05 December 2019

The Sylvia Plath Society is being formed

For more than a decade---and possibly longer---there has been interest in the formation of a Sylvia Plath Society.

For the past few months, I have been in contact with Kitty Shaw (Twitter) and Dorka Tamás (Twitter) and they have been really making astounding progress contacting people, institutions, and the like the get this thing off the ground. We have the support of many people, including the scholar Tim Kendall. In addition, we have reached out to both the Estate of Sylvia Plath and Faber and Faber.

Earlier this week, the Society got a Twitter handle which is one of the first steps. The Society looking to create a newsletter, a website, and eventually a journal, too.

If you have an interest in following the Society, please do so via Twitter. We are looking to start getting members, volunteers, and the like to fill other roles in the running of it. So please feel free to email (plathsoc AT gmail DOT com) if you have any interest at all in Sylvia Plath.

All links accessed 3 December 2019.

03 December 2019

New book of essays on Sylvia Plath published in Hungary

A new book of essays was recently published in Hungarian out of Budepast. A képzelet kockázata: Sylvia Plath életműve, élettörténete és betegsége---which translates to The risk of imagination: The oeuvre, life history and illness of Sylvia Plath---and it is edited by József Gerevich. The ISBN is 978-963-51-7050-0 and it is published by Kossuth Kiadó.

Here is the table of contents. I am grateful to Dóra Ocsovai for letting me know about the title and, as well, providing English translations of the titles.

József Gerevich: Psychiatric aspects of confessional poetry

Oeuvre

Enikő Bollobás: Mask and Self—and the Illness: Injuries of the Soul in Sylvia Plath's Poetry

Antal Bókay: Failure in the construction of the ego in confessional poetry – Sylvia Plath and Attila József

Zsófia Demjén: "Drowning in negativism, self-hate, doubt, madness": Linguistic insights into Sylvia Plath's experience of depression

Júlia Lázár: What Is This Face So Murderous?

Dóra Ocsovai: From womb to 'wave-yard': The poetics of Water in Sylvia Plath's oeuvre

Life history

Balázs Matuszka: From the experience to anger: The elaboration of the feelings against the parents in the art of Sylvia Plath

Dóra Ocsovai: Devil and God – The double role of Ted Hughes in Sylvia Plath's life and death

Kinga Fabó: On Sylvia Plath's Personality

Krisztina Zsédel: The "price" of creativity? Predictive and protective factors in the suicide of Sylvia Plath

Illness

Attila Németh: Psychiatric disorder of Sylvia Plath

Magdolna Moretti: "The grasses unload their griefs on my feet": The psychiatric therapy of Sylvia Plath

József Gerevich: The Broken-necked Deer. Trying to reconstruct and understand the Sylvia Plath-phenomenon

All links accessed 3 December 2019.

01 December 2019

Sylvia Plath Collections: University of Tennessee at Knoxville

Whoever says that you cannot learn something on Twitter is wrong?

So, Chris Caldwell is a Sylvia Plath influencer.

The University of Tennessee at Knoxville has a several precious Sylvia Plath items in its Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections and University Archives.

The first two items mentioned here are a part of the Patricia Cornwell Collection. The first item they have is a manuscript copy of Plath's poem "King of the Ice" written on 10 January 1945. Plath wrote about the poem in her diary that day saying that once she got home from school and a music lesson, she set to work on a letter, story, or poem for the Phillipian, her junior high school newspaper. The assignment required writing about a "star" with a "right good will". "King of the Ice" was that poem. (Plath also started on writing another poem, "The Snowflake Star" the same day, which, according to her diary, she finalized on 21 February 1945. "The Snowflake Star" was published in February 1946.)

"King of the Ice" was first offered for sale at London Olympia's Antiquarian Book Fair in 2003 and made headline news in "Sylvia Plath's schoolgirl love poem goes on sale for £4,500" from The Telegraph and, as well, on the BBC. As you can see from the articles, two other Plath poems and a lock of her hair were also offered. The other two poems were "Hear the crickets chirping" and "I saw a little birdie" held by the Beinecke Library, Yale.

The other Plath-related item from the Cornwell collection is Giving Up: The Last Days of Sylvia Plath by Jillian Becker. It is signed by the author.

I met Cornwell at one point when I was working at the hallowed Woodberry Poetry Room. She was at Harvard doing some research. While the subjects of conversation escape me now---I vaguely remember asking her not have have balding archivist murdered---we must have talked about Plath based on this inscription to me in this book she sent afterward.


But that is not all. The Betsey B. Creekmore Special Collections has three limited editions from the 1970s: Child, Wreath for a Bridal, and Million Dollar Month. These are lovely books for any fan or collector of Sylvia Plath.

 

You can see all the known Sylvia Plath archival collections on my website for Sylvia Plath, A celebration, this is.

All links accessed 13 November and 1 December 2019.
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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