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Showing posts from August, 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to Peter Redgrove, [ca. 1966-1984]

The Robert W. Woodruff Library, Special Collections and Archives Division at Emory University has letters from Ted Hughes to Peter Redgrove. Redgrove is a well known British poet, who died recently in 2003. Letters to Peter Redgrove, [ca. 1966-1984] The collection consists of letters from Ted Hughes to Peter Redgrove from 1966-1984. Hughes discusses his personal and family life and his recent poems and possible projects. The collection also includes twelve typescript poems that Hughes sent to Redgrove and nine clippings by or about Hughes. The letters are in 1 box. Plath is a named person in these letters. The full finding aid to this collection is online here . The home page for the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Library is online here .

Book Review: Stephanie Hemphill's Your Own, Sylvia

I read Your own, Sylvia: A Verse Portrait of Sylvia Plath by Stephanie Hemphill over the last week. It was well researched and very creative; I enjoyed reading the poems as it re-enforces the work that Plath's biographers have done. I did find its reliance on Rough Magic troublesome. Rough Magic has its moments of decent reporting and I have often referred to it in my Plath studies. Hemphill's book is a unique approach to examining and reading Plath's life and work. Additionally, it provides a creative interpretation of how Plath's friends, family, and other acquaintances view her. I did find two things worth commenting on regarding Your Own, Sylvia . First, there was no poem for an event that took place the week of her birthday in 1960: Heinemann's publication of The Colossus and other poems. Secondly, and this really bothered me, throughout the poems relating to Plath's time in Devon, North Tawton is called Croton. I believe this is what Butscher called

Edge by Paul Alexander starring Angelica Torn

This is a follow-up to my 12 July posting on the revivial of Edge , a play written and directed by Paul Alexander about Sylvia Plath. Stars Angelica Torn only. Previews begin Sept. 4. Opens Sept. 9 at: ArcLight 152 W. 71st St New York, New York Phone: 212-352-3101

Sylvia Plath made the headlines 54 years ago

Update: At the time I wrote the post below in 2007, the information presented was the best that I had. Since that point, I have done extensive research into the subject of Sylvia Plath's disappearance and first suicide attempt in August 1953. The result of this research was published in a paper called "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath" which appearaed in Plath Profiles 3, published in Summer 2010. 54 years ago, Plath disappeared. The local Boston, Wellesley and Massachusetts newpapers ran a number of articles on her disappearance. The articles ran in various editions of the Boston Globe , the Boston Herald , the Daily Hampshire Gazette , and the Townsman , of Wellesley. The suicide attempt occured for a number of reasons. Plath retold the events in The Bell Jar . The lines from her poem "Lady Lazarus" chill its readers, "The second time I meant To last it out and not come back at all. I rocked shut As a seashell

New list in the sidebar

Yesterday I added a new list to the side bar. The list is called Plath Audio & Video. It lists audio and video recordings by Sylvia Plath or about her. I am not sure that it is a complete list, so if you know of something not listed, please send me an email. Some are for sale commercially through,; and some are available through Inter-Library Loan.

Sylvia Plath collections: Woodberry Poetry Room recorded archives

The Woodberry Poetry Room in Harvard's Lamont Library, houses an vast collection of audio recordings. Plath and Hughes both read during their time in Massachusetts from 1957-1959. Plath read at the Woodberry on 22 February 1959. Below is information about the recorded archives of the Woodberry Poetry Room. They have a website, which is here . Woodberry Poetry Room recorded archives, 1930-1986 Archival Material ca. 1200 audio tapes and phonograph records. Consists of recordings of readings chiefly by American and English poets given at Harvard University. As of 1986 there were approximately 1200 readings in the Woodberry recorded archives, and about 40 new readings are added every year. Beginning in 1985 video tapes of readings were added to the collection. The Woodberry Poetry Room at Harvard was established in honor of Professor George Edward Woodberry. It was opened in 1931 in Widener Library and was moved in 1949 to Lamont Library. From the beginning, poetry readings, funde

Sylvia Plath's 'Ennui'

In November 2006, news broke that a graduate student from Virginia Commonwealth University, Anna Journey, found an unpublished sonnet written by Sylvia Plath in the collection at the Lilly Library, Indiana University. Plath wrote the sonnet, entitled 'Ennui', in 1955 while still an undergraduate student at Smith College. The news received a huge amount of international press and the web-based literary journal Blackbird published the poem on 1 November, 2006 (Fall 2006, Vol. 5 No. 2). The Guardian ran an article, found online here . At the time, Journey was a contributing editor of Blackbird . I admit to being excited when the news broke, but I was quickly disappointed. The poem 'Ennui' is listed in the Juvenilia section of Plath's Collected Poems , hardly qualifying it as a found poem. Whoever sold this story to the press is something of a genius. This was in no way news, and it was in no way a discovered poem. Many of Plath's pre-1956 poems remain un

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to Lucas Myers, 1955-1988

The Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books library at Emory also hold letters from Ted Hughes to E. Lucas Myers, his Cambridge friend. Myers is the author of Crow Steered Bergs Appeared: A Memoir of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath , 2001. When Plath read the Saint Botolph's Review in February 1956, she found Myers' poems equally as forceful and impressive as Hughes'. But, we know who won that race. Letters to Lucas Myers, 1955-1988 The collection consists primarily of correspondence from Ted Hughes to Lucas Myers from 1955-1988. Hughes letters begin the year after he came down from Cambridge and entreats Myers to help him arrange a meeting with Sylvia Plath. Through the years the letters reflect Hughes' life, career, and development as a writer shared with someone whose opinion he sought and whose writing he respected. Hughes discusses his marriage to Sylvia Plath, their homes, the birth and progress of their children, his views on fatherhood, comments on Plath's work

For Sale: Sylvia Plath (Modern Critical Views) edited by Harold Bloom

THIS BOOK HAS SOLD. Thank you. 21 August 2007 I am offering for sale an unread, shrink-wrapped copy of Harold Bloom's Sylvia Plath. This is the 2007 Updated edition in the Modern Critical Views series. The book retails for $45.00. I am selling this book for $25.00, and this includes shipping. Please email me if you are interested. US dollars only accepted.

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to W. S. (William Stanley) and Dido Merwin, 1958-1969

Emory Universit's Ted Hughes collection hold some letters to W. S. Merwin and his wife Dido, from 1958-1969. Plath is a named person in these letters obviously as the Merwin's were very influential to Plath and Hughes from around 1958 on. Remember that Plath wrote much of novel The Bell Jar in the Merwin's house, located at 11 St. George's Terrace (pictured to the right), alongside and overlooking Primrose Hill. Anne Steveson's Bitter Fame prints a small memoir by Dido as an appendix, and also retells the somewhat humorous story of Plath and Hughes visit to the Merwin's in France in 1961. Letters to W. S. (William Stanley) and Dido Merwin, 1958-1969 The collection contains correspondence from English poet Ted Hughes to W.S. and Dido Merwin from 1958-1969. Hughes first writes in 1958 from Northhampton, Massachusetts while teaching at Amherst. The next letters chronicle the young couples' move back to England and subsequent birth of their daughter in 1960

Sylvia Plath dot Info

The web site is back online!

Sylvia Plath collections: The Morgan Library, Part II

On 4 July, 2007, I wrote about the Sylvia Plath collection of 40 juvenile poems held at the J. Pierpont Morgan Library in New York City. I recently received a photocopy of the materials from the library, and wanted to follow up with you on a more detailed description of the holdings. To recap, the description of the collection reads, "In a notebook with brown paper covers and with margins decorated with drawings in color in ink and crayon. Together with early transcripts of 29 poems, mostly in pencil and mostly notebook duplicates. Presumably 27 of the poems are available in no other text than the notebook transcripts." Below is a complete list of poems in this collection. According to this list, there are 53 titled poems, not 40 as the Morgan indicates. Also, the earliest dated poem in the manuscript is 1937, not 1940. Some of the poems appear more than once. The title is followed by the year of composition (month and day are listed if known). The number in parentheses fol

Sylvia Plath event: The Cheltenham Literary Festival

As reported on 15 August in the Guardian, Kathleen Connors and A. Alvarez will talk about Sylvia Plath and Eye Rhymes at this years Cheltenham Literary Festival, 5-14 October. The event will take place on the 14th, at 16:30. Actress Diana Quick will read Plath's poems. Tickets are £7, £3.50 for students. SYLVIA PLATH Event Number: 210 Venue: Everyman Theatre Reserved Seating In Eye Rhymes, marking the 75th anniversary of Sylvia Plath's birth, Kathleen Connors shows on stage for the first time the poet's remarkable pictures and photographs. She joins poet and critic Al Alvarez, one of Sylvia Plath's personal friends, and actress Diana Quick, who reads a selection of her poetry, to celebrate her life and share some fascinating new insights into Plath's extraordinary creativity. For more information or to book your tickets, click here .

Sylvia Plath collections, Letters to Gerald Hughes, 1952-1991

Continuing the series of Sylvia Plath materials held at the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University, I post here information about the Letters to Gerald Hughes, Ted Hughes's brother. Letters to Gerald Hughes, 1952-1991 The collection consists of letters from Ted Hughes, in England, to his brother and sister-in-law, Gerald and Joan Hughes, in Australia, between 1952 and 1991. The letters often include photographs, drafts of published poems, or original poems written for Gerald Hughes. The letters provide an intimate look at Ted Hughes as he discusses personal matters such as the birth of his children; his separation from Sylvia Plath; and the deaths of his partner, Assia Wevill, their daughter Shura, and his mother. Hughes also writes about his career including his teaching and writing. The collection is held in 2 boxes. The following is a list of photographs of Plath in this collection: Box 1, Folder 66 1959, Sylvia Plath and William and Edith Hughes, leaning against

Update on A celebration, this is - ""

Obviously my web site for Sylvia Plath is still down. In the mean time, click the "cached" link to view any of the pages. It appears that either the server hosting the information is down; or, the files were removed. So much for free storage! I will try to get the web site back online through other means as quickly as I can. Thank you.

News: "Revealed: Sylvia Plath's unseen art, discovered in the attic"

From the Guardian, , on 15 August, 2007: Arts diary Revealed: Sylvia Plath's unseen art, discovered in the attic Francesca Martin Wednesday August 15, 2007 Paintings and drawings by Sylvia Plath, many of which have never been seen before, are to be published in October to mark the 75th anniversary of the birth of the American poet and novelist. In the book Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's Art of the Visual, editor Kathleen Connors reveals illustrated childhood letters that Plath wrote when she was seven, which were found in the Plath family attic in 1996. There are also schoolbook sketches, portraits and a series of photographs and paintings from when Plath was an art student at Smith College, Massachusetts, including this self-portrait. The works were all completed by the time Plath was 20, at which point she decided to concentrate on her writing. As Connors points out, it was no small decision. "While few would argue with Plath's career choice, it i

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to János Csokits, 1960-1998

At Emory University, the Robert W. Woodruff Library, Special Collections and Archives Division holds the Ted Hughes papers. In these papers are reference to Plath. In the János Csokits collection, Plath is a named person at some point in the correspondence. Below is the scope and content note from the finding aid. Letters to János Csokits, 1960-1998 The collection consists primarily of 49 letters Ted Hughes wrote to János Csokits from 1960 to 1998. The correspondence ranges from personal to professional, with most letters combining the two. In this correspondence, Hughes sends news of his day-to-day home and family life, his translations of Pilinszky poems, comments on Csokits' translations, and ideas for their collaboration. During the course of the correspondence, Hughes also writes candidly about his frustration over Sylvia Plath's literary reputation and the material being published about her. He writes to Csokits about his own publications relating to Plath, including a

UPDATE: Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium schedule

The organizers of the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium have released an updated schedule. Please note the addition, on Saturday 27th October, of Frances McCullough. McCullough was a long time editor of Plath's work, most notably of her abridged Journals. Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium Schedule October 25-29th 2007 at Oxford University Thursday, 25 October 9:00-5:30 All-day registration, Rothermere American Institute 9:00 Continental breakfast, Rhodes House 9:30 Opening, Rhodes Milner Room 10:00-11:00 Literary panel, Rhodes Jameson [“The Bee Poems’: Bethany Hicok, Georgiana Banita] 10:00-11:45 Literary panel, small Rothermere [‘Plath, Sexton and the Literary Market’: Jo Gill, Adrian Jones, Mel Waters, Luke Ferretter] 10:00-11:45 Literary panel, Rhodes Milner [“Plath and Pathology’: Elana Ciobanu, Mary DeShazer, Ralph Didlake, Deborah Phelps] 10:00-11:45 Literary panel, large Rothermere [‘Expressing Struggle and Pain’: Beth

Update: Sylvia Plath's Poetry by Linda Wagner-Martin

For those intending to buy or otherwise obtain Linda Wagner-Martin's new book Sylvia Plath's Poetry , recently changed the shipping status of this book until January 2008. This books original publication date was 8 May, 2007. It will be published by Continuum International Publishing Group.

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to Frieda Hughes, 1971-1997

The Robert W. Woodruff Library, Special Collections and Archives Division at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia holds many papers relating to Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and their family and friends. The home page for the Manuscripts, Archives and Rare Books Library is online here . Of the many holdings are the Letters to Frieda Hughes , 1971-1997. Below is the scope and content note from the finding aid. Letters to Frieda Hughes, 1971-1997 The collection consists primarily of letters to Frieda Hughes from her father, Ted Hughes and stepmother, Carol Hughes from 1971-1997. A few of the letters are addressed to her brother, Nicholas. Many of the early letters, 1971-1978, were written while Frieda and her brother, Nicholas were attending Ibstock Place School in London and then Bedales School in Petersfield, Hants. These letters discuss news regarding their home, various pets, encouraging words about school work, and writing and language lessons/exercises written by her father.

The Pathology of Ambition

The Pathology of Ambition – A review of Rick Gekoski’s chapter on The Colossus in Nabokov’s Butterfly Rick Gekoski is a brilliant rare books dealer and not a bad writer, either. His short tale on purchasing and selling a copy of the first American edition of Sylvia Plath’s The Colossus and other poems is a fascinating one. It appears in his Nabokov’s Butterfly: And other stories of great authors and rare books , published in 2004 by Carroll & Graf in the US . This is an exciting story. Plath first published The Colossus in 1960 under the Heinemann imprint. It was a collection that took up three-quarters of an inch on the bookshelf. With difficulty and time, as well as a reduced table of contents, Plath found an American publisher in 1961 in Knopf. The copy in Gekoski’s account was actually Ted Hughes’ personally inscribed copy from Plath. Gekoski points out, vividly, that the inscription can be dated to May 1962, mere weeks before the break-up of their marriag

Sylvia Plath Collections: Helle collection of Plath family photographs

The Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College recently posted opened the "Helle collection of Plath family photographs, 1910-1963." The collection is .5 linear feet (or 1 box). The abstract for the collection reads, "This collection of Plath family photographs includes photographs of Otto Plath and his siblings, of Aurelia Schober Plath, Warren and Sylvia Plath and various other Schober relatives."

Sylvia Plath's "Tulips" rejected titles

I want to follow up on Plath's rejected titles for the Ariel poems. The poem "Tulips" had three variant, rejected titles: "Sickroom Tulips", "Sickroom Tulips in Hospital", and "Tulips in Hospital". These drafts are not a part of the Smith College holdings as Plath sent the autograph manuscript drafts and a typewritten draft with autograph annotations to her friend Jack Sweeney. Sweeney in turn gave the poems to the Houghton Library at Harvard in 1966. What Smith College does have are later typescripts, including some proofs for the poems publication in the New Yorker . I took this photograph of Plath's grave with tulips on 11 February 2003.

Review of "Wish I had a Sylvia Plath"

This review by Jeremy Austin, "Wish I Had A Sylvia Plath", starring Elisabeth Gray, appeared online at "'Wish I Had A Sylvia Plath' is one of those great fringe experiences - a funny, moving, highly original piece of theatre that is innovative in its presentation, well directed and fabulously performed. All for less than ten quid. "Loosely based on Plath’s last moments, Esther Greenwood is a published poet driven to despair by an unhappy childhood, unappreciative parents, the genius of her husband, Ned Pews(!), and his philandering. "Her last ten seconds of hallucinatory madness are depicted on stage as she discusses her life with the talking oven in which she has recently placed her head, and provides the voices for a expertly shot silent film, in which most of the action takes place. "It is an utterly engrossing hour. As Greenwood, Elisabeth Gray is neurotic and delicate but still manages to convey a great strength as she

Dissertations about Sylvia Plath

Below is a list of dissertations and theses where Plath's name appears in the title. I hope that some of you out there find this resource interesting and useful in your own Plath endeavors. A number of these have been published. At a minimum, those by Annas, Barnard, Brain, Broe, Kroll, Lindahl-Raittila, and Rosenblatt appear as monographs, either under the same title or a different one. Dissertations and Theses about Sylvia Plath Adcock, Gail Rowland. 1983. Recurring images in selected literature of Sylvia Plath a thesis presented to the faculty of the Graduate School, Tennessee Technological University. Cookeville, Tenn: [s.n.]. Aldred, Ann, 1933-. 1983. Sylvia Plath and existentialism. Thesis (M.A.) -- University of Calgary, 1983. Allen, Elyse Poore, and Sylvia Plath. 1974. An oral performance of selected works of Sylvia Plath. Thesis--Southwest Texas State University, 1974. Allen, Sylvia Carol. 1967. Sylvia Plath, a study of confessional poetry. Thesis (M.A.)--University