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Showing posts from October, 2017

Guest Blog Post: Sheila Hamilton on The Letters of Sylvia Plath

The following is a guest blog post by Sheila Hamilton on the recent publication of The Letters of Sylvia Plath . In the spirit of full disclosure, I supplied to Sheila the parenthetical count of letters addressed to Aurelia Schober Plath.   ~pks Like many people, I was very pleased (understatement) when I heard on this very blog that Peter K.Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil were busy at work on a book of Sylvia Plath's letters. The book was going to be in two volumes, it was going to encompass letters from her early childhood to her tragic death at the age of 30, and it was going to contain her letters to many different people: mother, husband, other relatives, girlfriends, boyfriends, colleagues, editors. It was clear from that first announcement that the publication of these letters was going to be a major event. Vol. 2 is, I understand, currently in the pipeline but as of October 2017, and on both sides of the Atlantic, we have Vol 1, brought out by Faber in the United Kingdom

Faber Reissues Sylvia Plath's Crossing the Water and Winter Trees

The Letters of Sylvia Plath may have dominated your attention this autumn, but Faber and Faber reissued two classic Sylvia Plath poetry books on 5 October: Crossing the Water and Winter Trees . Both of these first appeared in England in 1971 and serve as a bridge of poems between The Colossus  and Ariel  to Plath's growing legions of readers and fans. The contents of these editions varies between England and the US and it is all really rather too involved to go into now for the purpose of this blog post, which is to encourage you to buy these two books! Faber's reissue reset the text for both books and made other house-style changes such as, for example, bringing their covers up to their current design. They are gorgeously sleek and clean looking. You can see the historical covers over on my main website for Sylvia Plath, A celebration, this is . One small change to note, though, involved updating the poem title of "Small Hours" to "Barren Woman"

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, Published Today

The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956 is officially published today by HarperCollins in the United States. For those who were patient enough to wait to couple of weeks after the Faber publication : you inspire me. The 838 letters in Volume 1 begin on 19 February 1940 and end on 23 October 1956. The cut off date was intentional as that is the last letter Plath wrote before her 24th birthday. Thus Volume 2, you can deduce, begins with the first letter Plath wrote after turning 24. The book was edited by me (that's Peter K. Steinberg in case you forgot) and Karen V. Kukil. The contents are the same between the Faber edition and that of the HarperCollins edition but there are some differences in the book design. Of course, the covers are different: both stunning and remarkable in their own ways. The Faber edition has two sections of plates, Harper just one. Same pictures and drawings though so no worries. The Faber spine is curved; the Harper spine is squared/strai

About Last Night: Sylvia Plath at the Grolier

On a pre-dawn train from New York to Boston, I thought I would write up a small review of the Sylvia Plath Symposium at the Grolier Club last night, which was held in conjunction with Judith Raymo's member exhibit " This is the light of the mind " in which selections from her personal collection of Sylvia Plath books and typescripts is on display through 4 November. After checking into my hotel, I walked up Madison Avenue to see 575, where Plath was a guest intern for Mademoiselle . I gave "the glass eggbeater...revolving doors" a quick hello before continuing on to the Grolier Club (1963, p. 43). Before the talks, Judith gave Karen V. Kukil, Heather Clark, and me a tour of the show and it was wonderful to see all the cases bursting with Plath. Judith had consulted all three of us on various aspects of the show and I had seen and read her catalog but to see everything in real time was wonderful. Some, like her copy of the Saint Botolph's Review are

Sylvia Plath Talks at Grolier Club

This is a friendly reminder that tomorrow, Thursday, 12 October 2017, there will be a brief Sylvia Plath Symposium at the Grolier Club in New York City. Judith Glazer Raymo Tied into a current members exhibit curated by Judith Raymo, the symposium will feature 20 minute talks by Karen V. Kukil, Peter K. Steinberg, and Heather Clark. Karen V. Kukil Peter K. Steinberg Heather Clark We will each concentrate on a range of subjects covering Plath's archive at Smith (Karen), letters (Peter), and Plath's biography (Heather).   Judith's exhibition, which I am excited to see, features selections from her Sylvia Plath collection and includes books, manuscripts, and much more. Additional items are on loan from Smith College. The exhibit closes on 4 November. I am looking forward to talking about Plath's letters and meeting some new people. If anyone is there tweeting, please tag me if you can and I can retweet later, and use the hasghtag #plathgrolie

Letters of Sylvia Plath is BBC 4 Book of the Week

The BBC's Radio 4 has made The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1: 1940-1956  its book of the week. From the website: Sylvia Plath's renown as one of the twentieth century's most influential poets is beyond dispute, but she was also one of its most captivating correspondents. This radio selection, is abridged by Caitlin Crawford from the remarkable, collected edition of Plath's letters published last week. Edited by Peter K Steinberg and Karen Kukil , it is a work of immense scholarship and care, presenting a comprehensive and historically accurate text of the known and extant letters that she wrote to over one hundred and twenty correspondents, including her husband the poet Ted Hughes, to whom previously unseen letters are now revealed. The programmes offer us a generous insight into the life of one of our most significant poets. Known primarily for her poetry, Plath also wrote a semi-autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, under the pseudonym Victoria Lucas. The b

The Letters of Sylvia Plath: A Conversation

The following piece is a conversation between Peter K. Steinberg and Gail Crowther about the research, transcription, and publication of The Letters of Sylvia Plath . Begun in July 2017 after some initial reaction to the UK and US covers of the Letters , the conversation continued throughout the rest of the summer as we continued to ponder what the publication may mean for Plath readers. GC: The first time I handled an original letter written by Plath was years ago now and I can still remember the feel of the paper and seeing her signature in black ink. I was surprised that she wrote on such thin, flimsy paper. It was creamy-coloured and seemed more like tracing paper than something you would use for correspondence to the BBC. Other letters I saw were typed on clearly ripped in half pieces of paper – and then years later I saw letters written on the pink Smith College memorandum paper. Each letter looked different and letters to different people had different voices. She almost a