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Showing posts from February, 2012

Two articles on Sylvia Plath

Laura Miller eloquently at writes on "Keepers of the Flame." As you might imagine, the idiosyncratic Plath Estate receives a little coverage exploring the posthumous life of Plath. Miller's commentary is never more brilliant when she points out the peculiar agenda of Plath's estate: "While most literary executors want to make their author seem a better — or at least a more decorous — person than he or she actually was, Plath was in the odd position of having the raw material of her posthumous reputation fall into the hands of a woman who preferred to make her look bad." In a wonderful blog post, Maeve over at theplathdiaries asks a very good question: " How do we read Sylvia Plath? " One scholarly article to tell you about today: Hunt, Daniel, and Ronald Carter. "Seeing Through The Bell Jar: Investigating Linguistic Patterns of Psychological Disorder". Journal of Medical Humanities . 33:1. March 2012: 27-39.

Review of How to Write About Sylvia Plath by Kimberly Crowley

The "Introduction" by Harold Bloom notwithstanding, there is much to like about Kimberly Crowley's How to Write About Sylvia Plath . A book specifically built for library shelves and written for student readers, Crowley writes an accessible book which is easy to read and to follow, and which should help students jump start their ideas in writing about Sylvia Plath's prose and poetry. The book begins with a long chapter called "How to Write a Good Essay" which culminates in the printing of what should pass for a good essay and is followed by "How to Write About Sylvia Plath." It is not the cleanest written text, and what I mean by that is there are instances throughout where bad information is conveyed. For example, Plath did not die on 10 February 1963, as page 51 would have you believe. The section "Her Influences" is completely misguided. Rather than looking at those writers from whom Plath learned (Stevens, Eliot, Lawrence, Hughes,

Free Sylvia Plath

On 11 February 2012, luxbooks (Weisbaden, Germany) started the campaign: Help Us Free Sylvia Plath . luxbooks is a small German Independent Publisher focusing on American poetry in bilingual editions. The campaign to "Free Sylvia Plath" involves the German language rights for Sylvia Plath's still untranslated debut poetry collection The Colossus . For decades, the rights have been blocked by an option held by a bigger publishing house based in Berlin. However, they have not exercised their option will not allow for any other publishing house to publish the book. luxbooks is quite small and cannot compete with bigger publishing houses. So they decided to start a crowd-funding project on indiegogo to raise the funds necessary to make a competitive offer to unblock and buy the German language rights from the original publishing house. More about the planned edition, the possibility to donate, more info about the campaign and many links to the campaign's twitter-, fa

Sylvia Plath articles and books

Bahmer, F.A. 2012. "Charles Bukowski and Sylvia Plath on Moles and Melanoma." Archives of Dematology . Vol. 148, no. 1: 108. Bryfonski, Dedria. Depression in Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar . Detroit: Greenhaven Press, 2012. ( ) Raza, Raihan. The Poetic Art of Sylvia Plath: A Critical Study of Themes and Techniques . New Delhi: Sarup Book Publishers, 2012. Emelia Fredlick reviews "With Love" an exhibit on at Emory University's Woodruff Library.  In addition to the circa 1958 photograph of Plath and Hughes described in the review, the exhibit ironically (and distastefully) features two late 1963 (15 November and 24 November) love letters from Ted Hughes to Assia Wevill. [ Press Release ] A "love letter" in the form of a poem by Ted Hughes to Sylvia Plath is included in Andrea Clarke's recent book Love Letters: 2000 Years of Romance ( British Library, 2011 ). This might be another one of those Birthday Letters outtakes such as

Sylvia Plath's Horse Chestnut

Indulge: transitive verb 1b : to take unrestrained pleasure in 2a : to yield to the desire of Indulge. The word is bulbous. It describes perfectly buying Sylvia Plath's "Horse Chestnut." When I learned that the items comprising the exhibit "Sylvia Plath: Her Drawings" were for sale I nearly passed out. It was the opening day of the exhibit, and I was browsing the Mayor Gallery's website hopeful that the images with which we were teased in the press would all be available for viewing. In all the news stories leading up to the opening, I cannot recall one mentioning that the drawings were for sale. The day the exhibit opened there were, indeed, images on the Mayor's website. I clicked the first image, the one of "Wuthering Heights Today." The image -- which I am familiar with as it was reprinted a few times: on the cover of the 1965 Uncollected Poems and in Lois Ames' "Biographical Note" in the American edition of The Bell Ja

Update on the Sylvia Plath Stamp

Sources ( Beyond The Perf , Stamp News Now ) seem to indicate that the Twentieth-Century Poets stamps set, which includes Sylvia Plath and Theodore Roethke among others, will be released on 21 April 2012. The other poets recognized, as Forever Stamps, are Elizabeth Bishop, Joseph Brodsky, Gwendolyn Brooks, E. E. Cummings, Robert Hayden, Denise Levertov,  Wallace Stevens and William Carlos Williams.

Researching Sylvia Plath in England

Carl Rollyson, who is working on a new biography of Sylvia Plath, has recently published a " London Diary " over on BiblioBuffet. In this piece, he discusses a bit about researching Sylvia Plath in the British Library and in person with two of Sylvia Plath's friends, A. Alvarez and Elizabeth Sigmund. Certainly gives a brilliant teaser when he writes: "I imagine Sylvia found it restful to be in Alvarez's company. He was such a receptive listener and an astute critic. I can't tell the whole story here, but by the end of my three hours with him, he was reading to me from his diary, which recounted a shocking event that will have its place in the last chapter of my Plath biography."

Call for Papers: Sylvia Plath Symposium 2012: The October Poems

The Department of English at Indiana University is accepting papers for the "Sylvia Plath Symposium 2012: The October Poems" to be held Thursday to Sunday, October 24-27 at the Bloomington campus. This event commemorates the 50-year anniversary of Ariel with a focus on poems Plath wrote in October 1962. While all topics related to Plath's work may be submitted, featured scholars and artists will highlight Plath's most famous works. The opening day seminar will address the phenomenon of inspiration and the creative imagination. Literary panels will take place on Friday and Saturday. A website posted in May will provide more details. Deadline for abstract submissions is July 1, but earlier is recommended, particularly for international scholars. Students are encouraged to submit. Please submit 250-300 word abstracts for 15-20 minute papers to plath70 (at) Queries may be sent to kdconnor (at)

Article and Book about Sylvia Plath Published

This week it is worth calling your attention to " Seeking Sylvia in the Rare Book Room " by Adrianne Kalfopoulou, in the Winter 2012, #18 issue of Del Sol Review . You may remember that last October we learned of Adrianne's essay "Sylvia Plath's Emersonian I/Eye" which appeared in Women's Studies . 40:7. October 2011: 890-909. At the risk of being a spoiler... you can look forward to a reading a highly original, clever, and enviable poem of Adrianne's in Plath Profiles 5, which will be published this summer. Very recently published is Kimberly Crowley's Bloom's How to Write About Sylvia Plath published by Chelsea House ( Publisher , Amazon ). This is part of Harold Bloom's series How to Write About [your name here] . I hope to review this later in February or perhaps, early March.