01 February 2016

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 Smith College. The calendars for 1951, 1952 and 1953 contain a wealth of information about Plath's first years at Smith. Plath often would write "cover due" or something like this to indicate when a story was due. Using these calendars as well as her notes, letters, and also information from the Smith College archives about the campus events at Smith, I was able to attack this side project with a vengeance in the fall of 2015. The results were largely favorable.

Here are the newer articles that I found (in date order):

"Says Capitalism May Save Asia." Daily Hampshire Gazette. November 16, 1951: 10. [unattributed]

"Can Benefit By the Writing of Satirists." Daily Hampshire Gazette. November 21, 1951: 3. [unattributed]

"Smith Girls to Take Exams in Civil Service." Daily Hampshire Gazette. December 5, 1951: 3. [unattributed]

"'True Health' Lecture Topic At The College." Daily Hampshire Gazette. December 14, 1951: 7. [unattributed]

"Says Music Can Illustrate Cultural Life of a Nation." Daily Hampshire Gazette. January 17, 1952: 8. [unattributed]

excerpt from "Says Music Can Illustrate Cultural Life of a Nation".
"Smith Students Have Service of Koffee Klatch." Daily Hampshire Gazette. February 20, 1952: 3. [unattributed]

"Dr. A. Gesell Gives Lecture For Day School PTA." Daily Hampshire Gazette. March 3, 1952: 16. [unattributed]

"Rev. Dr. Roberts Will Be Vespers Speaker." Daily Hampshire Gazette. March 7, 1952: 6. [unattributed]

"Life University Second Program Slated Sunday." Springfield Union. March 7, 1952: 30. [unattributed]

"Misery of Man is Due to His Defects." Daily Hampshire Gazette. March 11, 1952: 5. [unattributed]

excerpt from "Misery of Man is Due to His Defects".
"Marxism Seeks to Replace God, Lecturer Says." Springfield Union. March 13, 1952: 30. [unattributed]

"Smith Hears Frost in Muse and Views." Springfield Union. April 10, 1952: 31. [unattributed]

"Frost Presents Poetry Readings." Daily Hampshire Gazette. April 11, 1952: 12. [unattributed]

"Smith College." Daily Hampshire Gazette. April 18, 1952: 13. [unattributed]

excerpt from "Smith College",
"Ogden Nash is Speaker". Daily Hampshire Gazette. May 2, 1952: 6. [unattributed]

"Smith Library Displaying 'Fanny Fern Collection'". Daily Hampshire Gazette. May 5, 1952: 8. [unattributed]

"Faith Groups Open Center For Students." The Springfield Daily News. October 6, 1952: 26. [unattributed; original Press Board typescript with Plath's name located]

"Central Spot for Religion Groups at Smith." Daily Hampshire Gazette. October 7, 1952: 16. [unattributed, heavily edited from Springfield Daily News article]

"Smith Outing Club Will Bike To Hatfield." The Springfield Daily News. October 15, 1952: 32. [unattributed; original Press Board typescript with Plath's name located]

"Smith Provides Writing Clinic." Springfield Sunday Republican. November 9, 1952: 62. [unattributed]

Based on two notations in her 1952 calendar that match up with articles that were published in the Daily Hampshire Gazette, there are two articles that Plath may have authored. I am going to list these two articles here just for the record, but it is unknown and more difficult to verify at this point in time if Plath actually authored them:

"'Smith Mobile' Scheduled for October 15, 16." Daily Hampshire Gazette. October 10, 1952: 8.

"Religion After College Will Be Discussed at Smith." Daily Hampshire Gazette. November 15, 1952: 7.

Other blog posts on this subject have appeared and can be revisited:

"Sylvia Plath was busy...did you know" (8 March 2012); "New Article Written by Sylvia Plath Found" (20 May 2014); "Sylvia Plath: Covering the Crisis" (8 June 2014); and "More Sylvia Plath College Articles Found" (7 July 2014).

Plath spent upwards of 12 hours a week on Press Board activities. So there is a likelihood that she authored more than what this research has found. You can see a complete list of Plath periodical publications on my website, A celebration, this is.

PDF's and JPG's of all these articles will be given to the Mortimer Rare Book Room at Smith College later this month.

All links accessed 6 November 2014 and 17 October 2015.


BridgetAnna said...

Pks, you're a workhorse! All of this work you've done--on one subject no less! The world is the better for all of your hard work, determination, and some kind of duty/calling you have somehow been awarded with, make all of us the richer for it, whether we (I was always smacked on the back of my hand for my liberal use of the Royal "we" but no matter!) know it or not. Your body of work will be of use many many generations from now even. Thank you!!

Peter K Steinberg said...

Thanks Bridget! Just something to do in my free time! You're comment is most warmly received. I appreciate your thoughtfulness and sentiments beyond possible expression.


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Publications & Acknowledgements

  • BBC Four.A Poet's Guide to Britain: Sylvia Plath. London: BBC Four, 2009. (Acknowledged in)
  • Biography: Sylvia Plath. New York: A & E Television Networks, 2005. (Photographs used)
  • Connell, Elaine. Sylvia Plath: Killing the angel in the house. 2d ed. Hebden Bridge: Pennine Pens, 1998. (Acknowledged in)
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives." Plath Profiles 2. Summer 2009: 183-208.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives, Redux." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 232-246.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 3." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 119-138.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 4: Looking for New England." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012: 11-56.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. "These Ghostly Archives 5: Reanimating the Past." Plath Profiles 6. Summer 2013: 27-62.
  • Crowther, Gail and Peter K. Steinberg. These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Oxford: Fonthill, 2017.
  • Death Be Not Proud: The Graves of Poets. New York: Poets.org. (Photographs used)
  • Doel, Irralie, Lena Friesen and Peter K. Steinberg. "An Unacknowledged Publication by Sylvia Plath." Notes & Queries 56:3. September 2009: 428-430.
  • Elements of Literature, Third Course. Austin, Tex. : Holt, Rinehart and Winston, 2009. (Photograph used)
  • Gill, Jo. "Sylvia Plath in the South West." University of Exeter Centre for South West Writing, 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Helle, Anita Plath. The Unraveling Archive: Essays on Sylvia Plath. Ann Arbor: University of Michigan Press, 2007. (Photographs used, acknowledged in)
  • Helle, Anita. "Lessons from the Archive: Sylvia Plath and the Politics of Memory". Feminist Studies 31:3. Fall 2005: 631-652.. (Acknowledged in)
  • Holden, Constance. "Sad Poets' Society." Science Magazine. 27 July 2008. (Photograph used)
  • Making Trouble: Three Generations of Funny Jewish Women, Motion Picture. Directed by Rachel Talbot. Brookline (Mass.): Jewish Women's Archive, 2007. (Photograph used)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Karen V. Kukil. The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath, 1950-1962. New York: Anchor Books, 2000. (Acknowledged in)
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, 1940-1956. London: Faber, 2017. Forthcoming.
  • Plath, Sylvia. Glassklokken. Oslo: De norske Bokklubbene, 2004. (Photograph used on cover)
  • Reiff, Raychel Haugrud. Sylvia Plath: The Bell Jar and Poems (Writers and Their Works). Marshall Cavendish Children's Books, 2008.. (Images provided)
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'A Fetish: Somehow': A Sylvia Plath Bookmark." Court Green 13. 2017.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'I Should Be Loving This': Sylvia Plath's 'The Perfect Place' and The Bell Jar." Plath Profiles 1. Summer 2008: 253-262.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "'They Had to Call and Call': The Search for Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3. Summer 2010: 106-132.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "A Perfectly Beautiful Time: Sylvia Plath at Camp Helen Storrow." Plath Profiles 4. Summer 2011: 149-166.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Proof of Plath." Fine Books & Collections 9:2. Spring 2011: 11-12.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Sylvia Plath." The Spoken Word: Sylvia Plath. London: British Library, 2010.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Textual Variations in The Bell Jar Publications." Plath Profiles 5. Summer 2012.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "The Persistence of Plath." Fine Books & Collections. Autumn 2017: 24-29
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "This is a Celebration: A Festschrift for The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath." Plath Profiles 3 Supplement. Fall 2010: 3-14.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. "Writing Life" [Introduction]. Sylvia Plath in Devon: A Year's Turning. Stroud, Eng.: Fonthill Media, 2014.
  • Steinberg, Peter K. Sylvia Plath (Great Writers). Philadelphia: Chelsea House Publishers, 2004.