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Showing posts from 2011

2011 Sylvia Plath Info Year In Review

If it felt like a big year for Sylvia Plath it is because it was. There were periods of quiet, but that is fine as it gives us a chance to rest, reflect, write, etc.  I do find it hard to sum up a year but have in the past so will attempt to continue now... Sadly, we lost two valuable contributors to Plath scholarship. In June, Jim Long passed away . And before that, quietly in February, Nephie Christodoulides. Nephie is the author of numerous articles on Plath, H.D. and others. Her book Out of the Cradle Endlessly Rocking: Motherhood in Sylvia Plath's Work was published in 2005 by Rodopi Editions in Amsterdam. You can read a review of Nephie's book by fellow Plath scholar Toni Saldivar here. Books about Plath published this year were many and each provides valuable insight and a great contribution to the scholarship in Plath studies. The year started off with a "bang, smash" in Heather Clark's The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath & Ted Hughes (

A Very Sylvia Plath Christmas

Back in 2009, I made an Otto Plath cookie .  I decided to make this year, 2011, a very Sylvia Plath Christmas. **  Inspired by "The Applicant," "We make new stock from the salt." And, further inspired by "Daddy," Every woman adores a Fascist, The boot in the face, the brute Brute heart of a brute like you. And... There's a stake in your fat black heart And the villagers never liked you. They are dancing and stamping on you. ** Disclaimer: Several sugar cookies were harmed in the making of this update.

Did you know... Sylvia Plath's Mid-Life

Sylvia Plath lived from 27 October 1932 to 11 February 1963. This was 11,064 days; or 30 years, 3 months, 15 days. Sylvia Plath's mid-life was, then, 5532 days. Did you know that that date -Sylvia Plath's mid-life - fell on 20 December 1947 (a Saturday that year). She was 15 years, 1 month, and 23 days; in tenth grade, in her first year at Gamaliel Bradford High School, and it was during this school year she took her first class, English 21, with Wilbury Crockett. In this class, the readings and assignments were vigorous, and not for those seeking only to be generally educated. Many of Plath's papers from this class are now held at the Lilly Library, and from examining them, we know which books she read, many of which are cataloged in LibraryThing . One of the poems Plath wrote this year was "I Thought That I Could Not Be Hurt." Her activities that year included basketball, orchestra, and she worked for the school newspaper, The Bradford . It was in this fir

More books by and about Sylvia Plath in Kindle Editions

Adding to their enviable Kindle edition selection, the British have had available since June in Kindle format the following book: Sylvia Plath's Selected Poems .  Plath's American publishers have to get on the ball here...Back in January, I posted that via, you can ask for them to consider titles for publication in a Kindle edition. So, please visit that post and start clicking so that we can get Kindle editions available to us, too! In November, The Colossus was made available to US Kindle owners...  Another "new" book of interest perhaps, to readers of Sylvia Plath, that is available to Kindle owners (or Kindle app downloaders) is the 2007 book Letters of Ted Hughes edited by Christopher Reid. US readers click here ; for those in the UK, you can find this book for your Kindle's here . And now (now... now...) the book (book … book) that nobody (nobody...nobody) read ( Chelsea House is making easier for you to read the book that

Ted Hughes Memorial Radio Broadcast

Earlier this week, BBC Radio 4 aired " Ted Hughes Memorial Tones ." It is a 58 minute long program about his recent memorializing in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey. The program can be listened to until 17 December. Among those interviewed were Seamus Heaney, Carol Hughes, and Melvyn Bragg, who is the narrator. As can be fathomed, topics discussed include Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and Court Green. In addition, there are audio snippets of Hughes reading, as well as from the "Two of a Kind" interview from 1961.

Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings ending this week

If you are in London this week, plan to see "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" at the Mayor Gallery now for the exhibit is coming down by the 16th. Our friend in Plath, Gail Crowther, visited the cloudy city this weekend and send on some more pictures of the exhibit.... Thanks Gail! The first picture is the Willow tree from Grantchester. Perhaps this is the one where she placed her Earthenware head... This picture shows many of the drawings. The second one on the long wall from the corner, you can see, is missing. This is one of a few that are no longer in the gallery and presumably already with their new owner... Here is another view of the willow, as well as of "Horse Chestnut," "Horse Chestnuts," and "Cow." If you visited the exhibit and want to write a guest post about the experience please send me an email!

Marsha Bryant essay on Sylvia Plath in new book

Marsha Bryant, author of several articles on Sylvia Plath, has recently published Women's Poetry and Popular Culture through Palgrave Macmillan.  In this book will be the chapter "Everyday Ariel: Sylvia Plath and the Dream Kitchen." The book was published on 25 November 2011. ISBN: 9780230609419; cost: £52.00. Other chapters look at H.D., Stevie Smith, Gwendolyn Brooks, Ai, and Carol Ann Duffy. Articles on Plath by Bryant include: "Plath, Domesticity, and the Art of Advertising." College Literature 29:3. Summer 2002: 17-34. "IMAX Authorship: Teaching Plath and her Unabridged Journals ." Pedagogy 2:4. Spring 2004: 241-262. "Ariel's Kitchen: Plath, Ladies' Home Journal, and the Domestic Surreal." In The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath . Ann Arbor, MI: University of Michigan Press, 2007: 211-235.

Ted Hughes in Poets Corner & Some Sylvia Plath, too

On Tuesday 6 December 2011, Ted Hughes will be memorialized in Poets Corner at Westminster Abbey in London. Frieda Hughes, Carol Hughes, and Seamus Heaney are three among the many expected to attend the service. This news broke in early 2010 . A more recent article appeared on Westminster Abbey's website in early November. The Mayor Gallery in London, which is exhibiting "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" through 16 December, recently informed me that they have three rare copies of the limited edition Pursuit for sale. Copies are £1,000 and were formerly in the possession of Frieda Hughes. The book was limited to 100 numbered copies and these three copies are numbered 20, 22, and 23. I have a photograph of the title page of Pursuit on my website . There are also a few copies of The Crystal Gazer still available, numbered sequentially 271-277. Bloomsbury Auctions will be selling two copies of The Bell Jar on their Books, Manuscripts, Maps and Works on Paper auction on 14

Articles on Sylvia Plath

Recently found the following citations for articles on Sylvia Plath which either have appeared or will appear in journals or in books... Aragno, Anna. "Silent Cries, Dancing Tears: The Metapsychology of Art Revisited/Revised." Journal of the American Psychoanalytic Association 59: 2. April 2011: 239-288 Boswell, Matthew . "Poetry. Sylvia Plath, Ariel (1965) and Other Poems." In Holocaust Impiety in Literature, Popular Music and Film . New York: Palgrave Macmillan, 2012. Leake, Elizabeth. "The Corpus and the Corpse: Amelia Rosselli, Jacques Derrida, Sylvia Plath, Sarah Kofman." In After Words: Suicide and Authorship in Twentieth-Century Italy . Toronto: University of Toronto Press, 2011: 65-103. Lester D., and McSwain S. "A Text Analysis of the Poems of Sylvia Plath". Psychological Reports 109:1. 2011:  73-76. Piatti-Farnell, Lorna. "'At My Cooking I Feel It Looking': Food, Domestic Fantasies, and Consumer Anxiety in Syl

Review of Representing Sylvia Plath

The majority of the eleven essays in Representing Sylvia Plath (249 pages, ISBN: 978-1-107-00675-1, Cambridge University Press, 2011, also available in two digital editions via the publisher: Mobipocket eBook and Adobe eBook Reader) draw from papers given at the Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium held at Oxford in 2007. The book is divided into three sections: Contexts, Poetics and Composition, and Representation. The focus of the essays is on the poetry, with somewhat token attention given to Plath's letters and short fiction. Though referenced nine times, The Bell Jar is largely not discussed. With some exceptions, Representing Sylvia Plath seems to consciously avoid an explicit consideration of Plath's biographical representations - of how Plath directly represents her self/life in her creative works- and this omission is a disservice to a writer who was, according to a close contemporary -Ted Hughes- her own best subject. In his "Introduction" to Johnny Pani

Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings - Installation Photographs

The Mayor Gallery has posted their installation photographs from the Sylvia Plath exhibit, which closes in just under a months time. Over on the TLS blog, Thea Lenarduzzi posted, on 10 November, " Sylvia Plath, the doodler. " The majority of these are not doodles, and the majority of the article is not on the drawings...

Sylvia Plath at the Boston Book Fair

Before we look at Plath at the Boston Book Fair, I have recently learned that several limited edition books of Plath's published by the Rainbow Press are for sale through the Mayor Gallery in London. These books are being sold by both Frieda Hughes and her aunt, Olwyn Hughes. It appears that there is almost a complete liquidation of Plath by her daughter. That appalling thought notwithstanding, I have seen these books in libraries and they are nice books and the second two, Dialogue Over a Ouija Board and Lyonnesse , at that price point, are quite reasonable given their rarity. Lyonnesse is particularly nice as the endpapers contain a facsimile of Plath's poem "Lyonnesse," though under its original title "Amnesiac: The Man With Amnesia." Crystal Gazer and Other Poems £250 Rainbow Press, London, 1971 Limited edition of 400 (only 25 available) There is a reproduction of the 'Study of a Figurine' in this book. Dialogue over a Ouija Board £

Images from Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

The following images of the Sylvia Plath exhibit on at the Mayor Gallery were sent to me from Sarsaparilla Esperanza Gomez. Thank you Ms. Gomez. The pictures are shown in the L-shaped part at the back of the gallery and are displayed quite crowded with little space between them. Reminds me of Plath's description of her father's headstone in her Journals , "headstones together, as if the dead were sleeping head to head in a poorhouse." You can get an idea of the frames from the photos: thin mahogony ones. I am aware that the gallery itself had installation photographs taken last week, so we can expect to see more of what the exhibit looks like then.

More on Sylvia Plath's Drawings

Earlier this year we were pleased with a Plath doodle .  Then came the exhibit in London at the Mayor Gallery of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings". This led me to "the Google" and I found the following drawing made by a very young Plath. This comes from an article called "Some Relics of Childhood" by Rodney Phillips , which appeared in issue 9 of Cabinet Magazine and was published in Winter 2002/3. The book Plath traced the cat and the dog from, Manners Can Be Fun , sounds like a great read and one that certainly could help me in life (though I'm not sure the book advocated eating all of Dido Merwin’s food in France in 1961 but we can hardly blame Plath for that).  The dog, too, came from this book. I found a cover online of a revised edition (1958), which features a very similar looking dog in the bottom left. For those that don't or won't see the interest in this kind of thing, remember that Plath's learning to trace drawi

Boston Book Fair & Sylvia Plath on Kindle

This weekend (11-13 November 2011) is the 35th Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair to be held as usual at the Hynes Convention Center. As usual I will walk around and obsess and drool over all things Plath and report back back books, prices and what not. Hopefully will score some photographs, too, to share with you. Read about the fair in 2010 here . And I did two posts in 2008: the first and the second ... The blog over at the valuable Fine Books & Collections also has a preview and Plath made the list of neat items to see. Unrelated to the Boston Book Fair...US readers will finally have a new Kindle option of a Sylvia Plath book. The Colossus will be released in Kindle format on 23 November. Let’s hope this is the first step is allowing electronic access to Plath’s works to this market. The book will be published via Random House Digital, Inc. Again, if you are interested in helping to make Plath's books available through Kindle, you can have your say. Please

Sylvia Plath: Double Jeopardy

Sylvia Plath was the $800 answer today on Jeopardy's category "Verse Case Scenario". The best part is, the guy that got it right's first name was Buddy! Sorry about the flash glare. For those concerned, the line is "Dying is an art..."  This is Plath's second recent appearance on Jeopardy .

More Reviews of Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Two new reviews to mention today on the exhibit of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings." Sam Leith at The Observer reviews quite favorably the exhibit in " These drawings give us a whole new Sylvia Plath – sprightly, witty and fun " which appeared on 6 November 2011. B.K. at The Economist lightly reviews in " Sylvia Plath’s Drawings: An Unbearable Lightness " on 7 November 2011.  It is clear that many prefer Plath's poetry; however, it seems these people are trying to compare apples to oranges. This is why Plath wanted to publish The Bell Jar under a pseudonym, isn't it? Because she did not want -among other reasons- for her novel to be judged as the work of a poet. Same goes for the drawings...

Catalogue Review: Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings. (London: The Mayor Gallery, 2011) , 63 pages. ISBN: 978-0-9558367-8-7. Illustrated. Hardcover, no dust wrapper, as issued. The catalogue for the exhibit of "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" is a gem. The bold red cover is of a quintessential Plathian nature, and is reminiscent of the exhibition catalogue for Karen V. Kukil and Stephen Enniss' "No Other Appetite": Sylvia Plath, Ted Hughes, and the Blood Jet of Poetry (Grolier Club, 2005). Published in a limited edition to 1,000 copies, the full color scans throughout are bound to delight Plath's readers (scholars, fans: we are all in this together). The introduction by Frieda Hughes was largely published in a slightly different format in both her Vogue UK ("Drawings from the Past," November 2011, pp 103-104) and Observer ( "Lines of Beauty," 22 October 2011, p 22) articles.  It is a cool, factual, point-to-point introduction that lacks an emotio

A Review of Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings

Michael Glover at The Independent coolly reviews the exhibition "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" which is now on at the Mayor Gallery in London. The subtitle to the review, "Plath the tortured poet's pictures are too polite to be a big draw" says all you'll need to read... But he just does not get it. Or, at least he does not get Plath. Glover asks, "What we really want to know about this exhibition is this: how does it connect with the rest of her tragic life? Are these drawings pent, febrile and tortured in the way that many of the greatest of the poems are pent, febrile and tortured? Have the things that she is drawing – flowers, animals, bottles, trees – been turned into terrible symbols of themselves?" Several of the drawings in the exhibit show a duplicitous or two-sided curiosity in objects, which directly relates to a large theme in Plath's writings. There are two drawings of the "Pleasures of Odds and Ends"; two of horse ches

Sylvia Plath Exhibit Opens in London

The Mayor Gallery exhibit of "Sylvia Plath's Drawings" opens today at their space at 22A Cork Street in London. Containing 44 drawings, this is the first British exhibition of Plath's artwork.  In the "Current" section of their website, it is possible to view all 44 drawings . Bravo! In 2002 at the Sylvia Plath 70th Year Symposium held at Indiana University, many of Plath's creations were exhibited from the collections of both Smith College and Indiana University. Yesterday, Matilda Battersby of the Indpendent wrote " Unseen Sylvia Plath Drawings Go on Show ." The page containing the article has been loading painfully slowly, so your patience is I'm sure appreciated.

The Black Car by Christine Walde

Recently published by Baseline Press , The Black Car by Christine Walde features poems inspired by Sylvia Plath. In these poems we join Walde on an journey into Plath's brief sojourn to Canada in the summer of 1959. Subtitled Reflections on Lethe , The Black Car also finds its poetry sourced from H.D., Charles Baudelaire, and Edna St. Vincent Millay. The poems are completely original and in Walde's own unmistakable voice.  In the "Afterword," we learn a bit about the books genesis; the prose and the story are inspiring. Exquisitely produced in a limited edition that is sure not to last, The Black Car is a book worth owning and cherishing. 36 pp., ISBN 978-0-9869570-1-7, $10. The cover is of St. Armand Canal, and the flyleaf of Tibetan Cloud. The book is available for on-line purchase through the link above. Christine Walde (London, Ontario) is the author of the novel, The Candy Darlings (Penguin Canada and Houghton Mifflin). A second novel, Burning Down

On Sylvia Plath’s 79th Birthday …

Readers of this blog, Plath Profiles , and contemporary American poetry will be familiar with the name of the poet and writer David Trinidad. Recently Dear Prudence , his new and selected poems, was published by Turtle Point Press and within its wonderful pages are a number of poems on Sylvia Plath. Trinidad has a way of getting at the essence of Sylvia Plath in his poems.  His poetry shows evidence of his passion for Plath, and there is truthfulness in his methodological use of her archival materials and creative works. And of course, the range of poems held within the older, selected titles is moving. Seeing a poets progression through the medium of a new and selected volume is inspiring. I admire him and his poetry a great deal, and cannot recommend this book enough. Trinidad’s poetry is candid, intimate, and deeply affecting.   The book is also available in a Kindle edition . Other writing by David Trinidad worth your while is (and available free online): On the Road with

More Sylvia Plath Drawings Online

The Telegraph has additional images and information about the forthcoming show of Sylvia Plath's drawings on at the Mayor Gallery in London (2 November - 16 December). An additional article on the exhibit appeared on .

Frieda Hughes on Sylvia Plath's art

In The Observer , issue printed on 23 October 2011, Frieda Hughes has more to say on her mother, Sylvia Plath's, art in " Lines of Beauty: The Art of Sylvia Plath ."  Excellently, included is a gallery of 11of  Plath's drawings . Thank you for sharing this artwork with us, Ms. Hughes.

Minority Report: A Review of Sylvia Plath and the Mythology of Women Readers by Janet Badia

The essays in Janet Badia's Sylvia Plath and the Mythology of Women Readers are tightly wound around the central thesis that there is a "reliance of literary and popular culture on the tropes meant to disparage Plath's fans, especially the young women readers among them, as uncritical consumers, as Plath addicts, and even as literary cannibals" (2). In following a discourse that "rather unabashedly constructs women readers as a body of uncritical, misguided [and] pathological readers, she traces this discourses "eruptions and evolutions throughout literary and popular culture in order to demonstrate the significant effect it has has on the production, reception, and evaluation of Plath's oeuvre" (8). She does so effectively, expertly, and carefully. Not being female - and I did check relatively recently - leaves me possibly at somewhat of a disadvantage to read, and to be so bold as to review, a book whose focus is squarely opposite to whatever