30 August 2008

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 30 August 2008

  • Frances Leviston review's Drives by Leontia Flynn over at The Guardian (Buy it: UK US). This is Flynn's second collection of poetry, the first being These Days (2004). People interested in fresh, new, wonderful, and real poetry will enjoy Flynn's work; but my reason for mentioning the book here - aside from my enjoyment of her poetry - is that the collection includes a poem titled "Sylvia Plath's Sinus Condition".
  • Good news! I know what happened to my website! It was deleted! Fortunately, I have back-up files for it. I anticipate it will be back online before mid-September. I apologize for this downtime.

24 August 2008

Sylvia Plath: Did you know...

Plath's first published poem appeared on August 10, 1941, in the The Boston Herald. There are two titles often attributed to this poem: "8-Year-Old Poet" and "Poem". Plath introduces her poem with a short letter to the editor. She writes, "Dear Editor: I have written a short poem about what I see and hear on hot summer nights." The poem then somewhat famously begins, "Hear the crickets chirping / In the dewy grass."

But, did you know that the four lines of Plath's "Poem" appear - in a slightly expanded version - as the second stanza of a poem entitled "My House", which Plath also wrote in 1941. There are extra words here and there, but the lines are essentially the same. In the "My House" version, the second stanza begins, "At night I hear the crickets chirp / In green and dewy grass."

The autograph manuscript poems held by the Morgan Library in New York City contains two copies of "My House", both handwritten and dated 1941 by Plath.

The Beinecke Library at Yale holds a manuscript version of "Poem", dated 16 May 1941, as well as a poem that begins "I saw a little birdie...".

21 August 2008

A celebration, this is ... down

I apologize for any inconvience, but my website for Sylvia Plath went down sometime on 20 August. Hopefully it'll be up before too long...

16 August 2008

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 16 August 2008

  • There is a new page on A celebration, this is. The new page is an index of known works by Sylvia Plath. Listed are all poems and prose (non-fiction and fiction) that I could find. Plus, there are a couple of poems referred to in sources but otherwise unknown. The page is located in the bibliographies section and I hope that you find it useful. If you know of a work not listed, please contact me via email.

  • The first volume of Plath Profiles was published on Sunday 10 August, 2008.* It features really wonderful essays, poems, reviews, and artwork from a widely international group of scholars. Most of the essays were presented at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Oxford in October 2007 (and/or at Smith College in April 2008), but some are original, too. One step forward...

  • Plath Profiles deeply apologizes for any inconvenience, however, it was necessary to make some editorial changes to Barbara Mossberg's Introduction to Elizabeth Gray's Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath. Please re-save or re-print this if you want the most up-to-date version, which was uploaded this morning (16 August 2008) at 10:00, eastern US time. We do not seek to make a habit of this.

  • Plath Profiles is currently accepting papers, poems, etc. for its second volume. If you are a high school or college student, writer, scholar, artist, or general fan of Sylvia Plath's, please consider submitting your work to Plath Profiles. Submission guidelines and deadlines and contacts and other information are all available through the link in the preceding paragraph.

  • Susan Basalla May interviewed novelist Joanne Rendell in the 12 August 2008 issue of The Chronicle of Higher Education. Keep your eyes peeled in 2009 for Rendell's second novel which "explores the high/low-culture debate through a standoff between two female protagonists: one a Sylvia Plath scholar, the other a scholar of popular fiction." It sounds like a good read.

  • There is going to be a movie made from Jennifer O'Kieffe's screenplay "Sex and Sylvia Plath." The movie is about "a death-obsessed 16-year-old who loses her virginity to a teenager, only to discover that her mother is also having an affair with him." The screenplay won the 52nd annual Samuel Goldwyn writing award in 2007 and has been called one of the "hottest unproduced screenplays." Two steps back?

*Astute Plath scholars may recognize that 10 August is the day in which Plath's first poem appeared in 1941.

10 August 2008

Plath Profiles Volume 1 Online now!!

Plath Profiles is now online!


Editor's Note by W. K. Buckley

Introduction to the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium by Barabara Mossberg

The Holiday Card by Helen Decker

Sylvia Plath: The Playfulness of Time by Gail Crowther

Too Close, Too Far: Death and Rebirth in Sylvia Plath's Ariel and Forough Farrokhzad's Another Birth by Leyli Jamali

Daddy, Daddy/Mammy, Mammy: Sylvia Plath and Thomas Kinsella by Andrew Browne

Parallel Destinies in The Bell Jar and On the Road by Hilary Holladay

Sylvia Plath’s “The Magic Mirror”: A Jungian Alchemical Reading by Nephie Christodoulides

Sylvia Plath’s Mirrors Reflecting Various Guises of Self by Dr.Neslihan Ekmekçioglu

The Origins of Creativity and Destructiveness in the Life and Work of Sylvia Plath by Nick Owen

An “I” Elated: The Ecstatic Self as Creative Process and Product in the Poetry of Sylvia Plath by Anna Dillon

Words as Axes: Suffering as Catalyst of Meaning in Sylvia Plath’s Poetry by Elena Ciobanu

“Just Like the Sort of Drug a Man Would Invent”: The Bell Jar and the Feminist Critique of Women’s Health Care by Luke Ferretter

Is there a shaman in Sylvia? Sylvia’s redemptive Imagination by Ananya Ghoshal

Alice in Cambridge: Sylvia Plath, Little Girls Lost, and “Stone Boy with Dolphin” by Jessica Hritz McCort

History, Politics, and Progress: Sylvia Plath’s Hidden Narrative by Patrick O’Connor

Sylvia Plath’s “Mirror” translated in Hindi by Smita Agarwal

Herb Caen Urges Lady Lazarus to Delete an Obscenity from “Daddy” by David Alpaugh

eclipse by Christi Concus

To the Critics by Gwynne Garfinkle

Sylvia's Bells by W. K. Buckley

Have You Heard The News? by W. K. Buckley

Introduction to Elisabeth Gray's "Wish I Had a Sylvia Plath" by Barbara Mossberg

Sylvia Plath Poems in Painting by Kristina Zimbakova

From Bell Jar to Nets: A Personal Journey by Amanda Robins

Sylvia Plath: Poetry and Suicide by Jennifer Yaros

Review of The Unraveling Archive: essays on Sylvia Plath, edited by Anita Helle by Luke Ferretter

Review of Eye Rhymes: Sylvia Plath’s Art of the Visual, edited by Kathleen Connors and Sally Bayley by Luke Ferretter

"I should be loving this": Sylvia Plath's "The Perfect Place" and The Bell Jar by Peter K. Steinberg

From Sylvia Plath’s “Daddy” to Myself and Back Again by Glenn Sheldon

“The child’s cry/ Melts in the wall”: Frieda Hughes and a Contemporary Reading of Sylvia Plath by Kara Kilfoil

Sister Seer and Scribe: Teaching Wanda Coleman's and Elizabeth Alexander's Poetic Conversations with Sylvia Plath by Malin Pereira

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 9 August, 2008

Lesley Mcdowell at The Independent reviews A Lover of Unreason: The Life and Tragic Death of Assia Wevill, by Yehuda Koren and Eilat Negev. It received five stars.

Down in Adelaide, Georgia Gowell reviews The Secret Lives of Great Authors by Robert Schnakenberg, which features something on Plath. The cover of the book alone is worthy of a look.

The New York International Fringe Festival is on at the moment, says The Village Voice. One piece on exhibit is Ariel View, which "is described by its creators as 'a collage of texts by and about Sylvia Plath'."

09 August 2008

Plath Profiles update

This is just to say that Plath Profiles is nearly ready, look for an announcement here later this weekend or early next week.

Please ensure you have a PDF reader on your computer as all documents will be in this file format. You can download a free version of Adobe PDF Reader here.

The content will be delivered in two ways: 1) a complete document and 2) individual essays. We support printing on both sides.

06 August 2008

Sylvia Plath collections: Papers of John L. (Jack) and Máire MacNeill Sweeney

University College Dublin Archives holds the papers of Jack and Máire Sweeney. Jack Sweeney was a friend to Plath and Hughes, but his contribution to the poetry world is most known because he was a long time curator of the Woodberry Poetry Room. Sweeney was instrumental in building the audio archive at the Woodberry Poetry Room, and first asked Ted Hughes read there in late 1957. In turn, Hughes was influential in securing the first reading Plath gave on Friday, 13 June 1958.

In these papers at UCD are some correspondence between Plath, Hughes and Sweeney. In addition to the correspondence, they also have two photographs.

In the absence of a list online, here follows an inventory the correspondence between Sweeney, Plath and Hughes.

1. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, typed, 31 October 1957, 1 p.
2. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, 30 November 1957, 1 p.
3. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, Undated, 2 p.
4. Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, handwritten, 15 April 1958, 1 p.
5. Sylvia Plath Hughes to John Sweeney, typed, 27 April 1958, 1 p.
6. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, 11 May 1958, 1 p.
7. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, 14 June 1958, 2 p. With annotation from Sweeney to Steve [Fassett].
8. Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, typed, undated [Fall 1958], 1 p.
9. Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, handwritten, undated [ca. 7 July 1959], 1 p. Included with this letter are offprints from the Grecourt Review of "Sculptor" by Plath and "Roosting Hawk"* by Hughes. Plath and Hughes each inscribed and signed the offprint. Plath's is dated 6 July 1959, Hughes's is undated.
10. Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, handwritten, undated [ca. March 1960], 1 p. The letter accompanied a copy of Lupercal.
11. Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, undated, 2 p. Letter accompanied negatives of photographs of Plath and Hughes with Frieda.
12. Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Frieda Hughes to the Sweeney's, handwritten, undated [December 1961].
13. Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and Frieda Hughes to the Sweeney's, handwritten, undated [December 1962]. With a handwritten poem by Hughes.
14. Letter from Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, handwritten, undated [January 1962], 2. Sent one week after the birth of Nicholas Hughes.
15. Letter from Ted Hughes to Jack Sweeney, handwritten, undated [1970], 1 p. Accompanied a copy of Crow.
16. Letter from Ted Hughes to Jack & Máire Sweeney, handwritten, 15 January 1985, 1 p.

The photographs are:

1. Sylvia Plath with Frieda, November 1960
2. Ted Hughes with Frieda, November 1960

I should note that the photographs are the same as, and likely the originals, the photographs held by the Woodberry Poetry Room.

The collection code for the Jack & Máire Sweeney papers is LA52/166. UCD Archives is online here.

*By the time this poem was printed in Hughes' Lupercal the title had been changed to "Hawk Roosting".

02 August 2008

Sylvia Plath - Voices and Visions - Video on Demand

The Voices and Visions videos are available online via learner.org! Sylvia Plath, Robert Lowell, Wallace Stevens, etc.

Click here. Scroll down; requires registration but it's worth it.

Update regarding Plath Profiles

Plath Profiles, the new interdisciplinary journal for Sylvia Plath studies, is still being finalized, thank you all for your patience while we get it ready and get it right. It should be online this month.

Volume 1 features essays, artwork, book reviews, and poetry by the following contributors:

Smita Agarwal, David Alpaugh, Andrew Browne, W. K. Buckley, Nephie Christodoulides, Elena Ciobanu, Christi Concus, Bernadette Conroy, Gail Crowther, Helen Decker, Anna Dillon, Neslihan Ekmekçioğlu, Luke Ferretter, Gwynne Garfinkle, Ananya Ghoshal, Hilary Holladay, Leyli Jamali, Kara Kilfoil, Karen Kukil, Jessica Hritz McCort, Aubrey Menard, Barbara Mossberg, Patrick O'Connor, Nick Owen, Malin Pereira, Amanda Robins, Glenn Sheldon, Peter K. Steinberg, Jennifer Yaros, and Kristina Zimbakova.

At last count, the issue is over 400 pages!
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