Skip to main content


Showing posts from October, 2008

10 & 47

10 years ago today... Ted Hughes passed away. 47 years ago today... Sylvia Plath published her short story "The Perfect Place" in the women's magazine My Weekly . The working title for this story was "The Lucky Stone", and typescripts are held by both the Moritmer Rare Book Room at Smith College and the Robert W. Woodruff Library at Emory University. This was the last short story that we know of that Plath published in her lifetime. Irralie Doel and I spoke about this story on 28 October 2007 at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at Oxford. To read more about the story, please see my paper "'I should be loving this': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar " in Volume 1 of Plath Profiles .

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 25 October 2008

Below is a list of links and other newsworthy items from the week that was. The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath by Jo Gill has had a somewhat roaming US publication date. Having moved from 30 September to 30 October to 30 November, now has the publication date set for Monday, 27 October . Also know as the birthday of Sylvia Plath, Dylan Thomas, and countless others. The book is listed as In Stock according to Cambridge University Presses US site; and it is also available as an eBook using the Adobe eBook Reader. Blake Morrison remembers Ted Hughes in The week in books in The Guardian . The Guardian also gives us a glimpse into A. Alvarez's writing room . The Chronicle Herald (Canada) reports last Sunday on the sale of the Hughes papers. The Whitman College Pioneer (Walla Walla, Wash) reports that the Citizens for Academic Responsibility wants Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar should be removed from school curriculum. [Go ahead: If you ban it, it will be

Sylvia Plath events

There are two events worthy of note in the next month. On Monday October 27, 2008, Kate Moses will highlight a Sylvia Plath Symposium at Pacific. The other speakers will be Camille Norton, Diane Borden, and Xiaojing Zhou."Life Into Art: A Symposium on Sylvia Plath" will be from 5 to 7 p.m. in the Grand Ballroom in the DeRosa University Center. Click here for more information ... The Ted Hughes Festival will be held from 22-28 October in Mytholmroyd. Anticipated participants include: Amanda Dalton, Ian Duhig, Frieda Hughes , Glyn Hughes, Mark Piggott, Keith Sagar, John Siddique, Lemm Sissay, Anne Stevenson and Anthony Thwaite. Visit the website for the Elmet Trust for more information and a complete schedule.

The peanut-crunching crowd

As expected - probably - there has been some criticism that has sprung from the big news this week that the British Library had acquired some of Ted Hughes' papers. Heather McRobie's response "Can't we leave Hughes and Plath alone? We have their poems. We really don't need access to every corner of their lives" is one such example. The short answer is "No". We cannot leave them alone. And it is arguable that by having access to every corner of their lives does add incredibly valuable insight to their poems. Archival materials allow for the assessment and the reassessment of the subject. Therefore, it is vital that saved materials be made available for use by the public. There is, undeniably and unfortunately, a gossipy aspect to the story of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes. The news of additional archival material being sold was picked up so widely because news about Plath and Hughes does sell papers, and will be clicked on by readers on the Inter

Ted Hughes papers go to British Library

The following is a list of articles and links of the recent sale of Ted Hughes papers to the British Library... Last updated: 17 October 2008 Rough-hewn genius of Ted Hughes laid bare in unfinished verses - The Times British Library's £500,000 Ted Hughes catch - The Guardian Library acquires Hughes archives - BBC Ted Hughes 'regretted not publishing Sylvia Plath Birthday Letters sooner' - The Daily Telegraph Ted Hughes archive to remain in UK - The Times Ted Hughes and the Birthday Letters - The First Post (Cheltenham) Fishing for inspiration - Ted Hughes' journals - The Scotsman British Library acquires Ted Hughes archive - The Peninsula (Qatar) British Library buys $1-million archive of poet Ted Hughes - The Canadian Press British Library acquires Ted Hughes archive for nation - The Herald For more information, please see the Ted Hughes page at the British Library.

Call for Book Covers, Take 3

The kindness of the Flur's and their Swedish cover collection has prompted me to repost this Call for Sylvia Plath Book Covers! On my website, A celebration, this is , the book cover galleries and photographs receive thousands of hits per month. Do you have any Sylvia Plath book covers that I do not feature on my website? If so, please send me a scanned image of it at at least 200 dpi, and every few weeks I will add them to the web site. I am looking for books by Plath and about Plath, in any language.

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 11 October 2008

The Smithsonian National Portrait Gallery in Washington, D. C., opens a new exhibition on 10 October called " Women of Our Time: Twentieth Century Photographs ". The exhibit runs through February 1, 2009. The photograph of Plath by Rollie McKenna, taken in Boston in 1959, is included. And, there is an online gallery , with some contextual information on Plath. It is not the best piece of writing on her. Along with the exhibit comes Women of Our Time: An Album of Twentieth-Century Photographs by Frederick S. Voss, with a preface by Cokie Roberts, 2002; 176 pages; hardcover, $35 (ISBN 1-85894-169-5). Anne Sexton is also one of the featured women. The National Portrait Gallery is located at Eighth and F Streets, NW, D.C., 20001. They are open daily 11:30 a.m.-7:00 p.m. daily - however they are closed on Christmas Day. Admission is free. Published this month is Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works) by Raychel Haugrud Reiff. Published by Marshall

Sylvia Plath collections: Woodberry Poetry Room

Sylvia Plath collections: Woodberry Poetry Room Sylvia Plath gave two readings for the Woodberry Poetry Room ('WPR', or 'Poetry Room') in 1958 and 1959. The Poetry Room has one of the largest collections of recorded poetry in the world. As I work there, I am assisting in a project to digitize the recordings to make them available either to the Harvard community, or the whole world wide web. In a routine visit to the stacks to select reel-to-reel tapes to digitize, I found the original cardboard box containers for the Plath recordings. Most of the containers feature minimal information, likely in either a curator's hand or the audio technician. However, when I pulled the Plath boxes off the shelf, I was amazed to see that she herself had written the track listings on the back. The recording for Friday June 13, 1958 is written in a pink ink. It may have been red, but the color appears pink to me. There are two poems per available line. The recording for her Febr

Links, reviews, etc. - Week ending 4 October 2008

A friend of Plath's from Smith, Enid Epstein Mark , passed away this week. It has been just over a year since Elaine Connell, moderator of the Sylvia Plath Forum and author of Sylvia Plath: Killing the Angel in the House , passed away. Her legacy lives on as a resource to which I still regularly turn and I know she is well loved and missed. The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath by Jo Gill (Cambridge University Press) is now available through their web site in both hardback (£35.00) and paperback (£10.99) editions. also has this title in stock. The Cambridge Introduction to Sylvia Plath is scheduled to be available through (paperback, $19.99) on 31 October. Plath Profiles is accepting submissions for the 2009 volume. Please click the link and view the submission guidelines. Please email me if you have any questions. On a similar note, if you have read Volume 1 of Plath Profiles and have responses, comments, questions, or other musings in reac

A celebration, this is updated

In time for October - to what can be regarded as "Sylvia Plath's month" - the new " A celebration, this is " is online. The design is all new and it should be easier to navigate. It is also roughly the ten year anniversary of this website for Sylvia Plath. There are a couple of significant changes that I would like to point out. Individual pages for poetry ( Ariel, Ariel: The Restored Edition, The Collected Poems, The Colossus, Crossing the Water, Winter Trees , and audio recordings) and prose ( The Bell Jar, Johnny Panic, The Journals, Letters Home, The Unabridged Journals , and Children's stories) are now merged together into Poetry Works and Prose Works pages.