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Showing posts from September, 2007

Sylvia Plath collections: subseries of the Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Prize records

In addition to the posting from 21 June , the Mount Holyoke Archives holds ten other items regarding Plath in the Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Prize records. The ten items, which range in date from 1955 to 1959, are letters and poems that reflect her assocition with the Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Contest, held at Mount Holyoke College. Plath shared the victory in 1955 with William Key Whitman. Title: Correspondence and poems, 1955-1959.Author(s): Plath, Sylvia. Description: 10 items In: Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Prize records. Abstract: Letters and poems reflecting her association with the Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Contest, Mount Holyoke College. Permission to consult records less than fifty years old must be obtained from the Glascock Committee. Forms part of: Kathryn Irene Glascock Poetry Prize records. Organization: Arranged chronologically.

Bibliography of authors participating in the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

Edited on 26 September. Anita Helle's The Unraveling Archive: essays on Sylvia Plat will not be on sale at the symposium. Please purchase copies in advance via your local independent bookshop, a larger chain store, or Sorry for any confusion. - Peter The Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium is just one month away! There will be a book signing, open to the public on Sunday 28 October, 2007. This event will take place at Rhodes, from 1300-1400. Below is a bibliography of books by authors participating in the symposium. I must stress that it is incomplete. For example, writers like A. Alvarez and Linda Wagner-Martin have published, between then, a "bookshelf full of books" to quote Plath. I do not know at this point which books will be for sale during the symposium, the list below is just a sample of what might be there, or what people may wish to bring if they own copies already. Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley's Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath's art of

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

The two images to the below are of the last two stanzas in Sylvia Plath's poem "Point Shirley" which appeared in her first collection of poetry, The Colossus and other poems . The Colossus and other poems , like The Bell Jar , has three different first editions. There is the Heinemann edition of October 1960; the Knopf edition of May 1962; and the Faber edition of 1967. The monetary value of each declines with each subsequent publisher making the Heinemann both highly desirable and expensive, and the Faber edition less desirable and less expensive. Ariel , Crossing the Water , Winter Trees , and other later Plath books (excepting the abridged Journals) were exclusively published by Faber in England and Harper & Row (HarperCollins) in the America. The top image is from the first Knopf edition; the bottom is from the first Faber edition. Can you find the difference? The typographical error is almost unnoticeable. I've read the poem dozens of times but only

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters, 1957-1962

As an addendum to my 15 August 2007 post, the Lilly Library at Indiana University, Bloomington, holds a collection of letters from Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes to Gerald Hughes. Letters, 1957-1962. Consists of letters from poets Ted Hughes and his wife Sylvia Plath to Hughes's brother and sister-in-law, Gerald and Joan Hughes, in Australia. Topics discussed include writing projects and general day to day activities. The August 1958 letter, written from America, includes a typed copy of the poem "Pennies in April" by Ted Hughes. Held at the Lilly Library , Indiana University, Bloomington Indiana. I apologize for neglecting to have this on the initial post regarding letters to Gerald Hughes.

Light Blue, Dark Blue auction over!

The auction of a rare, signed Sylvia Plath/Ted Hughes book Light Blue, Dark Blue: An anthology of Cambridge and Oxford writing is over. Someone bid $14,000 to "buy it now". The winner of the auction, with a zero for feedback, was "buyers-beware-fake-signatures-for-sale". The seller had a large number of supposedly rare, supposedly signed first editions of inherited books. Perhaps this is a previous winner who was disappointed with the item? Having worked with Plath's papers, their is some inconsistency in the Sylvia and the Plath. The pen stoke is much thicker and smaller for Plath's last name. As well, the Hughes in Ted's signature doesn't much look like Ted's signature to me. In the provenance information, there was no mention of how Peter Levi obtained Plath's signature. I have never heard of Levi and Plath meeting in my Plath studies...We'll see...

Sylvia Plath on the wall

There are about four limited edition broadsides of Sylvia Plath's work. If you buy any and want it framed, please spend the money to have archival quality materials used that will not damage the item. Ariel and Morning Song - 1971 Among the Narcissi - 1971 - Ashington, Northumberland: MidNAG [Mid-Northumberland Arts Group], n.d., 16.5 x 23.5 inches, 300 copies Child - London Underground - Poems on the Underground- 1992 Pigeon Post - Small broadside of a previously unpublished poem by Plath. No copies were offered for sale. 1993. (3 copies on WorldCat) Among the Narcissi is a lovely poem, and an even lovelier broadside. Currently, there are two copies of Among the Narcissi for sale via It is an extremely lovely work (see picture). Ariel and Morning Song is quite rare; In the last ten years, I have seen only one copy for sale. There are no records in WorldCat that suggest any libraries hold it. The broadside is dark, the poems barely readable, and the image on it

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to Assia Wevill, 1955-1970

Emory University made news in 1998 when it purchased the papers of Ted Hughes. Since that time, only one accretion made the headlines. On 8 January 2007, Emory announced the acquisition of letters from Ted Hughes to Assia Wevill in this press release . Many archives acquire important letters and those letters go straight to the back of the queue. However, the Manuscripts, Archives, and Rare Books Library processed this collection quickly. Lucky for us! One of the letters from Ted to Assia's sister Cecilia Chaikin, deals with the return of some stolen Plath manuscripts. I wonder if these are listed and which archive they reside in now? Letters to Assia Wevill, 1955-1970 The collection contains letters, manuscripts, poems, drawings, photographs, and miscellaneous documents relating to Ted Hughes and Assia Wevill. Included are 61 letters from Hughes to Wevill; included with the letters are drafts for a series of poems on playing cards and a "Draft Constitution," which appear

Rare signed Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes for sale on eBay

A very rare book is for sale via eBay. The book, Light Blue, Dark Blue - An anthology of Cambridge and Oxford writing (1960), is signed by both Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, though clearly the book was signed at different times. The seller should have placed Plath's and Hughes's full names in the title, increasing its visibility. As with anything purchased on eBay, the authenticity of the item is extremely crucial. Image of item taken from the auction.

Stores are selling The Unraveling Archive : essays on Sylvia Plath

The Harvard Book Store and other fine bookstores across the nation are now selling The Unraveling Archive : essays on Sylvia Plath edited by Anita Helle, Associate Professor of English at Oregon State University.

Sylvia Plath collections: Beinecke Library, Yale

The Beinecke Library at Yale University, New Haven, Connecticut, has some archival Sylvia Plath materials. They hold manuscript poems for Plath's "Hear the crickets chirping...:" and "I saw a little birdie...". From the record, both are dated 16 May 1941. Both poem manuscripts have scansion marks and feet; annotated by Aurelia Plath, on verso of Boston University stationery. Written by the author when she was 8 years old, these irresistible juvenilia artifacts complement other items in the collection of Betsy Beinecke Shirley. The Beinecke acquired the manuscripts in 2003, however, I found no other information about them. Click here to read the acquisition information about these items. The homepage for the Beinecke is here .

Above Heptonstall

The power of Google! The above image is an satellite view using Google maps of Heptonstall, England, where one can find the grave of Sylvia Plath . Plath's grave is in the approximate area of the red box.

Sylvia Plath collections: Archives of Turret Books & Turret Press Collection

The University of Maryland at College Park holds the following two collections: Archives of Turret Books, 1965-1975 Turret Press Collection, 1965-1975 Turret printed two limited editions by Plath. Uncollected Poems, 1965, appeared in a limited edition of 150 copies. It printed a facsimile of Plath's poem "Thalidomide", originally titled "Half-Moon". They printed Three Women: A monologue for three voices, in 1968. The edition was limited to 150 copies and features an introduction by Douglas Cleverdon. The frontispiece and initial linocuts were designed, engraved and printed from original blocks by Stanislaw Gilwa. Limited edition of 180 numbered copies printed from Monotype Bembo type on T.H. Saunders, mould made, wove paper. Privately printed at Oficyna Stanislawa Gliwy. From the UM web site: "Turret Press was a small press located in London, England. Founded in 1965, it specialized in publishing a limited edition series of booklets of contemporary poet

Review of Alexander's "Edge"

The following review "Quite a touch of the poet" is by Frank Sheck and appears online from the New York Post . September 11, 2007 -- FEW performers inhabit their characters with the intensity with which Angelica Torn plays Sylvia Plath in "Edge." Paul Alexander's one-woman show provides this superb actress with a galvanizing showcase as the poet who ended her life at age 30, with her children in the next room. Though "Edge" offers plenty of biographical detail, it's more of a psychoanalytic examination of its subject than a history. Set on the day of Plath's death, it begins with the haunting image of the writer sitting at her desk composing a suicide note, followed by an explanation of the events that led to her decision. In the playwright's view, much of the blame lies with Plath's husband, fellow poet Ted Hughes, who left her for another woman. Fittingly, Plath spends much of the monologue venting her spleen, her obsessive love an

Sylvia Plath's summer jobs

Sylvia Plath had a number of summer jobs throughout college, the most notable being her Mademoiselle internship in the summer of 1953. Since the summer is now over, and many students are back in school, the topic seems appropriate. Plath wrote at length about her experiences during the summer; these details appear mostly in the Unabrdiged Journals of Sylvia Plath (edited by Karen V. Kukil, Anchor Books, 2000). Plath's earlier journals, from 1944 to 1949, are held at the Lilly Library at Indiana University. These journals should be published to give a fuller view of what Plath's life was life in her early to mid teens. Plath spent her summers from around 1943 until 1949 at summer camps in New Hampshire, Massachusetts, and on Martha's Vineyard. In 1950, the summer prior to her freshman year at Smith College, Plath worked on Lookout Farm in Dover, Mass. Plath wrote about this in "Memoirs of a Spinach-Picker", a poem written in 1958. This poem appears in the C

Schedule Updated for the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium

Another new schedule is now available for the Symposium. Please check this against previous schedules to be sure you know when you are presenting/participating. Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium Schedule October 25-29th 2007 at Oxford University Thursday, 25 Oct 9:00-5:30 All-day registration, Rhodes House 9:00 Continental breakfast, Rhodes House 9:30 Opening, Rhodes Milner Room 10:00-11:00 Literary panel, small Rothermere ~ ‘The Bee Poems’: Bethany Hicok, Georgiana Banita 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 Martinelli, Pamela Ryan, Ghanim Samarrai, Isabella Wai 10:00-11:45 Literary panel, Rhodes Beit ~ ‘Plath, Sexton and the Literary Market’: Jo Gill, Mel Waters, Luke Ferretter 12:00-12:45 Welcome lunch, Rhodes 1:15-2:15 Featured artists exhibition talk, painter Kristina Zimbakova and printmaker

Sylvia Plath collections: Letters to Ben Sonnenberg, 1961-2000

The letters to Ben Sonnenberg, a subseries of the Ted Hughes papers held at Emory University features some interesting correspondence. As one would expect, Sylvia Plath is a named person. Letters to Ben Sonnenberg, 1961-2000 This collection contains 38 letters written to Ben Sonnenberg, including 30 written by Ted Hughes (the other letters are from Olwyn Hughes and Carol Hughes.) The earliest letter is from 1961, shortly after Hughes and Sylvia Plath had purchased their home, Court Green. The 12 letters from the 1960s combine news of family life (particularly of the Hughes children, Frieda and Nicholas) with information about writing and publishing. Hughes comments in detail about Sonnenberg's writing, which Sonnenberg sent to him for input. Also in these letters, Hughes solicits and receives funding from Sonnenberg for the magazine Modern Poetry in Translation, which he began with Daniel Weissbort in 1965. The letters from the later 1960s comment obliquely on the personal upheavel

100,000 and counting

Today, my web site for Sylvia Plath, A celebration, this is, hit a milestone. 100,000 visitors! Thank you to all the visitors to the web site, I appreciate your interest!

Sylvia Plath event: Beyond the Bell Jar: Rediscovering the Poetry of Sylvia Plath

Christopher Hitt posted the following on the Sylvia Plath Forum ( ). "For those who live in the Seattle area (or who would be willing to travel here), I would like to announce a two-day course on Plath's poetry to be held at the Richard Hugo House, Seattle's center for literature, literacy, and the arts. The class will take place from 1 to 5 p.m. on consecutive Saturdays, October 27 and November 3. The class is open to the public, but please note there is a registration fee of $160 (or $140 for Hugo House members). "The title of the course is "Beyond the Bell Jar: Rediscovering the Poetry of Sylvia Plath." You can get more information by going to their website and scrolling down. Or you can feel free to email him with any questions you might have..."

Sylvia Plath collections: BBC's Third Programme

Emory University holds some important radio scripts for works read for the BBC's famous Third Programme. These papers form a part of The Raymond Danowski Poetry Library. The script for Plath's verse poem, "Three Women", which aired on 19 August 1962, is in Box 1, Folder 14. Also held are two scripts for works by Ted Hughes. In Box 1, Folder 16, "Difficulties of a Bridegroom", which aired on 9 Feburary 1963 and in Box 1, Folder 22, "Dogs" which aired just over a year later, on 12 Feburary 1964. Third Programme radio scripts, 1949-1978 (bulk 1959-1968) The collection is held in two boxes. From the scope and content note: The collection contains thirty-six typescripts for the British Broadcasting Corporation's Third Programme, dating from 1949 to 1978; however, the majority of the typescripts date from the 1960s. The collection is comprised of numerous works by Dylan Thomas, including multiple versions of "Under Milk Wood," as well as ty

Sylvia Plath (Great Writers): Unused sidebars

In my 2004 biography simply titled Sylvia Plath , Chelsea House considered having sidebars appear throughout the text. When all the editing was done, however, these were excluded. Each explored a topic that did not truly fit into the text, or presented some information I felt it important to highlight or separate. Each of the sidebars below is preceded by a quote from Plath, relevant to the time period discussed in the chapter. Chapter One: Becoming a Poet, 1932-1950 “Breath, that is the first thing. Something is breathing. My own breath? The breath of my mother? No, something else, something larger, farther, more serious, more weary.” (JP, pg. 20) The life of Sylvia Plath was not tragic. She grew up in three distinct neighborhoods around Boston. Her first home in Jamaica Plain was in-between a pond and an arboretum. Her second home in Winthrop was literally beach front, although it was on the calmer, bayside of the Atlantic Ocean; her grandparent’s house had views of both. A major