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Showing posts from October, 2013

Sylvia Plath Collections: Theodore Roethke papers

The Special Collections Division of the Allen Library at the University of Washington, Seattle, has a small cache of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes materials. These are held in the Theodore Roethke papers . Theodore Roethke (1908-1963) met Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes in London at a party in London on 1 February 1961. She wrote about meeting him to her mother the following day, saying "I find he is my influence" ( Letters Home  407).  Plath described him a bit, as well: "He's a big, blond, Swedish-looking man, much younger-seeming than his 52 years . . . Ted and I got on well with him and hope to see him again" (407). Plath's poems written at Yaddo were largely influenced by Roethke's "greenhouse poems" from his collection The Lost Son  (Doubleday, 1948). Often Roethke's influence on Plath starts and stops with the likeness between her "Poem for a Birthday" sequence in The Colossus  (Heinemann, 1960). However, perhaps Plath continue

Sylvia Plath Collections: Masses of Plath mss at the Lilly Library

As we enter the last week of Archives month in America and approach Sylvia Plath's birthday weekend (her birthday as you know is in two days, on 27 October), I thought a post about additional collections at the Lilly Library would be an appropriate way to celebrate her life and legacy. The Lilly Library at Indiana University is a well-established place of wonder. Sylvia Plath readers and scholars have made incredible use of the many Plath holdings there. The larger and more well known collections -- Plath mss; Plath mss II; Hughes, Ted mss; and Hughes, Ted mss II -- are really just the beginning as Plath can be found in a number of other collections and newer acquisitions. Did you know that the Plath mss goes all the up to IX (9) now? Here is a breakdown of Plath mss III through Plath mss IX. Some of the collections do not hold material created by Plath herself, but they relate to her. It should be evident which collections have original Plath material. And, of course, when i

Sylvia Plath Collections: University of Virginia

In the blog post from 22 April 2010 , I vastly understated the extent of the holdings at the University of Virginia that regard Sylvia Plath. Initially I thought the collection just contained the eight books formerly belonging to Sylvia Plath, among them her hallowed copy of the Saint Botolph's Review . However, I recently (recently being August 2010! Shameful to have been drafting and revising something for this long...) stumbled upon another title that they hold, the Guinness Poetry Award, 1960-1961: winning poems  - which printed her poem "Insomniac" - and discovered that in all the University of Virginia (UVA) in fact holds several hundred items by or about Sylvia Plath. The Virgo catalog shows more than 260 records. UVA acquired their "Sylvia Plath Collection" in July 1993; and it, along with the Plath collection held at the Wilson Library of University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill (UNC), makes these two mid-Atlantic states real archival powerhouse

Sylvia Plath collections: Cleverdon mss II

Douglas Cleverdon in 1963 The Lilly Library holds the " Cleverdon mss II, 1926-1988 ". Within this collection ( see the finding aid ) are several Sylvia Plath related items. There are Sylvia Plath related items in the series "Writings by Others," Correspondence, BBC Registry, Program notes, and an audiotape containing "Lady Lazarus" and "Daddy" (see Box 7). In the Scripts subseries, there are transcripts of "Three Women" as broadcast on August 19, 1962, and the poem "Crossing the Water" with commentary by Ted Hughes as broadcast on July 5, 1971. In the correspondence series there are letters to or from Olwyn Hughes and Ted Hughes. Per an archivist at the Lilly, there are two letters from Olwyn Hughes, only one of which discusses Plath. The letter that discusses Plath is from 28 May 1971 and lists poems Ted Hughes prefers for Crossing the Water . The correspondence with Ted Hughes, however, does not mention Plath bey

Sylvia Plath Collections: Wagner–Martin mss.

The Wagner–Martin mss., ca. 1962–1991 at the Lilly Library of Indiana University , consist of the correspondence and papers of poet, biographer and English professor Linda Wagner–Martin. Included in the papers are research notes and materials, correspondence, interview notes, drafts of chapters, etc., relating to her biography of Sylvia Plath ( Sylvia Plath: A Biography . New York: Simon and Schuster, 1987). Other significant files include correspondence with Denise Levertov relative to a book Wagner edited for New Directions Paperbacks, but which was later withdrawn from distribution ( Denise Levertov: In Her Own Province . New York: New Directions, 1979). Also present are correspondence files with Robert Creeley, James Laughlin, Joyce Carol Oates, Diane Wakoski, and Florence Williams (Mrs. William Carlos Williams). Wagner-Martin's papers include photocopies of three letters from Sylvia Plath to Daniel and Helga Huws from 30 October 1961 (4 pages), March 1962 (late winter, be

Sylvia Plath Collections: Leonard Sanazaro mss

The Lilly Library at Indiana University holds the Sanazaro mss., ca. 1982-1989 , which consists of correspondence and papers of poet and independent scholar Leonard R. Sanazaro, 1949-2004 ( obituary ), relating primarily to his interest in and work on Sylvia Plath. This is a great example of an archive that does not have Sylvia Plath-originated materials, but has materials about her. There is material in here that can help us understand how researchers conducted their queries before the "information age", which is so often now done sitting on the couch, wearing comfortable slippers, or something. They also hold items, such as audio files and transcripts of materials that otherwise might not ever see the light of day again. The 1980s perspective on Sylvia Plath is an interesting one to consider because it helped to guide us to where we are today. The collection is organized into the following series: I. Correspondence; II. Writings; III. Miscellaneous. The majority of the

Sylvia Plath Collections: Hudson Review Archives

Princeton University's Manuscript Division in the Department. of Rare Books and Special Collections  (on Twitter ) holds the Hudson  Review Archives .   The Hudson Review was founded by Frederick Morgan in 1948. He ran it with his wife, Paula Deitz (Smith College, class of 1959) . Sylvia Plath published four poems in their Autumn 1960 issue: "Ouija", "Electra on Azalea Path", "Suicide Off Egg Rock", and "Moonrise". As you might have guessed, there are Sylvia Plath archival materials in the collection, in box 99, folder 9. There are two letters from Sylvia Plath in the collection dated 1 June 1959 and 7 October 1961. The 1 June 1959 letter is typed, on off-white/cream colored paper, and signed in Plath's distinctive bold black Schaeffer fountain pen. Plath writes that she is happy to know that Hudson Review has accepted her four poems, and gives biographical notes about herself as well as a list of 13 journals and magazines in whi

Sylvia Plath Collections: Poetry Archives - University of Chicago

The first post about Sylvia Plath archives in this, American Archives Month, is one that I began writing in March, 2010. Shocking! The archives of Poetry: A Magazine of Verse , from 1912-1961, are held in the Special Collections Research Center at the University of Chicago  and contains documents originated by Sylvia Plath. The collection includes typescripts by Plath, marked up with editorial instructions; correspondence; and proofs, many with autograph annotations by Plath. The poems in typescript and/or proof are: "Wreath for a Bridal", "Dream with Clam-Digger", "Strumpet Song", "Metamorphosis" (later titled "Faun"), "Two Sisters of Persephone", and "Epitaph for Fire and Flower" from Poetry 89 (January 1957: 231-237). "The Snowman on the Moor", "Sow", "Ella Mason and Her Eleven Cats", and "On the Difficulty of Conjuring up a Dryad" from Poetry 90 (July 1957: 229-23

Sylvia Plath Archival Collections

Mortimer Rare Book Room Photo by Gail Crowther October is American Archives Month . October is also Plath's month. The month of her birth as well as for a month we remember for the wild creativity of October 1962. As such, this month will largely be devoted to highlighting Sylvia Plath archival materials that have previously not been discussed on this blog. Big archives like those held by Smith College, Indiana University, and Emory University will be referred to as they hold micro-collections of materials that include separately cataloged collections as well as collections within collections. Everything is connected and a visit to one archive, or the discovery of a new one, has a relationship to materials held in other archives. Some of the archives I consulted in the traditional fashion: visiting the temperature controlled reading room in a university library setting. However I think the majority were visited via cyber-space and through email requests...leaving the hunt to