18 April 2019

Did you know...: Sylvia Plath on the Underground

On 28 January 1963 Sylvia Plath was hard at work. On that day she completed her "Landscape on Childhood" (later titled "Ocean 1212-W"). She may have also recently completed "Snow Blitz" and was hard at work on poems. She revised the ending of "Sheep in Fog" first composed about eight weeks earlier, and then wrote "The Munich Mannequins", "Totem", and "Child".

Did you know that "Child" was once featured at a "Poems on the Underground" in London? The program started in 1986.


In addition to being readable on the Tube, once upon a time, posters were sold for these, too. 

11 April 2019

Sylvia Plath Archives at Lilly Library (& Smith)


Recently the Lilly Library has been awarded a $10.9 million grant and part of these funds, given by the Lilly Endowment, will go towards renovating the library. The Library has created a special web page that will provide news and updates on the renovation.

This will have an affect on researchers going to look at the Sylvia Plath collection. And, because they do actually hold more stuff than Plath materials, it will also affect those collections, too.

Chances are if you have plans to visit the library this spring and summer you will be fine and not experience and delays or disruptions. But visitors later in the year and toward the end will definitely want to double-check their plans and thus plan accordingly.


Smith College is also in the midst of a several-year renovation project affecting their Sylvia Plath papers, too. (I presume they have non-Plath holdings, too, but let's be honest, they hardly matter.) Normally housed in the Neilson Library, their special collections are temporarily in the Young Library. Writing this now I realized that I have not been to Smith College since January 2017, before the Neilson closed, and now that I have moved away, I may never go back. Weird.

All links accessed 11 April 2019.

03 April 2019

Sylvia Plath's Postcards

David Trinidad's phenomenal essay "On the Road with Sylvia and Ted: Plath and Hughes's 1959 Trip Across America" was one of the best pieces I had to pleasure to read and work on when I was co-editor of Plath Profiles. And it in part led me to start thinking about Sylvia Plath picture postcards.

I got to see, as part of the Letters of Sylvia Plath project, as many postcards as was possible. And so now that her texts are available, I thought I might write a post that might become a series which looks at the picture side of the postcards Plath sent.

The idea came to me in June 2012, the year after publishing David's essay, when I did a little research into the postcard Plath sent to J. Mallory Wober circa 17 November 1955 of Henri Rousseau's The Sleeping Gypsy. The letter is printed in Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 1, pp 1011-12.

The original painting is held by the Museum of Modern Art in New York City.


Plath visited the MoMA several times on various visits to New York City and during the autumn and winter of 1954-1955 made trips to the city with Richard Sassoon. The painting was exhibited from 19 October 1954 to 23 January 1955 as part of the "XXVth Anniversary Exhibitions: Paintings". According to her pocket calendar, Plath visited the Museum of Modern Art on 24 January 1955, the day after the exhibit closed! It could be that she purchased the postcard at that time. But she also visited in June 1953 and April 1954, and it is possible the painting was on general view.

All links accessed 2 June 2012 and 10 January 2019.

01 April 2019

New Letter from Sylvia Plath Found

The following letter was sent from Sylvia Plath to me via David Trinidad's Ouija board early this morning.

It will be included in the paperback edition of The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 3: 1963-2019.



Sylvia Plath
7 Bright Stupid Confetti Lane
My Zen Heaven

Peter K. Steinberg
Earth

1 April 2019

RE: Cease and desist from everything

Dear Peter K. Steinberg:

This CEASE AND DESIST ORDER is to inform you that your persistent actions including but not limited to transcribing and annotating my letters; tweeting, blogging, websiting and otherwise attempting to represent me on the Internet (not for nothing, the wifi is awesome up here) have become unbearable. You are ORDERED TO STOP such activities immediately as they are being done in violation of the law.

I have the right to remain free from these activities as they constitute [harassment/stalking/etc.], and I will pursue any legal and spirituous remedies available to me against you if these activities continue. These remedies include but are not limited to: contacting law enforcement to obtain criminal sanctions against you, and suing you civilly for damages I have incurred as a result of your actions.

Again, you must IMMEDIATELY STOP these activities and send me written confirmation that you will stop such activities. You risk incurring some very severe legal and Godly consequences if you fail to comply with this demand.

This letter acts as your final warning to discontinue this unwanted conduct before I pursue legal actions against you. At this time, I am not contacting the authorities or filing civil suit against you, as I hope we can resolve this matter without authoritative involvement. I am not under any circumstances, however, waiving any legal rights I have presently, or future legal remedies against you by sending you this letter. I might smite you. This order acts as ONE FINAL CHANCE for you to cease your illegal activities before I exercise my rights.

To ensure compliance with this letter, and to halt any legal action I may take against you, I require you to fill in and sign the attached form and mail it back to me within 10 days of your receipt of this letter. Failure to do so will act as evidence of your infringement upon my legal rights, and I will immediately seek legal avenues to remedy the situation.

Sincerely yours,






Sylvia Plath




CEASE AND DESIST COMPLIANCE AGREEMENT

I, Peter K. Steinberg, do hereby agree to stop these unwanted activities which are in violation of Sylvia Plath's rights. I understand that this is my final chance to cease these activities. I understand that Sylvia Plath potentially has the right to pursue legal and smiting action against me relating to my engagement in these activities, but she will not pursue those rights in contemplation of my compliance with this written demand. I further understand that Sylvia Plath has not waived her rights and may pursue legal remedies against me if I fail to abide by this agreement. I understand that this agreement is not specifically limited to the activities named herein. I will not engage in any activity now or in the future done for the purpose of stalking/harassing Sylvia Plath. I furthermore agree not to engage in any activity, regardless of its official title, that is done in violation of Sylvia Plath’s legal rights. If I fail to cease performing these activities, Sylvia Plath may pursue legal action against me in accordance her legal rights. This agreement acts as a contract between Peter K. Steinberg and Sylvia Plath. Forbearing enforcement of legally enforceable remedies is sufficient consideration to support this agreement. This agreement represents the entire agreement between the parties. Any statements made orally, written, or otherwise which are not contained herein shall have no impact on either parties’ rights or obligations elaborated in this agreement.

Date: 1 April 2019

Peter K. Steinberg
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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.
  • Plath, Sylvia, and Peter K. Steinberg and Karen V. Kukil (eds.). The Letters of Sylvia Plath, Volume 2, 1956-1963. London: Faber, 2018.
  • 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.

Interviews