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Showing posts from January, 2013

More on Andrew Wilson's Sylvia Plath Biography

Again, published today, Mad Girl’s Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson (Simon & Schuster) is available for £20 in hardback; ISBN: 9780857205889. Excerpts have appeared, or will appear in the following print sources: First serial in Mail on Sunday (20th January/27th January); Second serial Observer (3rd February); Sunday Times Culture feature (10th February); Radio Times (5th February); and Stylist (30th January) Look for upcoming print reviews in: Times , Sunday Times , Daily Telegraph , Sunday Telegraph , Guardian , Independent on Sunday , Express , The Scotsman , Evening Standard , and New Statesman . And on the radio: BBC2 “The Review Show” (8th February), BBC Radio 4 “Book of the Week” (11th February), BBC Radio 4 “Today” (5th February). Look for Andrew to appear at the following events and location: Cambridge WordFest, Cumbria Words by the Water, Charleston Literary Festival, Edinburgh Festival, Dartington Ways with Words. Please

Andrew Wilson's Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted Published Today

Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted by Andrew Wilson is officially published today in the United Kingdom by Simon & Schuster. Congratulations Andrew! The biography should be available in traditional book stores (if you can find one) and via . Mad Girl's Love Song will be published in the US (Scribner) on next Tuesday, 5 February. It is available at

American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath Published Today

American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath by Carl Rollyson is officially published today by St. Martin's Press (New York). Congratulations Carl! You can buy the book in hardback or in a Kindle edition from And if there are any real bookstores left, in them too, I imagine. Wow, I haven't seen a real bookstore in a while. That's kind of sad.

Guest Post: In defence of (Sylvia Plath) biography

The following guest post is by Cath Morgan and is in response to Hadley Freeman's recent Guardian article " Sylvia Plath: 50 years later and the same bitter arguments rage on ." In defence of (Plath) biography Cath Morgan There's a lot of Plath moralising about at the moment – no doubt as a consequence of the articles emerging at the 50th anniversary of her death/publication of The Bell Jar . The Plath story makes it hard to avoid moralising and here is a prime example, arguing that ultimately readers should not engage with Plath's life and stick to the poetry: Mark the anniversary of Plath's death by reading her work: the rest, to borrow a phrase that Plath, Ted and Frieda Hughes all employed for their voyeurs, is for "the peanut-crunching crowd". Some reasons why I think the 'sticking to the poetry' argument as offered in this piece is untenable. 1. Plath led an interesting life. Plath was an extraordinary person and in many way

Things to do with Carl Rollyson & Sylvia Plath

Carl Rollyson has been tirelessly promoting his forthcoming book American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath He is on Twitter , he has his own website , etc. American Isis was recently excerpted in the Boston Sunday Globe Magazine ; and, has been featured in magazine advertisements too, such as the current issue of Bask . On Friday 25 January, Carl will be discussing his biography of Sylvia Plath at the 92Y Tribeca at 12 noon . On Monday 28 January 2013, Carl Rollyson, author of American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath , will be participating in a question and answer session with Sam Jordison of The Guardian and Guardian readers. There are other events all over the United States for Carl and his new biography. See here for a list of them. Then, finally, on Tuesday 29 January 2013, American Isis will finally be published! Congratulations.

Roy Davids' Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes Auction Catalogue Descriptions

The following is reproduced from the forthcoming Bonham's auction catalogue for The Roy Davids Collection: Part III. Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets. First Session (A-K) by permission of Roy Davids. It is published here for the first time, prior to the appearance of the catalogue. Please verify descriptions with the printed/online catalogue just in case any of the information changes. Lot 372 [PLATH, SYLVIA 1932-1963)] and TED HUGHES (1930-1998) THE COMPLETE WORKING PAPERS FOR THE FIRST VERSION OF TED HUGHES'S ESSAY ABOUT SYLVIA PLATH'S POEM, 'THE EVOLUTION OF SHEEP IN FOG,' comprising the autograph manuscript, revised typescript written in the form of a typed and autograph letter signed ('Ted') to Roy Davids as notes for a lecture, with autograph revisions and comments (' This is very hugger mugger - but it covers, with a specific example, the points we talked about at the weekend'; 'Puppet lecturer begins to speak'; '

Sylvia Plath's "Sheep in Fog" & Ted Hughes on the poem

"There's never been a poetry sale like it, and I'm sure there won't be another" (Roy Davids) This is to let you know that I am selling my poetry collection, forty years in the making, in 526 lots at Bonhams in London on 10 April (A-K) and 8 May (L-Y) this year. The sale comprises both poetical manuscripts (about 450) and portraits of poets (about 170). There will be a two volume catalogue. The highlights among the manuscripts include: T.S.Eliot, 'The Journey of the Magi'; Sylvia Plath, 'Sheep in Fog'; Auden, 'Stop all the clocks'; Keats, part of the draft of 'I stood tiptoe upon a little hill'; Gerard Manley Hopkins, a draft of 'Binsey Poplars'; Ted Hughes, 'The Thought-Fox'; Rudyard Kipling, 'Recessional'; Robert Lowell, 'Fall 1961'; Siegfried Sassoon, poems from the First World War and the 1920s (including 50 unpublished poems); Christina Rossetti, 'Remember me when I have gone away';

Excerpt from Carl Rollyson's Sylvia Plath Bio American Isis

Are you like me in that you are finding it hard to stay on top of all things Sylvia Plath of late? Well, there is more! The Boston Sunday Globe 's Globe Magazine features an excerpt/adaptation of Carl Rollyson's forthcoming biography American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath ( St. Martins, 29 January 2013 ). The article title " The Last Days of Sylvia Plath ." suits the need for a dramatic eye-catching way to draw in its readers. And what they find is a quite well-written account of Sylvia Plath's life - though abbreviated to fit the format, mind you - from 9 July 1962 to 11 February 1963. Rollyson has a narrative writing style that is an easy flow of words, that tells a very good story, and completely captures his readers attention. The article appears on pages 28-31 of the Globe Magazine . A reminder please that I am collecting as many of these articles as I can and compiling for you a bibliography of them on this page of the blog . Remember, please,

Excerpt from Andrew Wilson's new Sylvia Plath Bio Mad Girl's Love Song

Well, just like "Lady Lazarus," the Mail has done it again... That being said, please do yourself a favor and read Andrew Wilson's " Sylvia Plath in love: A mesmerising portrait of the tragic poet as a young, sexually uninhibited sun-loving party girl - told by the lovers she discarded for Ted Hughes" and revel in the story it tells. While you are at it, please also gasp at the amazing, rarely or never before published in color photographs of Sylvia Plath, largely from the Lameyer mss. at the Lilly Library, Indiana University. Having read Wilson's manuscript, I can say that the coverage in this article fits the publisher of the article and hopefully will not shy people away from picking up his book, which is a careful, insightful, and absorbing biography of Sylvia Plath's first 23 years. While we are thinking about Andrew Wilson and his book, the BBC's Radio 4 does a Book of the Week , in which the said book is serialized for the duration of

Sylvia Plath, Elizabeth Sigmund, Olwyn Hughes, The Bell Jar, The Guardian and The Mail on Sunday

In case you missed it, there were two interviews posted today on The Guardian 's website on the topic of Sylvia Plath and The Bell Jar . The first interview was with Plath's good friend Elizabeth Sigmund ; the second with the polar opposite, Olwyn Hughes . 1963 Heinemann edition with dedication present Both of these women had a particular relationship to Sylvia Plath and the nature of that relationship shines through quite blindingly. The story came about largely as the result of the Faber edition of Plath's novel, which was first published under Plath's name in 1966. In this edition, and subsequent paperback editions and reprints, the dedication "for Elizabeth and David" was not included (it was included in the 1971 Harper & Row American edition and so far as I know and have looked has never been absent. The missing dedication was the subject of a 1973 TLS article by Elizabeth, which prompted an apology by Faber's Charles Monteith and a rectif

Guest Post: Review of Sylvia Plath Poems Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy

The following is a guest post book review by Susan McMichael of Australia. Many, many thanks to Susan for writing this for us! Review of Sylvia Plath Poems Chosen by Carol Ann Duffy by Susan McMichael In the late '80s, I began collecting poetry anthologies in which Sylvia Plath was represented, looking at how she was perceived as a poet. 'Daddy' and 'Lady Lazarus' were often represented in the late 70s and early 80s, but as the 80s turned to the nineties, there were many more poems used and often ones which were not from Ariel . Now that we now have Plath's Collected Poems , what is the point of anthologizing and selecting her when we can just read the entire oeuvre? For any poet, a good Selected should have a purpose, give a range of a poet's work and a good Selected, can take a keen or interested reader to further work: more poetry; stories; letters. A good Selection always has my favourite poems in it....or reminds me of my favourite poem so that

Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Published 50 Years Ago Today

Fifty years ago today, 14 January 1963, The Bell Jar by Victoria Lucas (Sylvia Plath) was published. The creation of and publication history of the novel is one of the more fascinating aspects of Plath scholarship. The secretive nature in which it was written - undated, the exact start and completion date are still unknown as of right now- as well as the process by which Plath saw it accepted and published, change the way in which we might consider Plath as a business woman. In fact, the process by which she saw all of her work come to print is something like leaves me feeling envy and awe: certainly not the image of your 1970s neurotic Sylvia Plath. Plath did tell some of her friends and colleagues that she was writing a novel, but was very reticent to divulge too many details. One of the earliest references - if not the earliest - appears in a letter to Ann and Leo Goodman dated 27 April 1961, in which Plath writes she is more than a third of the way through a novel on the subject

Ann Skea's Updated Sylvia Plath Ariel and Tarot page

Scholar Ann Skea has recently added a number of new chapters to her " Sylvia Plath's Ariel and the Tarot " page. New chapters 2, 3, and 4 are now on line and examine: 2 looks at "Thalidomide", "The Applicant", "Barren Woman", and "Lady Lazarus" . 3 looks at "Tulips", "A Secret", and "The Jailer" . 4 looks at "Elm", "The Night Dances", and "The Detective" . Additionally, and though they may be subject to change, chapter 5 and 6 and what is included in them is also presented.

New Page on Sylvia Plath

Above in the list of tabs going across the header area, I have have started a page for " 50th Anniversary Articles on Sylvia Plath ." This will be for articles on The Bell Jar , her death, as well as articles on the two forthcoming biographies by Carl Rollyson ( American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath ) and Andrew Wilson ( Mad Girl's Love Song: Sylvia Plath and Life Before Ted ). I'll continue to add links to articles as they are published. Links only guaranteed to be valid at the time of posting.

Teaching Sylvia Plath

Yesterday, I visited Smith College for a couple of reasons. One was to look at Sylvia Plath's copy of The Complete Plays and Poems of Shakespeare: A New Text (Boston; New York: Houghton Mifflin Co., 1942.). The other reason was to bore to death, I mean, talk about my website (and blog and Twitter) on Sylvia Plath to a group of students taking part in a documentary editing course taught by the estimable Karen V. Kukil. Barbara Blumenthal took these pictures of the students before they each, in turn, fell asleep. Like dominoes . I audited this very course last year and it was a ton of fun. PS: I do not believe any of the students actually fell asleep! They were all kind, attentive, and very gracious to listen to me.

Update on Marianne Egeland's Claiming Sylvia Plath

Claiming Sylvia Plath: The Poet as Exemplary Figure by Marianne Egeland (Cambridge Scholars Publishing, 2013) has reached the final stages in the publication process. Originally scheduled for release on 1 January, the book will now be fulfilled in about 6-8 weeks, I am told. Egeland is the author of the 1997 Norwegian-language biography of Sylvia Plath and spoke on the topic of her new monograph at the Sylvia Plath Symposium at Oxford in 2007 in a paper titled "The Use and Abuse of a Poet: The Reception of Sylvia Plath." Egeland brings a strong voice to her subject in a book that might ruffles feathers. From the jacket, " Claiming Sylvia Plath is a critical and comprehensive reception study of what has been written about Plath from 1960 to 2010. Academic and popular interest in her seems incessant, verging on a public obsession." So, like Janet Badia's 2011 Sylvia Plath and the Mythology of Women Readers , Egeland's Claiming Sylvia Plath may focus le

Independent on Sunday articles on Sylvia Plath

The Independent on Sunday has two fresh articles on Sylvia Plath in the 6 January 2013 paper. Suzy Feay writes on " Curse that lasted half a century: New biography casts fresh light on Sylvia Plath's legacy " and Lesley McDowell does a brief book review of The Bell Jar . The Feay article is the better and longer of the two. If you can tolerate the re-cap of what's gone on in the last 50 years, you will get some some great information from Andrew Wilson, whose biography of Sylvia Plath's life before Ted Hughes, Mad Girl's Love Song , is being published in either late January/early February by Simon and Schuster. When I first learned of Andrew's project and met him I was instantly attracted to his project because it focuses on a largely overlooked period of Plath's life. His book is must-read material. This is just the beginning, too.

50th Anniversary Edition of Sylvia Plath's The Bell Jar Published Today

Faber's 50th anniversary edition of The Bell Jar is officially published today (though it was made available in December 2012). I typically encourage people to purchase directly from the publisher, however, if you are not (do not reside) in the United Kingdom, then you may not be able to order directly from the publisher. I tried to order it for delivery in the USA and was told they were unable to ship to my country because they do not have the rights to sell it here., however, can . Good luck. --- On 1 January, Sam Jordison at The Guardian  selected Plath's The Bell Jar  as the January Reading Group selection. Read the fine article and its comments here .

Reading Dates for Carl Rollyson's American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath

Happy New Year. Did you miss me as much as I missed you? Carl Rollyson , author of the forthcoming biography American Isis: The Life and Art of Sylvia Plath ( St. Martin's Press, 2013 ), will be reading from his book in various US cities. The list so far includes: ( updated 16 January 2013 ) January 25, 2013: 92nd Street Y, Tribeca Lecture Hall, New York, New York: 12 Noon February 6: Left Bank Books , St. Louis, Missouri February 15: Harvard Book Store , Cambridge, Massachusetts February 28: The Athenaeum of Philadelphia , Philadelphia, Pennsylvania March 21: A Room of One's Own , Madison, Wisconsin March 26: Boulder Book Store , Boulder, Colorado March 27: Tattered Cover , Denver, Colorado As it is winter, please check with book stores to verify dates and times as weather related delays are always a possibility. I plan to attend the Cambridge, Mass. reading. I will plan on 1 February and 1 March to re-post this information with new dates added if there