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Showing posts from February, 2016

Sylvia Plath and William Shakespeare at The Writing House

Poets Baron Wormser and Jeanne Marie Beaumont are offering a weekend long course entitled " Plath and Shakespeare " at The Writing House, 13 Loomis Street, Montpelier, VT. The course will be held 16-17 April 2016, 9 a.m. to 3 p.m. Cost: $325 (lunch included) Limited to six participants: first come, first served. As of this blog post, only two spots remain open. Sylvia Plath was deeply attuned to the poetry of Shakespeare. His work offered her an emotional scope, a trove of verse techniques, a bottomless vocabulary, a stunning range of tones (both comic and tragic), the felt presence of classical themes, and an insistence on the primacy of drama. Accordingly, we will be looking at some Plath poems through the Shakespearean lens to see how she seized upon his plays as an aid to creating poems that were brief yet powerful dramas. Any poet with ambition yearns to reach the phenomenal eloquence Shakespeare represents. Plath not only had that ambition, she worked deliberate

After Sylvia Plath

When Sylvia Plath died she left plans in suspension. On 11 February, she was supposed to meet her new editor at Heinemann David Machin for lunch. He sent a letter on 12 February asking "Did something go wrong about our lunch date yesterday…" It is one of the most haunting and chilling documents I have ever worked with and is held by the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College. The rest of this post looks at some of the events which we know Plath had planned and commitments in the works and how some of them turned out. On 12 February 1963, an article ran in the Financial Times titled "Cheltenham Festival of Literature". In the short article, which appears to the left, it was announced that "Sylvia Plath, Edward Lucie-Smith, and Jon Silkin are the three judges appointed to select the prize-winners of the Guinness Poetry Competition organised and in conjunction with the Cheltenham Festival of Literature…" (22). The article was reprinted in the Irish T

Sylvia Plath Lots at Bonhams, 16 March 2016

I had quite a different post planned for today, but then the following was made known to me so I called an audible... You'll get today's planned post next Thursday... Bonhams Knightsbridge is holding a Fine Books, Atlases and Manuscripts auction on 16 March 2016 . There are six lots of Sylvia Plath items, Lots 140-145. These are part of that big 2 December 2014 auction that Sotheby's failed to sell . Back in November 2015 Bonhams held a very successful sale of a couple of lots from this private collection ( results ). The lots are: Lot 140 Sylvia Plath Autograph drafts, notes, drawings and doodles for her story "Stardust", comprising a page of fairy sketches (with three red lipstick kisses applied by the author), [1946-47] £4,000 - 6,000 / US$ 5,800 - 8,600 Lot 141 Sylvia Plath Birthday card to her mother with autograph message signed ("much love to my favourite mummy! your Sivvy"), with a long typed letter within, Friday, 24 April [195

More Sylvia Plath Press Releases

I was surprised recently to discover that I have been looking for the press releases that Sylvia Plath wrote for Smith College's Press Board for more than six years. This was determined judging from the file creation dates for some PDF's that I have. Granted, this project was done off and on as time and as information from my various researches permitted, but it is a long time and I think this post will represent closure on the project (for now). One of Sylvia Plath's Press Board and course notepads, held by the Lilly Library. In March 2015 I spent four days at the Lilly Library . Held there are a couple of spiral bound notebooks that Plath used for recording impressions and quotes and interview notes that she then used to write her releases. This was really valuable information because it also complemented her wall calendars where she noted down class assignments, dates, extracurricular activities, vacations, films and plays, and other details of her life at Smit