E Television Networks.

Birkle, Carmen. 1996. Women's stories of the looking glass autobiographical reflections and self-representations in the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Adrienne Rich, and Audre Lorde. American studies, v. 72. München: W. Fink.

Bloom, Harold. 1989. Sylvia Plath. Modern critical views. New York: Chelsea House Publishers.

Bloom, Harold. 2001. Sylvia Plath. Broomhall, Pa: Chelsea House.

Bloom, Harold. 2007. Sylvia Plath. Bloom's modern critical views. New York: Bloom's Literary Criticism.

Blosser, Silvianne. 2001. A poetics on edge the poetry and prose of Sylvia Plath : a study of Sylvia Plath's poetic and poetological developments. Bern: Peter Lang.

Brain, Tracy. 2001. The other Sylvia Plath. Longman studies in twentieth-century literature. Harlow, England: Longman.

Brennan, Claire. 1999. The poetry of Sylvia Plath. Duxford: Icon.

Brennan, Claire. 2001. The poetry of Sylvia Plath. Columbia critical guides. New York: Columbia University Press.

Britzolakis, Christina. 1999. Sylvia Plath and the theatre of mourning. Oxford English monographs. Oxford [England]: Clarendon Press.

Broe, Mary Lynn. 1980. Protean poetic the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Columbia: University of Missouri Press.

Bronfen, Elisabeth. 1998. Sylvia Plath. Plymouth, U.K.: Northcote House, in association with the British Council.

Bronfen, Elisabeth. 2004. Sylvia Plath. Tavistock: Northcote House.

Brownlow, John. 2003. Sylvia the shooting script. A Newmarket shooting script series book. New York: Newmarket Press.

Bundtzen, Lynda K. 1983. Plath's incarnations woman and the creative process. Women and culture series. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Bundtzen, Lynda K. 2001. The other Ariel. Amherst, Mass: University of Massachusetts Press.

Bundtzen, Lynda K. 2005. The other Ariel. Stroud: Sutton.

Butler, C. S. 1981. Poetry and the computer some quantitative aspects of the style of Sylvia Plath. London: The British Academy.

Butscher, Edward. 1976. Sylvia Plath, method and madness. New York: Seabury Press.

Butscher, Edward. 1977. Sylvia Plath the woman and the work. New York: Dodd, Mead.

Butscher, Edward. 2003. Sylvia Plath method and madness. Tucson, Ariz: Schaffner Press.

Chapman, Lynne F., and Sylvia Plath. 1994. Sylvia Plath. Mankato, Minn: Creative Education.

Christodoulides, Nephie. 2005. Out of the cradle endlessly rocking motherhood in Sylvia Plath's work. Costerus, new ser., v. 152. Amsterdam: Rodopi.

Conarroe, Joel. 1994. Eight American poets Theodore Roethke, Elizabeth Bishop, Robert Lowell, John Berryman, Anne Sexton, Sylvia Plath, Allen Ginsberg, James Merrill : an anthology. New York: Random House.

Connell, Elaine. 1993. Sylvia Plath killing the angel in the house. Hebden Bridge, West Yorkshire: Pennine Pens.

Connors, Kathleen, and Sally Bayley. 2007. Eye rhymes Sylvia Plath's art of the visual. Oxford: Oxford University Press.

Curry, Renée R. 2000. White women writing white H.D., Elizabeth Bishop, Sylvia Plath, and whiteness. Contributions in women's studies, no. 175. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Davison, Peter. 1994. The fading smile poets in Boston, 1955-1960 from Robert Frost to Robert Lowell to Sylvia Plath. New York: Knopf.

Decker, Sharon D. 1978. "I have a self to recover" Sylvia Plath's Ariel. Michigan occasional papers in women's studies, no. 7. Ann Arbor, Mich: Women's Studies Program, University of Michigan].

Dickie, Margaret. 1979. Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. Urbana: University of Illinois Press.

Draskau, Jennifer. 1991. The liberation of Sylvia Plath's Ariel psychosemantics and a glass sarcophagus. Publications on English themes, v. 15. [Copenhagen]: Dept. of English, University of Copenhagen.

Enniss, Stephen, and Karen V. Kukil. 2005. "No other appetite" Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the blood jet of poetry. New York: Grolier Club.

Forbes, Deborah, and Sylvia Plath. 2002. The bell jar Sylvia Plath. Sparknotes. New York: Spark Pub.

Gekoski, R. A. 2004. Nabokov's butterfly & other stories of great authors and rare books. New York: Carroll & Graf.

Gekoski, R. A. 2004. Tolkien's gown and other stories of great authors and rare books. London: Constable.

Gentry, Deborah S. 1998. The art of dying suicide in the works of Kate Chopin and Sylvia Plath. American university studies, vol. 56. New York: P. Lang.

Gill, Jo. 2006. The Cambridge companion to Sylvia Plath. Cambridge companions to literature. Cambridge, UK: Cambridge University Press.

Haberkamp, Frederike. 1997. Sylvia Plath the poetics of beekeeping. Salzburg studies in English literature, 192. Salzburg: Salzburg University.

Hall, Caroline King Barnard. 1978. Sylvia Plath. Boston: Twayne Publishers.

Hall, Caroline King Barnard. 1998. Sylvia Plath, revised. Twayne's United States authors series, TUSAS 702. New York: Twayne Publishers.

Hamilton, Ian. 1994. Keepers of the flame literary estates and the rise of biography from Shakespeare to Plath. Boston: Faber and Faber.

Hargrove, Nancy Duvall. 1994. The journey toward Ariel Sylvia Plath's poems of 1956-1959. Lund studies in English, 85. Lund, Sweden: Lund University Press.

Harrison, DeSales. 2005. The end of the mind the edge of the intelligible in Hardy, Stevens, Larkin, Plath, and Gluck. Literary criticism and cultural theory. New York: Routledge.

Hassett, Marilyn, Julie Harris, Anne Jackson, Barbara Barrie, Robert Klein, Donna Mitchell, Larry Peerce, Andrew Bonime, Anthony LaMarca, and Sylvia Plath. 2005. The bell jar. United States: s.n.].

Hassett, Marilyn, Julie Harris, Anne Jackson, Barbara Barrie, Robert Klein, Donna Mitchell, Marjorie Kellogg, et al. 2002. The bell jar. S.l: New Star Video.

Hawthorn, Jeremy. 1983. Multiple personality and the disintegration of literary character from Oliver Goldsmith to Sylvia Plath. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Hayman, Ronald. 1991. The death and life of Sylvia Plath. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group.

Hedberg, Johannes. 1970. Poets of our time English poetry from Yeats to Sylvia Plath. Engelskt kursbibliotek. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell.

Heje, Johan, and Sylvia Plath. 1980. Key to Sylvia Plath, The bell jar. [Copenhagen]: Munksgaard.

Helle, Anita Plath. 2007. The unraveling archive essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press.

Hemphill, Stephanie. 2007. Your own, Sylvia a verse portrait of Sylvia Plath. New York: Alfred A. Knopf.

Holbrook, David. 1976. Sylvia Plath poetry and existence. London: Athlone Press.

Homberger, Eric. 1970. A chronological checklist of the periodical publications of Sylvia Plath. American arts pamphlet, no. 1. Exeter: University of Exeter (American Arts Documentation Centre).

Hughes, Frieda. 2006. Forty-five poems. New York: HarperCollins.

Hughes, Ted, and William Scammell. 1995. Winter pollen occasional prose. New York: Picador USA.

Hughes, Ted. 1998. Birthday letters. London: Faber and Faber.

Hughes, Ted. 1998. Birthday letters. New York: Farrar, Straus, Giroux.

Inness, Jeanne. 1984. The bell jar notes, including life and background, chronology of Plath, introduction to the novel, list of characters, critical commentaries, character analyses, critical essays, essay questions, select bibliography, additional readings. Lincoln, Neb: Cliff's Notes.

Jaidka, Manju. 1992. Confession and beyond the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Chandigarh, India: Arun Pub. House.

Jha, Pashupati. 1991. Sylvia Plath, the fear and fury of her muse. New Delhi: Creative Publishers.

Joseph, Annamma. 1996. Feminism and the modern American poetry with focus on Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton and Adrienne Rich. New Delhi: Prestige.

Kendall, Tim. 2001. Sylvia Plath a critical study. London: Faber and Faber.

Kirk, Connie Ann. 2004. Sylvia Plath a biography. Greenwood biographies. Westport, Conn: Greenwood Press.

Kirsch, Adam. 2005. The wounded surgeon confession and transformation in six American poets : Robert Lowell, Elizabeth Bishop, John Berryman, Randall Jarrell, Delmore Schwartz, and Sylvia Plath. New York: W.W. Norton & Co.

Koren, Yehuda, and Eilat Negev. 2006. A lover of unreason the life and tragic death of Assia Wevill. London: Robson Books.

Koren, Yehuda, and Eilat Negev. 2007. Lover of unreason Assia Wevill, Sylvia Plath's rival and Ted Hughes's doomed love. New York: Carroll & Graf Publishers.

Kroll, Judith. 1976. Chapters in a mythology the poetry of Sylvia Plath. New York: Harper & Row.

Kroll, Judith. 2007. Chapters in mythology the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Stroud: Sutton.

Kumar, Virendra. 1988. Sylvia Plath, the poetry of self. New Delhi: Radha Publications.

Kyle, Barry, and Sylvia Plath. 1976. Sylvia Plath, a dramatic portrait. London: Faber.

Kyle, Barry, and Sylvia Plath. 1977. Sylvia Plath, a dramatic portrait. New York: Harper & Row.

Lane, Gary. 1979. Sylvia Plath new views on the poetry. Baltimore: Johns Hopkins University Press.

Lane, Gary, and Maria Stevens. 1978. Sylvia Plath a bibliography. The Scarecrow author bibliographies, no. 36. Metuchen, N.J.: Scarecrow Press.

ehrer, Sylvia. 1985. The dialectics of art and life a portrait of Sylvia Plath as woman and poet. Salzburg studies in English literature, 71. Salzburg, Austria: Institut für Anglistik und Amerikanistik, Universtät Salzburg.

Levy, Patricia, and Tony Buzan. 1999. A guide to poems of Sylvia Plath. Teach yourself literature guides. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Lim, Sandra. 1997. Double-consciousness and the protean self in Sylvia Plath's Ariel. Stanford honors essay in humanities, no. 41. Stanford, Calif: Humanities Honors Program, Stanford University.

Lindahl-Raittila, Iris. 2002. From victim of the 'feminine mystique' to heroine of feminist deconstruction auto/biographical images of Sylvia Plath 1963-2001. Åbo: Åbo Akademis Förlag.

Lindberg-Seyersted, Brita. 2002. Sylvia Plath studies in her poetry and her personality. Novus studies in literature, 3. Oslo: Novus Press.

Macpherson, Patricia. 1983. The Puzzle of Sylvia Plath. Canterbury: University of Kent.

Macpherson, Pat. 1991. Reflecting on The bell jar. London: Routledge.

Majumdar, Keya. 2002. Sylvia Plath the complete poet. New Delhi: Prestige Books.

Malcolm, Janet. 1994. The silent woman Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes. New York: A.A. Knopf.

Markey, Janice. 1985. A new tradition? the poetry of Sylvia Plath, Anne Sexton, and Adrienne Rich, a study of feminism and poetry. Frankfurt am Main: P. Lang.

Markey, Janice. 1993. A journey into the red eye the poetry of Sylvia Plath, a critique. London: Women's Press.

Marsack, Robyn. 1992. Sylvia Plath. Open guides to literature. Buckingham [England]: Open University Press.

Matovich, Richard M., and Sylvia Plath. 1986. A concordance to The collected poems of Sylvia Plath. Garland reference library of the humanities, vol. 618. New York: Garland Pub.

Melander, Ingrid. 1972. The poetry of Sylvia Plath; a study of themes. Stockholm: Almquist & Wiksell.

Meyering, Sheryl L. 1990. Sylvia Plath a reference guide, 1973-1988. A Reference guide to literature. Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall.

Middlebrook, Diane Wood. 2003. Her husband Hughes and Plath--a marriage. New York: Viking.

Morrissey, Michael. 1981. She's not the child of Sylvia Plath poems. Christchurch: Sword Press.

Moses, Kate. 2003. Wintering a novel of Sylvia Plath. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Myers, Lucas. 2001. Crow steered bergs appeared a memoir of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Sewanee, Tenn: Proctor's Hall Press.

Newman, Charles. 1970. The art of Sylvia Plath, a symposium. Bloomington: Indiana University Press.

Nicholl, Charles, and Andrew Motion. 2004. Interrupted lives in literature. London: National Portrait Gallery.

Norris, Pamela. 2006. Words of love passionate women from Heloise to Sylvia Plath. London: HarperPress.

Northouse, Cameron, and Thomas P. Walsh. 1974. Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton a reference guide. Boston: G.K. Hall.

Novak, Robert D. 1983. Sleeping with Sylvia Plath. Windless orchard chapbook. [S.l.]: Windless Orchard.

Orr, Peter. 1966. The poet speaks interviews with contemporary poets conducted by Hilary Morrish, Peter Orr, John Press and Ian Scott-Kilvert. London: Routledge & K. Paul.

Owen, Alison, John Brownlow, Christine Jeffs, Gwyneth Paltrow, Daniel Craig, Jared Harris, Amira Casar, et al. 2004. Sylvia. Universal City, CA: Universal.

Peel, Robin. 2002. Writing back Sylvia Plath and Cold War politics. Madison [NJ]: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Phillips, Robert S. 1973. The confessional poets. Carbondale: Southern Illinois University Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1997. The growth of a poet Sylvia Plath. The master poets collection. Thousand Oaks, CA: Monterey Home Video.

Plath, Sylvia, Edie Falco, and Clare Pollard. 2003. "Superman and Paula Brown's new snowsuit" by Sylvia Plath. [Princeton, N.J.]: Films for the Humanities & Sciences.

Plath, Sylvia, Aurelia Schober Plath, Richard J. Larschan, and Elizabeth Wilda. 2000. Poets of New England. Episode #108, Sylvia Plath and the myth of the monstrous mother. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Plath, Sylvia, Aurelia Schober Plath, Richard J. Larschan, and Elizabeth Wilda. 2000. Poets of New England. Episode #109, Electry-Fying, Sylvia Plath and the myth of the omnipresent/absent father. Amherst, MA: University of Massachusetts Amherst.

Pomeroy, Marnie. 2006. Sylvia Plath. Greenwich Exchange literary series. London: Greenwich Exchange.

Rajani, P. 2000. The poetry of Sylvia Plath. Hyderabad: Orient Longman Ltd.

Rāmakr̥ṣṇan, I. Vi. 1988. Crisis and confession studies in the poetry of Theodore Roethke, Robert Lowell, and Sylvia Plath. Delhi: Chanakya Publications.

Raymond, Claire. 2006. The posthumous voice in women's writing from Mary Shelley to Sylvia Plath. Aldershot, England: Ashgate.

Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. 2008. Sylvia Plath The bell jar and poems. New York: Marshall Cavendish Benchmark.

Richardson, Susan. 2000. Virginia Woolf and Sylvia Plath Two of me now : a poetic drama. The Bloomsbury heritage series, 25. London: Cecil Woolf.

Rose, Jacqueline. 1992. The haunting of Sylvia Plath. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Rosenblatt, Jon. 1979. Sylvia Plath the poetry of initiation. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Rowland, Antony. 2005. Holocaust poetry awkward poetics in the work of Sylvia Plath, Geoffrey Hill, Tony Harrison and Ted Hughes. Edinburgh: Edinburgh University Press.

Rudolf, Anthony, Yves Bonnefoy, Audrey Jones, and Daniel Weissbort. 1995. Theme and version Plath and Ronsard. London: Menard Press.

Saldívar, Toni. 1992. Sylvia Plath confessing the fictive self. Writing about women, vol. 3. New York: Peter Lang.

Salop, Lynne. 1978. Suisong. New York: Vantage Press.

Sambrook, Hana, and Sylvia Plath. 1990. Sylvia Plath selected works. Longman literature guides. London: Longman.

Sarma, M. V. S. 2001. Study of Sylvia Plath and her works. Bareilly [India]: Prakash Book Depot.

Simpson, Louis Aston Marantz. 1978. A revolution in taste studies of Dylan Thomas, Allen Ginsberg, Sylvia Plath, and Robert Lowell. New York: MacMillan.

Singh, Mina Surjit. 2003. Six women poets a cross-cultural study : Emily Dickinson, Sarojini Naidu, Sylvia Plath, Kamala Das Surayya, Adrienne Rich, Mamta Kalia. New Delhi: Prestige Books.

Spurr, Barry. 1992. The poetry of Sylvia Plath. Newtown, N.S.W.: B. Spurr.

Steinberg, Peter K. 2004. Sylvia Plath. Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers.

Steiner, Nancy Hunter. 1973. A closer look at Ariel: a memory of Sylvia Plath. New York: Harper's Magazine Press.

Stevenson, Anne. 1989. Bitter fame a life of Sylvia Plath. Boston: Houghton Mifflin.

Strangeways, Al. 1998. Sylvia Plath the shaping of shadows. Madison: Fairleigh Dickinson University Press.

Swiontkowski, Gale. 2003. Imagining incest Sexton, Plath, Rich, and Olds on life with daddy. Selinsgrove, [Pa.]: Susquehanna University Press.

Tabor, Stephen. 1987. Sylvia Plath an analytical bibliography. Westport, Conn: Meckler Pub. Corp.

Tennant, Emma. 2001. Sylvia and Ted a novel. New York: Henry Holt.

Tennant, Emma. 2001. The ballad of Sylvia and Ted. Edinburgh: Mainstream Pub.

Thomas, Trevor, Ted Hughes, and Trevor Thomas. 1989. Sylvia Plath last encounters. Bedford, England: T. Thomas.

Tytell, John. 1991. Passionate lives D.H. Lawrence, F. Scott Fitzgerald, Henry Miller, Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath--in love. Secaucus, NJ: Carol Pub. Group.

Van Dyne, Susan R. 1993. Revising life Sylvia Plath's Ariel poems. Chapel Hill: University of North Carolina Press.

Van Mierlo, Wim. 2008. A Sylvia Plath / Ted Hughes chronology. New York : Palgrave.

Vendler, Helen Hennessy. 1987. Voices & visions the poet in America. New York: Random House.

Vendler, Helen Hennessy. 2003. Coming of age as a poet Milton, Keats, Eliot, Plath. Cambridge, Mass: Harvard University Press.

Wagner, Erica. 2000. Ariel's gift a commentary on Birthday letters by Ted Hughes. London: Faber and Faber.

Wagner, Erica. 2001. Ariel's gift Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath and the story of the Birthday letters. New York: W.W. Norton.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1984. Critical essays on Sylvia Plath. Critical essays on American literature. Boston, Mass: G.K. Hall.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1987. Sylvia Plath a biography. New York: Simon and Schuster.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1988. Sylvia Plath a biography. London: Chatto & Windus.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1988. Sylvia Plath, the critical heritage. The Critical heritage series. London: Routledge.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1992. The bell jar, a novel of the fifties. Twayne's masterwork studies, no. 98. New York: Twayne.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 1999. Sylvia Plath--a literary life. Houndmills, Basingstoke, Hampshire: MacMillan.

Wagner-Martin, Linda. 2008. Sylvia Plath's poetry. London: Continuum.

Walder, Dennis. 1976. Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath. Arts, a third level course : Twentieth century poetry, unit 29. Milton Keynes: Open University Press.

Warren, Rebecca. 2001. Sylvia Plath selected poems. York notes. Harlow: Longman/York Press.

Wisker, Gina. 2001. Sylvia Plath a beginner's guide. London: Hodder & Stoughton.

Wolf, Manfred. 1974. On the death of Sylvia Plath and other poems women's voices from Holland and Flanders. San Francisco: Twowindows Press.

Wood, David John. 1992. A critical study of the birth imagery of Sylvia Plath, American poet, 1932-1963. Lewiston: E. Mellen Press.

Wurst, Gayle. 1999. Voice and vision the poetry of Sylvia Plath. Travaux des universités suisses, no 4. Genève: Slatkine.

22 November 2007

Update: Sylvia Plath website & Ted Hughes links

My website for Sylvia Plath, A celebration, this is, appears to be back online. But, so far without the updates I hoped for this time. They are coming...


There is a long article by Craig Raine in the Times Literary Supplement on Ted Hughes. Read the article here.

Also, Tom Paulin reviews the Letters of Ted Hughes in the London Review of Books.

21 November 2007

Sylviaplath.info is down

For any visitors to my Sylvia Plath website, www.sylviaplath.info, the website is down, and may be down for up to a week. I hope no longer than that. If things go well, however, when the site is back up it will be updated for the first time in over two years!! Something I hope you will enjoy!

19 November 2007

Plath, in Swedish

For any Swedish readers of Sylvia Plath, Symposium panelist Annika J. Hagström (Saturday afternoon session on Images and Viewers of Plath, paper title "Stasis in Darkness: Sylvia Plath as a Fictive Character") recently published this article in the Helsingborgs Dagblad.

17 November 2007

Bibliography of books by Sylvia Plath

What follows is a bibliography of books by Sylvia Plath, including works available commercially and limited editions-including broadsides. I will update this list as I learn about new publications. If you see any gross mistakes, please let me know.

Bibliography of books by Sylvia Plath

Plath, Sylvia. 1960. A winter ship. Edinburgh: Tragara Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1960. The colossus: poems. London: Heinemann.

Plath, Sylvia. 1962. The colossus & other poems. New York: Knopf.

Plath, Sylvia. 1963. The bell jar. London: Heinemann.

Plath, Sylvia. 1964. The bell jar. London: W. Heinemann.

Plath, Sylvia. 1965. Uncollected poems. Turret booklet, no. 2. London: Turret Books.

Plath, Sylvia. 1966. Mirror. Edinburgh: Privately printed at the Tragara Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1965. Ariel. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 1966. Ariel. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1966. The bell jar. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 1968. Three women: a monologue for three voices. London: Turret Books.

Plath, Sylvia. 1970. Wreath for a bridal. Frensham, Farnham, Surrey: Sceptre Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1970. Among the narcissi. Ashington, Eng: MidNAG.

Plath, Sylvia. 1970. Three women. S.l: s.n.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Brasilia. London: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Child [poem]. Exeter, [Eng.]: Rougemont Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Crossing the water. London: Faber and Faber Ltd.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Crossing the water: transitional poems. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Crystal gazer and other poems. London: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Crystal gazer and other poems [specimen sheet]. London: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Lyonnesse: poems. London: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Lyonnesse: poems [specimen sheet]. London: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Million dollar month. Frensham, Farnham, Surrey: Sceptre Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. The bell jar. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1971. Winter trees. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Matthew Kangas. 1971. The surgeon at 2 a.m. & other poems. Portland, Ore: [s.n.].

Plath, Sylvia. 1972. Winter trees. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1973. Pursuit [prospectus]. London: The Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Leonard Baskin. 1973. Pursuit. [London]: The Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ralph Steadman. 1974. To Eva descending the stair. [London]: Steam Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1975. Trois poemes inedits. Paris: Edition Dufour.

Plath, Sylvia, and Aurelia Schober Plath. 1975. Letters home correspondence, 1950-1963. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Aurelia Schober Plath. 1975. Letters home correspondence, 1950-1963. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia, and Emily Arnold McCully. 1976. The bed book. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia, and Quentin Blake. 1976. The bed book. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 1977. Johnny Panic and the bible of dreams and other prose writings. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 1977. Sylvia Plath reading her poetry.

Plath, Sylvia. [1977?]. Ariel [and] Morning Song. [s.l.]

Plath, Sylvia. 1979. Johnny Panic and the Bible of dreams short stories, prose, and diary excerpts. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1980. Two poems. Knotting, Bedfordshire: Sceptre Press.

Plath, Sylvia. 1980. Two uncollected poems. London: Anvil.

Plath, Sylvia. 1981. A day in June an uncollected short story. Ely [Cambridgeshire]: Embers Handpress.

Plath, Sylvia, and Leonard Baskin. 1981. Dialogue over a Ouija board a verse dialogue. Cambridge, England: Rainbow Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ted Hughes. 1981. Sylvia Plath collected poems. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ted Hughes. 1981. The collected poems. New York: Harper & Row.

Plath, Sylvia. 1982. The green rock. Ely [Cambridgeshire]: Embers Handpress.

Plath, Sylvia, and Susan R. Van Dyne. 1982. Stings original drafts of the poem in facsimile, reproduced from the Sylvia Plath Collection at Smith College. Northampton, Mass: Smith College Library Rare Book Room.

Plath, Sylvia, Ted Hughes, and Frances Monson McCullough. 1982. The journals of Sylvia Plath. New York: Dial Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Barry Moser. 1985. Above the Oxbow selected writings. Northampton [Mass.]: Catawba Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ted Hughes. 1985. Sylvia Plath's Selected poems. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 1988. Voices & visions. Sylvia Plath. Voices and visions. New York: Mystic Fire Audio.

Plath, Sylvia. 1989. The magic mirror a study of the double in two of Dostoevsky's novels. Rhiwargor, Llanwddyn, Powys [Wales]: Embers Handpress.

Plath, Sylvia. 1992. Sylvia Plath reads. New York: Caedmon.

Plath, Sylvia, and Christina Moore. 1992. The bell jar. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books.

Plath, Sylvia. 1993. Pigeon post. London: Turret Bookshop.

Plath, Sylvia. 1995. Social fantasies. [Buffalo, N.Y.?]: Channel 500.

Plath, Sylvia. 1996. The bell jar. New York: HarperCollins Publishers.

Plath, Sylvia, and Rotraut Susanne Berner. 1996. The it-doesn't-matter suit. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Rotraut Susanne Berner. 1996. The it-doesn't-matter suit. New York: St. Martin's Press.

Plath, Sylvia, and Frances McDormand. 1997. The bell jar. Prince Frederick, MD: Recorded Books, Inc.

Plath, Sylvia, and Diane Wood Middlebrook. 1998. Plath poems. Everyman's library pocket poets. New York: Knopf.

Plath, Sylvia, and J. D. McClatchy. 1999. The voice of the poet. [New York, NY]: Random House Audiobooks.

Plath, Sylvia, Fiona Shaw, and Ruth Petrie. 1999. The bell jar. London [etc.]: Penguin.

Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. 2000. The journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. 2000. The unabridged journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ted Hughes. 2000. Sylvia Plath poems. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and David Roberts. 2001. Collected children's stories. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, and Ted Hughes. 2004. The Faber Plath poems. London: Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, Frieda Hughes, and David Semanki. 2004. Ariel the restored edition ; a facsimile of Plath's manuscript reinstating her original selection and arrangement. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia, Frieda Hughes, and David Semanki. 2004. Ariel the restored edition ; a facsimile of Plath's manuscript, reinstating her original selection and arrangement. New York: HarperCollins.

Plath, Sylvia. 2005. The bell jar. London: Faber and Faber.

Plath, Sylvia. 2005. The bell jar. New York: Harpercollins.

Plath, Sylvia, Frieda Hughes, and David Semanki. 2005. Ariel the restored edition ; a facsimile of Plath's manuscript, reinstating her original selection and arrangement. New York: Harper Perennial.

Plath, Sylvia. 2006. The bell jar. New York: HarperPerennial.

Plath, Sylvia, and Maggie Gyllenhaal. 2006. The bell jar. New York: Caedmon.

15 November 2007

Collectors congregate at Convention Center

This weekend is the 31st annual Boston Antiquarian Book Fair at the Hynes Convention Center (Back Bay; T to Copley or Hynes).

This is the fifth year I'll be going. Typically there are some Sylvia Plath titles; like her copy of The Colossus inscribed to Theodore Roethke, or the typescripts of the Ariel poems (which recently sold to a private collector). I've seen first editions of The Bell Jar, Ariel, and other poetry and prose collections.

One highlight is Jett Whitehead's copy of Ariel, inscribed by Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes, to his friend and collaborator, the Hungarian poet Janos Csokits, in April 1967.

Start your collection, build your collection, or simply come to browse at the beautiful world of antiquarian books.

14 November 2007

Event reminder: Tracy Brain on 20 November

This is an event reminder that on 20 November, 2007, Tracy Brain will give a seminar titled "Representing Sylvia Plath".

Brain spoke on this topic during the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium, impressively weaving into her paper events and "representations" taking place during the conference. With nearly three weeks passing since the end of the Symposium and this talk, the evening promises to be even more informative.

The Programme for the Autumn 2007 term of the MSS: Modern Manuscript Studies Seminar at the Institute of English Studies includes the following event:

Speaker: Tracy Brain (Bath Spa University), "Representing Sylvia Plath"
Date: 20 November 2007
Time: 17:30 - 19:00
Venue: Room NG14

The event will be held in the Senate House, Malet Street, London WC1E 7HU.

Tracy Brain is the author of numerous articles on Sylvia Plath, as well as the book, The Other Sylvia Plath (Longman: 2001).

If anyone who reads this blog attends, please feel free to post comments about her talk.

12 November 2007

Extra-curricular Sylvia Plath events at Oxford

The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium featured several extra-curricular events for delegates and attendees. Each night during the symposium, Elisabeth Gray performed the one woman play Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath. I had the opportunity to see the play Friday night, which featured a lively but curtailed introduction by Dr. Barbara Mossberg, of California State University at Monterrey Bay. The play itself is somewhat reminiscent of Paul Alexander’s Edge, whereas Edge takes place in the last day/night of Plath’s life, Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath takes place in the last ten minutes of her life.

Gray’s character is Esther Greenwood, and the play starts with her head in an oven. In fact, when you enter the theatre, she’s already there. What followed was an emotional adventure. Alternating between deeply funny and tear-inducing sad, Gray hallucinates her way through a re-creation of events. She converses with her oven in a voice ripped off from the teacher in Charlie Brown, “waa-waa whaa-whaa”. As the hallucinations grow more severe, Esther stars in a TV show “Better Tomes and Gardens”, making different dishes, and reacting a video that plays off and on throughout the performance.

It was kind of a gutsy play to write, with serious potential to offend. The advertisement turned off several participants to the point of boycott. I admit, I found the promotion fliers offensively distasteful. While i t certainly has the potential to offend, it makes light of certain historical events associated with Plath. The video of the character Esther meeting Ned Pews (the Ted character) is absolutely side-splitting funny. This scene, and other clips from the play, appear on YouTube. The end, however, to this story is always the same. It is how the writer and actress portray the death that is a deal-breaker. Given the humor throughout, when the end comes you both expect, and almost do not expect, it to come the way it always does. I left the theatre highly amused at the funny bits, but ultimately ponderous at the very moving, almost sweet ending. A much disheveled Greenwood inches towards the oven while at the same time, her character with perfect hair and make-up reclines, as if to take a nap on the video screen. As with any emotional scene, the classical music playing rips through the heart leaving the entire audience stunned to silence, and also a few a tears.

In the Rothermere American Institute Library, an exhibit of poems in Enid Mark’s About Sylvia was on display throughout the Symposium. The poems in this collection are:

“On looking into Sylvia Plath’s copy of Goethe’s Faust” by Diane Ackerman
“Cottage Street, 1953” by Richard Wilbur
“The heroine” by Peter Davison
“Dream song 172” by John Berryman
“Wanting to die” by Anne Sexton
“Requiem for Sylvia Plath” by Luciana Frezza
“Daughters and others” by Rachel Hadas
“Sylvia Plath” by Robert Lowell
“On the death of Sylvia Plath”
“Chaucer” by Ted Hughes.

Enid Mark contributes a Foreword to the book and illustrated each poem, and they appeared throughout the library in different cases. Many of the poems will be familiar to Plath’s readers, but some were new to me. Mark was a classmate of Plath’s and runs The Elm Press in Pennsylvania. About 34 of the 50 copies are held in Special Collections and Rare Book Rooms throughout the United States and abroad.

The Oxford Playhouse held several events, including an exhibit of artwork by Kristina Zimbakova, Amanda Robbins, Linda Adele Goodine, Cassandra Slone, and Ann Dingsdale. The artwork was on display in the Top Room, all around the walls, including the window treatments! These works were all inspired by Plath and available on posters for sale; anyone interested in purchasing these should contact the organizers to see if there are extras. It also premiered an animated short film by Suzie Hanna and Tom Simmons titled “The Girl Who Would Be God”. The animation was interesting, made more so by an introduction and explanation of its creation by Hanna and Simmons. The Playhouse also ran short films by the late Sandra Lahire, who was a student under the tutelage of Jacqueline Rose. They were disturbing, particularly the one titled “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.” The films featured words spoken by Plath, excerpts from poems, in addition to footage of Winthrop, Boston, and other places.

Throughout the Symposium, a number of limited editions of Plath's were on display at the Divinity School at the Bodleian Library. These books made a brief appearance at the opening night festivities at Blackwell's and included the limited edition for Child, Fiesta Melons, Dialogue over a Ouija Board, and Million Dollar Month, amongst others.

The Symposium had a big Sunday bash: The Sylvia Plath Gala Celebration at the Oxford Playhouse. I wrote on this in a previous post. I left after the reading of “Three Women” so am unsure how the rest of the celebrants performed. After I left, however, Jack Harris performed his "Plath Lullaby", Hanna's animation "The Girl Who Would be God" aired, Susannah Harker read "Ariel", Natalia Thorn performed a dance to the "Poppy" poems and Tom Hollander performed "Red", which might be a poem from Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes or might be something else. If anyone cares to post on it, please leave comments!

10 November 2007

More reviews of the Letters of Ted Hughes

Recently The Scotsman and the Daily Mail reviewed The Letters of Ted Hughes, edited by Christopher Reid. The Daily Mail review includes some photographs, including a "new" one of Sylvia Plath at which her fans and scholars alike will marvel.

09 November 2007

Update: Dissertations on Sylvia Plath

I have updated the list of dissertations on Sylvia Plath. Please click here to view the page. Or, there is a link on the sidebar.

08 November 2007

Sylvia Plath's Knopf editor

Sylvia Plath's editor at Knopf was Judith Jones. Jones was an ardent and early supporter of Plath's poetry and fiction up to, and likely through, the publication of Ariel. Knopf lost the battle for Ariel to rival publishing house Harper & Row.

Ms. Jones recently published The tenth muse: My life in food. She will appear at the Brattle Theatre in Cambridge, Mass. on Tuesday 13 November. Tickets are on sale via the Harvard Book Store. Tickets are $5.

The Harry Ransom Humanities Research Center at the University of Texas at Austin holds the correspondence between Jones, Plath, Hughes and others at Heinemann and Knopf. I posted on this collection back in July. The correspondence, negotiations, etc. makes for very interesting reading and is certainly worth of further study and publicity.

For more information, please click here.

07 November 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: Atlantic Monthly Magazine records, 1969-1974

The Massachusetts Historical Society holds the Atlantic Monthly records, 1969-1974. Of course the Atlantic has been around a long time, but these records relate to the editorship of Robert Manning. The collection includes correspondence with and records that relate to 3,200 authors. The records are stored offsite, so advance notice is required if anyone seeks to consult these records. The finding aid is online here.

There is correspondence between Olwyn Hughes and the editors at the Atlantic relating to publishing some of Sylvia Plath's and Ted Hughes's poems. These can be found in carton 9.

There are two letters from February and two from May.

1) From: Olwyn Hughes, To: Robert Manning, 2 February 1970.
This letter discusses Olwyn's assembling two volumes of Plath's uncollected poetry. She offers the following Plath poems: "Last Words," "The Tour," "Submerged", and "Gigolo" as well as six Crow poems by Ted Hughes. The year of composition - 1961, 1962, 1962, and 1963, respectively - is listed next to each poem.

2) From: Robert Manning, To: Olwyn Hughes, 24 February 1970.
Rejects all the poems by both Plath and Hughes.

3) From: Olwyn Hughes, To: Peter Davison, 4 May 1970.
Sending Davison Hughes's poem "Fighting for Jerusalem".

4) From: Peter Davison, To: Olwyn Hughes, 15 May 1970.
Rejecting poem by Hughes.

Accompanying each set of letters are editorial responses to the poems submitted. There was an overwhelming dislike of the Hughes poems, including one editor saying, "The Hughes stuff, if I understand it, offers us Crow as Everyman. A damn silly idea."

The general consensus on the Plath poems submitted in February was that they all appeared "unfinished." The reviewers each liked "Last Words" and "The Tour", and found the poem "Submerged" to be "unclear, for all its ominous message, sensuous images."

Has anyone out there ever heard of a Plath poem entitled "Submerged", purportedly written in 1962? The other poems appeared throughout 1970 in periodicals, and also appeared in either Crossing the Water (1971) or Winter Trees (1971/2).

Could "Submerged" be a variant/rejected title of an Ariel poem? Not according to a review of the drafts Ariel poems housed at Smith College. One 1962 poem published around this time is "Fearful". However, it is not out of the question that there are other poems Plath wrote in 1962 that have been suppressed?

05 November 2007

Two new reviews of the Letters of Ted Hughes

The Guardian recently ran two articles on Ted Hughes, both concerned with the recent publication of the Letters of Ted Hughes.

The first article, "More than a wood-full of cats", ran on Saturday 3 November.

The second article, "Portrait of a poet as an eco warrior", ran on Sunday 4 November.

A focus of each review, naturally, is Sylvia Plath.

02 November 2007

Books about Plath in non-English languages

Please help me out...

Would readers be interested in a list of books about Sylvia Plath which were never in English, like Marianne Egeland's Sylvia Plath? Or, would you be interested in a list of books that were in English but translated into a foreign language, such as Janet Malcolm's The Silent Women, translated to German Die schweigende Frau : die Biographien der Sylvia Plath.

Or both?

31 October 2007

Plath in translation

One thing the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium taught me is just how far and wide Plath studies extend across this planet. My blog here, with its lists of books by and about Plath grossly under-represents this fact. Therefore, I will start a Plath in translation list, as well as a list of Non-English books about Plath. Please be patient as the list may be slow to develop at first.

29 October 2007

Day four of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium, continued...

Al. Alvarez and Sally Bayley engaged in a long talk about Alvarez’s friendship with Plath and Hughes. The conversation stayed mostly on the former, despite the opportunity for a longer friendship with the latter. Alvarez started by explaining his role and presence at the Symposium. He asked Sally, when approached, if he was to be a participant or an exhibition! Laughter rolled through the audience.

Alvarez read Plath’s “The Moon and the Yew Tree”, discussing as he did in Voices and Visions how the poem shows two voices, both vying for supremacy. Ultimately, Plath’s true poetic voice triumphed, evidenced in lines such as “I simply cannot see where there is to get to.” On this transformation of Plath’s voice, Alvarez says, “She said fuck it! To hell with all this English gentility.” He also commented that there is “much more life in Plath’s writing about death… There is energy…”

Alvarez was quite candid. At one point his train of thought derailed, so he turned to Sally and questioned, “What the fuck was I saying”.

Alvarez does not keep up with what has been written about Plath, saying that he’s got other things to do. He didn’t want to become a professor of Plathology or Applied Plathology. It was quite humorous. Alvarez is a completely entertaining man, a strong presence in the room. He held his court captivated.
The last session of the day led several panels to go up against Judith Kroll. If anyone attended, please post your thoughts in a comment. I could not attend as Irralie Doel and I presented “Sylvia Plath’s ‘Perfect Place’” to a small six person audience. The story, the working draft titled “The Lucky Stone”, was printed in the 28 October 1961 women’s weekly magazine My Weekly. Someone pointed out that we were also presenting the story on 28 October! Oddly coincidental. Prior to this panel, I did write about it in my 2004 biography of Sylvia Plath. The story, unacknowledged in any Plath bibliography or biography, is set in Whitby, England, a town on England’s east coast Plath and Hughes visited in August 1960.

Lena Friesen read a reference to the story in Letters Home from 9 November 1961. I found the typescript at Smith College and a letter from My Weekly dated 1962 rejecting two other stories “Shadow Girl” and “A Winter’s Tale”, but commenting on how the editor enjoyed “The Lucky Stone” which they published the previous year. Irralie Doel connected the magazine, eventually tracking down a copy of the story. At some point the title was changed to “The Perfect Place”. Plath was also eager to get her works into print, and was generally receptive to changes suggested by editors and their ilk.

Irralie’s paper gave a history of My Weekly and its publishing guidelines, as well as working in images that appears in the story and in Plath’s prose, like “Ocean 1212-W”. My own paper looked at the story in relation to the next large prose project Plath worked on, The Bell Jar, comparing characters, themes, etc. between both the story and the novel.

The panel moderator was Luke Ferretter who presented his paper on the first day of the Symposium. His work on Plath’s prose and women’s magazines is very promising, so please keep your eyes out for that.

Sunday evening included a reception at the Oxford Playhouse, which I missed, taking a pint at the King’s Arms with Gail, Annika, and Petter. The Sylvia Plath Gala Celebration I did attend. Diane Quick gave a spooky, disquieting welcome to the audience before the variety show began. These was a short film which made little sense, an operatic version of “Sheep in Fog”, “The Couriers”, and “The Night Dances” which was odd, doing nothing to three of my favorite Plath poems. Perhaps the two best acts were a scene from The Bell Jar done in drag. I don’t speak only for myself when I say I am glad that the Buddy Willard character exited stage right to reveal to Esther his main course of Thanksgiving dinner. I also enjoyed listening to a full reading of “Three Women”, though the actresses were over-dramatic in parts.

I could not attend the last, final mornins sessions on Monday, 29 October, 2007. So, if anyone was there and wants to submit comments, please do! So, I'm back in London now, heading home tomorrow...

28 October 2007

Day four of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

This morning commenced with an informal morning forum on Sylvia Plath websites, led by me. As the crowd was slow to assemble, I held off on my memorial for the late Sylvia Plath Forum moderated Elaine Connell. I discussed three Sylvia Plath web sites, highlighting each websites focus. Anja Beckmann’s www.sylviaplath.de, Elaine Connell’s www.sylviaplathforum, and my own www.sylviaplath.info received some attention. I included slides details some of the towns, cities, states, and countries that I’ve traveled to in order capture physical locations in film of places where Plath lived or places about which she wrote.

For the concluding twenty minutes, several audience members and I got into a small dialogue about Plath websites in general, and I showed a slide show of photographs and book covers that seemed, I think, to entertain. I was so pleased to have had this opportunity to discuss my contribution to Plath’s presence on the web, and am thankful for the feedback received throughout the weekend. Thank you to all who attended this morning’s session, and for those who’ve visited and found use in all three websites.

Tracy Brain talked about “Plath’s Representations”. This was a shorter paper of a longer work while she’ll be discussing in November in London. She was particularly critical, and rightly so, of the way some of Plath’s biographers create a fictional narrative in their purportedly non-fiction works. And, more critical of the lack of sources given when clearly sources would be needed to have supplied such minute detail. It was an interesting talk; a near in subject to one which was also presented on Saturday afternoon.

Langdon Hammer's paper “Plath’s German” discusses Plath’s poems “Lorelei” and “Daddy”. His careful, clear reading really fresh and original.

The afternoon featured some memories of an American actress Linda Gray, who briefly “had a thing” with Al Alvarez in 1964. She met, in the course of their relationship, Assia Wevill and Ted Hughes and many other important figures I’m sure. She sung a song in Hebrew that Assia taught her from Song of Solomon, and recounted just how impressive a man Hughes was. She was clear about not trusting Assia Wevill and finding her to be generally manipulative, though admitted she was stunningly beautiful. This lunch time gossip sessions were well attended, entertaining, and appreciated by the crowd. Anne Alvarez, Al Alvarez’s wife, agreed fully with Linda’s assessment of Wevill.

Al. Alvarez and Sally Bayley conversed quite freely after this. This is a lot to say about this, but you see I’m quite tired at the moment! I will write up my notes Monday about the this conversation and about the rest of the day!

27 October 2007

Day three of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

Day three at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium is done; it was the biggest day on the schedule in terms of featured and guest speakers in included a very big surprise guest.

The morning started with an informal forum on the Plath archives at Smith College, the Lilly Library (Indiana University) and Emory University. Karen Kukil discussed the holdings at Smith, and discussed the differences in their holdings from that of IU or Emory. She also discussed how the archives each came to hold separate, though obviously complimentary collections.

The first round of featured speakers after this forum was Karen Kukil and Robin Peel. Karen’s talk was "Sylvia Plath’s Women and Poetry"; she discussed Plath’s association through the years with women such as Marianne Moore, Lynn Lawner, Elizabeth Bishop, Judith Jones (her editor at Knopf), Assia Wevill, Frieda Hughes, and Anne Sexton. Her paper drew from the collections at Smith, University of Texas at Austin, the Massachusetts Historical Society, Mount Holyoke, and others. All in all, Karen’s talk was completely thorough and lovable presentation by a true professional and expert. After Karen’s talk, she brought up surprise special guest Marcia Brown Stern, Plath’s friend from Smith. Brown (on the right, pictured above with Kukil) addressed a rapt audience, talked about some of her memories of Plath, and even fielded some questions.

Robin Peel’s paper, “Reading Back: Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, and publication” was also a very interesting paper. Peel has moved on slightly from his 2002 book Writing Back, but he hasn’t lost any of his heroic way of mining archives, both Plath’s, Dickinson’s, and others, and presenting new, exciting research findings whilst also filling the audience with further ideas of looking at Plath’s through social, historical, and political contexts.

Lunch was a treat; while the sandwiches left me wanting, Jillian Becker’s conversation with Ben Morgan filled us up. Becker did mention some of the things she discussed in her book Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath, but it was wonderful to hear her first hand. She talked about reading Plath’s poems in The Colossus, a collection she still owns, and her reaction to it. Additionally, she talked about some of their outings, to movies, the last weekend, and some of the mistreatment of Sylvia, both before and after Plath’s suicide. She even put down the Sylvia film.

The after lunch special was Anne Stevenson, just back from the US where Poetry (Chicago) gave her some kind of award for being the most neglected but important poet. Stevenson’s paper, "Sylvia Plath and Ruth Beuscher: A tale of two women", roused a already attentive crowd, drawing attention to the ‘relationship’ between SP and RB (nee Ruth Tiffany Barnhouse). Much of the talk drew on information from an unpublished, incomplete work by the late Norman Elrod, “Sylvia Plath and Ruth Beuscher: The Tragedy of a Patient’s Blind Love for her Doctor’”. There is some controversial information either known, withheld, or suspected and should prove a rich, contentious subject for further research.

Christina Britzolakis spoke after Stevenson, giving a “keynote” address. Her paper, “Plath’s Dreamwork” brought Freud out of the closet, dusted him off, and applied itself to some of Plath’s bee poems and her short story, “Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams.” It was interesting but a bit over my head.

After the keynote, we were again faced with decisions about which panel and topics to attend. My choice was “Editing Plath” with Fran McCullough, Jonathan Ellis, and special guest Marcia Brown Stern, who fielded more questions from an eager audience. McCullough discussed her 20 year relationship with Plath’s work and the Hughes family, including her falling out with them after the publication of the edited Journals. It was a nice, first-hand account of one of the more controversial and confounding aspects of Plath’s posthumous life, if you will. She likened Plath’s suicide attempt in 1953 with her successful attempt in 1963 this way: Plath’s rejection from Frank O’Connor’s class at Harvard contributed strongly to the former attempt; and the few, negative reviews of The Bell Jar in 1963 to the latter attempt.

Jonathan Ellis’s paper, “That reader over your shoulder: Editing Plath’s letters” was seriously interrupted by chattering, noisy audience members and I frankly missed the first, crucial bits that may have helped me understand his point of view. Sorry. He did gracefully give up some of the time allotted for his paper to Marcia Brown Stern, thus, he could not finish his paper before time was up.

The last session of the day featured four interesting topics, but I chose to sit in on “Images and Viewer of Plath”. Each of the four panelists, Gail Crowther, Neslihan Ekmekçioğlu, Annika Hagström, Philippa Hawker presented interesting and original research, but I quite preferred Crowther and Hagström because, well, I’ll be frank, they stuck to their time slots. Crowther, like me, visits Plath places and has ventured to scary places, like France. Her discussion of Berck-Plage and Finisterre, as places and Plath poems. Her paper, “The playfulness of time” discusses pilgrimages the few and the strong make to Plath places, suggesting that it allows a reader to participate in Plath’s poetry, creating, in a way, a new work. By making a pilgrimage to text, we act as textual voyeurs. I am a strong believer and supporter of this communication and interaction with Plath’s works, and the research shows much originality and promise. Likewise, Hagström’s paper, “Stasis in darkness: Sylvia Plath as a fictive character” shows ingenuity and imagination. Her angle examines the expression, and definition, of Plath in terms of her cultural representation and reception. As a majority of these biofictive representations have appeared since 2000, it suggests that Plath as a major subject of fictive works has yet to peek.

It was a great birthday for Sylvia Plath, and though no one wore party hats or sang songs, Jillian Becker did raise her glass of water – wishing it was wine – to the memory of her friend.

Day two of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

The morning started with an informal, optional forum of a new journal called Plath Profiles, conceived by Prof. Bill Buckley of IU Northwest. The journal, which will be online and in print, though in print less frequently, will feature a variety of content ranging from standard academic essays to note and reactions to single poems or groups of poems, to interdisciplinary thoughts to Plath’s work. And much, much more. A second part to the Forum will take place today, to further brainstorm.

Following this, Lynda K. Bundtzen and Tim Kendall presented on very interesting subjects. Bundtzen’s paper “Confession, Contrition, and Concealment in Ted Hughes’s Howls and Whispers”; which is a chapter, or part of a chapter of a longer work on Hughes. Howls and Whispers, for those who do not know, is a small, eleven poem collection printed in limited numbers (110) and intended for ownership by rare book rooms, special collections, or very wealthy private owners. They are poems written in a similar mind to Birthday Letters, but left out for reasons she explains. Unlike Birthday Letters, the poems in Howls and Whispers do not follow a set chronology, which makes it more difficult to get into and through the poems. I likely did her talk no justice just now, but please look forward to her book…

Tim Kendall’s paper, “Sylvia Plath and the purpose of poetry” went through some poems of Plath’s that he called failures. Poems like “Winter Trees”, “Stillborn”, and “The Jailer”. These are poems Plath perfects in other ways, using similar imagery. “Winter Trees”, composed on 26 November 1962, he contends is a “transitional poem”, caught in the unfortunate position between the Ariel poems and the 1963 poems. He gave a careful, considerate reading to both “Winter Trees” and “Words”.

After lunch, I sat in on the panel Plath and Hughes Manuscripts Verso, which featured papers by Emma Hoare (“Double exposure: Plath’s poetry drafts”), Helen Decker (“The shared sheets of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes: The double-sided manuscript collection”) and Uta Gosmann (“Double inscriptions: Plath’s “Amnesiac” and Hughes’s “The Calm”).

Decker stepped up first and talked about a Christmas card from Plath and Hughes in 1960 to their friends Ann and Leo Goodman. Ann, nee Davidow, and Plath met at Smith in the fall of 1950; but after the first semester, she did not return. They maintained friends as correspondents, only occasionally seeing each other before Plath’s death. The paper was well researched and presented, featured nifty PowerPoint slides, and was very enjoyable. Decker compared Hughes’s handwritten note to Plath’s typed note in the card, which harks back to Plath’s description of their writing desk on their honeymoon; Hughes’s side was unkempt; Plath’s in perfect order.

Emma Hoare conducted research at the Lilly Library, and discussed Plath’s re-use of her own manuscripts, which is a very nice and welcome change from the focus of just those manuscripts that Plath and Hughes both wrote on in the creative process. She concentrated on a short story from 1955 titled, “Home is where the heart is” and a nine poems that appear on the verso, each poem written between 1952 and 1955, but most undated. The poems and short story do have an element of “call and response”, to quote Diane Middlebrook. Thoroughly enjoyable.

Uta Gosmann’s paper argues that Plath’s manuscripts develop a character of their own; though she writes on the back of something Hughes composed. In “Amnesiac”, as with other poems, Plath takes ownership through “writing over” and writing “against” Hughes’s play “The Calm”. She points out that Plath tended to write “upside down”, in that she flipped Hughes’s draft over, and the wrote from bottom to top. A nice talk, with the use of an overhead projector which is a lost, but welcome art.

There is so much more to say…Steven Gould Axelrod discussed Plath and Torture, a talk that combined modern day war and its consequences to Plath’s use of torture in her poetry, both as a victim and perpetrator. Linda Wagner-Martin, whom I met that morning over breakfast, discussed her experiences in the Plath archives dating back to the late 1970s and talked, in particular about Plath’s poetry sequence “Poem for a Birthday” which ends the British edition of The Colossus, but was broken apart for the American edition printed two years later.

More to say more to say, but later!

26 October 2007

Book available at Symposium

The new edition of Judith Kroll's Chapters in a mythology: The poetry of Sylvia Plath published by Sutton Publishing is available at the Symposium.

25 October 2007

Day 1 of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium…

The morning commenced with an opening by Barbara Mossberg. It was a passionate address welcoming all to the event, commenting on Plath’s continued, yet, rising importance internationally as a vital 20th century poet, re-made and re-evaluated, in a sense, in the 21st century.

The first session I attended was the literary panel “Plath, Sexton, and the Literary Market”. The panelists were Luke Ferretter, Jo Gill, and Melanie Waters. Ferretter discussed Plath’s short fiction in relation to the Ladies’ Home Journal and other magazines for women. In particular, he talked about her short stories “In the Mountains” and its successor “The Christmas Heart”, which is held at the Lilly Library. Other stories discussed were “Platinum Summer” and “The Smokey Blue Piano”, unpublished stories also held by the Lilly. The stories and articles that ran in the Ladies’ Home Journal were a focus, as was Plath’s mistaken belief of thinking her stories were LHJ material.

Jo Gill discussed, for the most part, Anne Sexton, and in particular about photographs of the poet compared and contrasted to what Sexton reveals via her “confessional” poetry. How images of Sexton expose, in different ways, words committed to paper. It was an interesting discussion, and no doubt may be expanded upon in her forthcoming Anne Sexton’s Confessional Poetics (University Press of Florida).

Melanie Waters discussed both Plath and Sexton, but spent more time on Plath’s giving a very interesting and compelling re-reading of “Lady Lazarus”. It was a convincing paper, and a welcome re-interpretation of one of Plath’s most well known poems.

The afternoon sessions, I had the fortune and pleasure to moderate “Sylvia Plath Family Romance”. It was a loaded session, with six fulfilling presentations by Susan Bowers, Nick Owen, Kara Kilfoil, Aubrey Menard, Ann Walsh, and Kristy Woodcock. I found it difficult to take notes, pay attention, and keep time, but each presenter was quite respectful and stayed within their allotted 20 minutes. Not to belittle any presentation, I particularly enjoyed Kara Kilfoil’s paper on Frieda Hughes’ somewhat contradictory behavior regarding her mother’s estate; Aubrey Menard’s discussion on Plath’s matrilineal cycle, and Ann Walsh’s expose on Winthrop and “Electra on Azalea Path”. I wish I’d’ve know about her visiting Winthrop this summer as I’d’ve shown her around!!! You know, given her the Winthrop-treatment.

The question and answer session that followed was somewhat passionate, with a dialogue between Richard Larschan and Kara Kilfoil and an anonymous American supplying some quality entertainment.

The highlight of the day, possibly, took place with talks by featured speakers Anita Helle and Richard Larschan. Both concentrate on Plath’s Winthrop background, though each respectfully in very different ways. Winthrop’s day in the sun!! Anita showed rare, possibly never before seen photographs of the young Sylvia Plath, photographs sent to her family from Aurelia from the 1930’s through the 1950’s. She discussed reading the photographs, which involves a very critical knowledge of the history of photography as well as an investigation into the Plath family history. She argues that the photograph album both identifies and produces an identity for Plath, drawing on poems from “Sonnet to Satan” and “Bluebeard” to “Paralytic” as well as some text from Plath’s prose.

Richard Larschan’s discussion on Plath’s non-fiction prose from 1962-1963 (“Ocean 1212-W” and “America! America!” dispelled some of Plath’s mythic exaggeration. He drew on his personal relationship with the Plath family (Aurelia) and deconstructed each piece, separating fact from fiction, biography from autobiography. It was wholly convincing and enjoyable.

A great day; I’ve no idea what took place in the other sessions so any panelists or attendees, please submit comments full of impressions, reviews, etc. that may help to bring about a fuller picture of the important events taking place in Oxford this weekend.

The evening ended at Blackwell's Book Shop on Broad Street with a selection of sandwiches, champagne, and wine. Attendees were treated to a poetry reading of Plath's poems, and original poetry. Books were for sale, conversations were had, and seeds planted for future projects, ideas, and ways of promoting Sylvia Plath.

24 October 2007

The eve of the Sylvia Plath 75th Symposium

Coming to you live from Oxford, a gray day here, with a chilly raw wind. The schedule for the Sylvia Plath Symposium was updated Monday as I flew to England. The picture to the right is from the Oxford University Press bookshop.

Unfortunately, Diane Middlebrook is a late subtraction to the Sunday schedule.

I was able to buy a copy of Eye rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of the visual from a bookshop in London. I have not have much time to read it, but a glance through the pages was very rewarding in an of itself. My cursory review and feeling beat my expectations; the reproductions alone of Plath's art work knocked me out. The essays by Kathleen Connors, Diane Middlebrook, Fan Jinghua, Langdon Hammer, Sally Bayley, Christina Britzolakis, and an Afterword by Susan Gubar can only add to the books value and importance to Plath scholarship.
Throughout the Symposium I will try to post impressions, reviews of sessions I attend, photographs, details of Plathian fist fights and pub crawls and brawls. Additionally, if anyone participating wants to write up their impressions on sessions, please send me an email and I'll post it here.

Event reminder: Diane Middlebrook at Jesus College

Just a brief reminder of a Sylvia Plath event today!!

Diane Middlebrook will discuss Her Husband: Plath and Hughes, a marriage with Juliet Mitchell on 24 October 2007.

Here are the details:
Time: 1-2.30pm
Date: Wednesday, 24th October 2007
Place: Jesus College, Upper Hall, Cambridge University, Cambridge, England.

22 October 2007

Sylvia Plath broadside "Ariel [and] Morning Song"

In 1977, or before, an unknown publisher printed a broadside of Sylvia Plath's poems "Ariel" and "Morning Song". The image of a nude woman in the fetal position accompanies the text of both poems. The text, due to the background color and the color of the ink, is very difficult to read.

Stephen Tabor's Sylvia Plath: An analytical bibliography does not have much more information than this. An unknown number were printed, and I found no record of any library holding a copy in WorldCat.

Press release: Oxford marks 75 years of Sylvia Plath

From www.booktrade.info

Press Release: Events

Oxford Marks 75 Years Of Sylvia Plath
Posted at 8:50AM
Monday 22 Oct 2007

'Creative Process and Product,' a Symposium to mark 75 years since the birth of the poet Sylvia Plath will be held at Oxford University from 25 to 29 October and will bring together scholars, writers, artists and actors to explore the full range of Plath's work.

The Symposium will include readings from Plath's poetry by some of Britain's leading actors, including Diana Quick, Emilia Fox, Susannah Harker and Tom Hollander at a Gala event on Sunday 28 October.

The Symposium will provide the opportunity to discuss new Oxford research on Sylvia Plath, Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual by Sally Bayley and Kathleen Connors reassesses Plath's juvenilia and role as a visual artist. The book aims to make these aspects of her life known beyond academia and explores the links between different forms of art.

There will be an exhibition in the Divinity School at Oxford's Bodleian Library displaying early editions of Plath's writing and illustrations and exploring the links between words and images.
A series of talks and panel discussions will look at a range of aspects of Plath's work, including her relationship with Ted Hughes, the links in her work between creativity, pain, destruction and pathology and even Plath's role in popular and Cold War culture.

Dr Sally Bayley, who organised the Symposium, said: 'This anniversary is an opportunity not just to review one of the truly iconic figures of 20th century literature but also to reassess her work. Plath's work as an artist is important in itself but also provides new insights into her poetry.'

The Symposium will be accompanied by performance art events. There will be a series of performances of the one-woman play I Wish I had a Sylvia Plath. This show, which uses the last ten seconds of the life of a housewife to explore the life of Plath, received a Fringe First Award for Outstanding New Writing at the Edinburgh Festival, and also received a Stage Award nomination for Best Solo Show.

There will also be a number of films exploring different aspects of Plath's ideas. This includes Lady Lazarus by the late experimental filmmaker Sandra Lahire and The Girl Who Would be God a new animation by Suzie Hanna exploring Plath's journal entries about her feelings of power as she entered womanhood.

For more information, or if you wish to attend any of the events work in more detail please contact Oxford University Press Office on 01865 270046 or email james.worron@admin.ox.ac.uk. Dr Sally Bayley will also be available from 25-29 October to discuss her book Eye Rhymes either by phone or in Oxford.

19 October 2007

Event update: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium schedule

The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium programme was updated today. See below. Abstracts and biographies are online now at the Symposium's website. Click the link for the "Full Programme" to download/view them.

Thursday, 25 October

All-day registration, Rhodes House

Continental breakfast, Rhodes House

Opening, Barbara Mossberg, Rhodes Milner Room

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Plath and Pathology’
Elana Ciobanu, Mary DeShazer, Ralph Didlake, Deborah Phelps

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘Expressing Struggle and Pain’
Beth Martinelli, Pamela Ryan, Ghanim Samarrai, Isabella Wai

Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘Plath, Sexton and the Literary Market’
Luke Ferretter, Jo Gill, Melanie Waters

Welcome lunch, Rhodes

Featured artist exhibition talk, painter Kristina Zimbakova, Oxford Playhouse

Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘The Bee Poems’
Georgiana Banita, Bethany Hicok

Literary panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath Family Romance’
Susan Bowers, Kara Kilfoil, Aubrey Menard, Nick Owen, Ann Walsh, Kristy Woodcock

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Plath in Comparison’
Abdolmajid Eskandari, Hilary Holladay, Adrianne Kalfopoulou, Gary Leising, Anastasia Logotheti, Barbara Mossberg

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘Plath Parallels with Persian and Turkish Women Writers’
Majid Avali & Raja Sekhar, Nafize Sibel Güzel, Nadide Karkiner, Leyli Jamali, Omid Varzande

Guest speakers Marianne Egeland and Pamela Norris, Rhodes Beit
Egeland ~ ‘The Use and Abuse of a Poet: The Reception of Sylvia Plath’
Norris ~ ‘Writing the Life as Fiction: Sylvia Plath and the Problem of Biography’

Featured speakers Anita Helle and Richard Larschan, Rhodes Milner
Helle ~ ‘“The Photographic Chamber of the Eye: Plath, Photography and the Post-Confessional Muse’
Larschan ~ ‘“What Mightn’t the Sea Bequeath?”: Plath’s Mythical Massachusetts’

Wine reception at Divinity School, Bodleian Library exhibition of Plath’s small press books

Reception and poetry reading at Blackwell’s Bookshop (P)

Featured playwright Elisabeth Gray’s play ‘Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath’, Pilch Theatre (P)

Friday, 26 October

All-day registration, Rhodes House

Continental breakfast, Rhodes House

Forum, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath Profiles on-line journal 1’Bill Buckley, Kathleen Connors, Mary Nolan

Featured speakers Lynda K. Bundtzen and Tim Kendall, Rhodes Milner
Bundtzen ~ ‘Confession, Contrition, and Concealment in Ted Hughes’s Howls and Whispers’
Kendall ~ ‘Sylvia Plath and the Purpose of Poetry’

Lunch, Rhodes House

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Plath and Hughes Manuscripts Verso’
Helen Decker, Emma Hoare, Uta Gosmann

Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘Plath’s Influence on Irish, African American, and Indian Writers’
Maria Johnston, Malin Pereira, Raja Sekhar

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘Plath, Motherhood and Marriage’
Annie Finch, Katherine Keenan, Sondra Swedborg

Guest speaker Sarah Churchwell ~ ‘Doubletake’ ~ Rhodes Beit

Featured speakers Steven Gould Axelrod and Linda Wagner-Martin, Rhodes Milner
Axelrod ~ ‘Plath and Torture’
Wagner-Martin ~ ‘All Those Years in the Archives: A Life with Sylvia Plath’

Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘“Lady Lazarus” and Suicide’
Nadia Boudidah Falfoul, Marcia Elis de Lima Françoso, Kamran Javadizadeh, Stephanie Roush

Literary panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath in Popular and Cold War Culture’
Joan Dargan, Erik Mortenson, Patrick O’Connor, Cornelia Pearsall, Nicola Presley

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘The Bell Jar’
Özlem Görümlü, Esin Kumlu, Elaine Pigeon, Janet Stallard

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘The Plath-Hughes Dialogue’
Heather Clark, Diana Conzett, Janne Stigen Drangsholt, Dianne Hunter, Terry Hunter

Suzie Hanna’s introduction to animation ‘The Girl Who Would be God’ ~ Oxford Playhouse

Hanna/Simmons animation and Lahire films ‘Edge’, ‘Lady Lazarus’ and ‘Johnny Panic’ Top Room, Oxford Playhouse

Sarah Purcell’s introduction to Sandra Lahire films ‘Edge’, ‘Lady Lazarus’ and‘Johnny Panic’ Top Room, Oxford Playhouse (P)

Lahire films, Hanna/Simmons animation, Top Room, Oxford Playhouse (P)

Barbara Mossberg’s introduction to Elisabeth Gray’s play, Pilch Theatre (P)

Elisabeth Gray’s play, ‘Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath’, Pilch Theatre, Oxford (P)

Saturday, 27 October

All-day registration, Rhodes House

Continental breakfast, Rhodes House

Forum, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath archives at Smith, Lilly & Emory’

Featured speakers Karen Kukil and Robin Peel, Rhodes Milner
Kukil ~ ‘Sylvia Plath’s Women’
Peel ~ ‘Sylvia Plath, Emily Dickinson, and Publication’

Lahire and Hanna/Simmons animation, Top Room, Oxford Playhouse (P)

Lunch, Rhodes House, with Guest speaker Jillian Becker
~ 'The Secret Life of Sylvia Plath' in conversation with Ben Morgan

Featured speakers Anne Stevenson/Martin Schaetzle, Rhodes Milner
~ ‘Sylvia Plath and Ruth Beuscher’

Keynote speaker Christina Britzolakis, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Plath’s Dreamwork’

Featured photographer Linda Adele Goodine and Featured fibre artist Ann Dingsdale, Rhodes Milner

Guest speakers Francis McCullough and Jonathan Ellis, large Rothermere
~‘Editing Plath’

Featured and Guest poets Catherine Bowman and Crystal Hurdle, small Rothermere
Bowman’s ‘The Plath Cabinet’
Hurdle’s ‘After Ted & Sylvia: poems’

Guest artist Amanda Robins and Siall Waterbright, Rhodes Beit
~ ‘Sylvia Plath as Artistic Inspiration’

Forum, small Rothermere ~ ‘Plath Profiles on-line journal 2’
Bill Buckley, Mary Nolan

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Images and Viewers of Plath’
Gail Crowther, Neslihan Ekmekçioğlu, Annika Hagström, Philippa Hawker

Literary panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath and Pedagogy’
Amanda Golden, Eusebio de Lorenzo Gomez, Kate Gray, Jason Lee

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘Plath and Female/feminist Identity’
Janet Badia, Christina Belcher, Patricia Grisafi, Jessica McCort, Dorothy Wang

Elisabeth Gray’s play ‘Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath’, Pilch Theatre, Oxford (P)

Sunday, 28 October
All-day registration, Rhodes House

Continental breakfast, Rhodes House

Forum, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Sylvia Plath Websites’
Guest speaker Peter K. Steinberg with memorial for the late Elaine Connell of Sylvia Plath Forum

Featured speakers Tracy Brain and Langdon Hammer, Rhodes Milner
Brain ~ ‘Representing Sylvia Plath’
Hammer ~ ‘Plath’s German’

Lunch, Rhodes House, with Guest speaker Linda Gates
~ ‘Being an American in London 1964’

Book signing, Rhodes (P)

Featured speakers A. Alvarez and Diane Middlebrook, Rhodes Milner
Alvarez ~ ‘My friendship with Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes’ in conversation with Sally Bayley
Middlebrook ~ ‘The Three Caryatids’

Literary panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Ariel’
Smita Agrawal, Bora Im, Jennifer Ryan, Chloe Stopa-Hunt

Literary panel, large Rothermere ~ ‘Plath, Gender, and Self definition’
Andrew Browne, Vassilis Manoussakis, Janet McCann

Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘Plath’s Prose’Ipsita Bhattacharyya, Irralie Doel & Peter K. Steinberg with notes of Lena Friesen

Guest speaker Judith Kroll, Rhodes Milner
~ ‘Backstory: Working on Sylvia Plath’s Collected Poems (London and Court Green, 1974)’

Oxford Playhouse reception

Oxford Playhouse performance ~ ‘Sylvia Plath ~ A Celebration’ (P)

Monday, 29 October ~ Panels are free and open to the public

Continental breakfast, Rhodes House

Literary/Art panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath and Visuality’
Sally Bayley, Kathleen Connors, Laure de Nervaux

Literary panel, Large Rothermere ~ ‘Plath’s Landscapes and Descriptions’
Katherine Hazzard, Bajrang Korde, David Troupes

Literary panel, Rhodes Milner ~ ‘Plath as Visionary’
Bill Buckley, Nephie Christodoulides, Anna Dillon, Ananya Ghoshal

Closing, Rhodes Milner

(P) public events

Open hours
Rothermere Library exhibition of Enid Mark’s ‘About Sylvia’ book of illustrated poems
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