29 April 2020

New YouTube Video: The Search for Sylvia Plath (Talk, 2007)


I have posted the talk---the first talk I ever gave---"The Search for Sylvia Plath" on Plath websites at the 2007 Sylvia Plath 75th Year Symposium at University of Oxford on my YouTube page. Please go check it out. All the information in there is remarkably dated, but yet, some of it might actually hold true even today, about 13 years later.

All links accessed 29 April 2020.

27 April 2020

A reading from These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath

Gail Crowther and I are happy to announce that we will be giving our second live public reading from our book These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath.

The event will be on Zoom on Saturday, 9 May 2020, at 10 am EDT/3 pm GMT.

The first five essays in These Ghostly Archives (Amazon) are written conversations about our experience of researching Sylvia Plath and her archive. They were composed textually, completely, with us emailing back and forth documents and responding to what was said. This reading provides an opportunity to hear our Sylvia Plath conversations in our own voices.

Registration will be required for the event. Please click here register.

All links accessed 27 April 2020.

25 April 2020

Zoom Talk on Sylvia Plath


Thank you to all of you who participated with me in today's Zoom talk on "Sylvia Plath's Letters & Traces". It was wonderful to see so many people and to interact. This was the first one in a series that I will be hosting.

As mentioned, I pre-recorded the talk yesterday using Loom as a fail-safe in case something went wrong with today's which, like a dodo, I forgot to record! I do not think anything went wrong? I hope the sound quality was alright throughout.

So, that talk is now available on my YouTube channel for anyone who missed the talk or truly wants to suffer.

The next talk will be 9 May 2020 with Gail Crowther as we read from our book These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath. Is anyone else planning on hosting Plath talks? Cause I think you should! Talk about your research?

Following that, the first Sylvia Plath Zoomposium, featuring more than 10 speakers, will be on 30 May. More information on the blog in May.

All links accessed 25 April 2020.

21 April 2020

Sylvia Plath: Letters, Ghostly Archives, and Zoomposium


Something I heard from people was that they wished they could have attended some of the talks on editing The Letters of Sylvia Plath from the Belfast symposium and or at some of the other events I was lucky enough to give it.

I recently joined Zoom and would like to offer anyone the opportunity to join in on a reading of my paper. So please join me on Saturday, 25 April 2020, at 10 am Eastern Time US.


My talk should run about 25-28 minutes. I will try to answer questions if some are presented in the chat feature, or, also, on Twitter @sylviaplathinfo!

I plan to give the very same talk for those on the other side of the clock, as it were, in places such as New Zealand, Australia, Asia, and the like.

Please bear with me if there are any technical glitches. This is a trial run for two additional events:

1. A reading from These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath that Gail Crowther and I plan to do on 9 May.

2. Gail Crowther and I are lining up an international cast of participants for the first ever Sylvia Plath Zoomposium on Saturday 30 May. We envision possibly doing a series of these.

Look for more information here and on Twitter regarding all of this.

All links accessed 18 April 2020.

15 April 2020

Revamped Sylvia Plath Info Translations Bibliography

Oh 17 December 2019, the topic came up on Twitter about how many languages Sylvia Plath has been translated into. I had not spent much time staying on top of these important works as I should have in the last decade, but the tweets got me motivated to revamp the Translations bibliography over on A celebration, this is.

As with the initial presentation, the information was taken from WorldCat so if there are any issues with it, then please excuse them. I did the best I could with formatting, translating the titles and what not. In the process I decided to tweak the standard format for the entries.

All of the works by Plath start with the title of the book and are listed first. Books about Plath are listed alphabetically by author following these. I did not think it was necessary to repeat "Plath, Sylvia" several hundred times. The title is followed by the English work it most closely aligns to, if it could be determined. When I could identify the translator(s) they are listed next, followed last by city, publisher, and year.

In addition to this bibliography, there is a page on my website for the covers of foreign titles. Since around the first of the year and then throughout the winter I added more than 100 book covers to the gallery. Long overdue. I hope that enjoy seeing these interesting covers.

There are 42 different languages represented in the bibliography with more than 520 titles listed. Wow! They are in order by year (or, they should be). The languages with the most titles are Italian, Spanish, French, and German. I said in my tweet it could be north of 50 and it still might be because I did not include translations of Plath's works that appeared in periodicals. If you know of a book not listed, in any language or in any edition, please let me know so I can add it. Thank you.

I am deeply grateful to Marie in Russia who, in March, sent me citations and information on book covers of Plath's Russian translations. Thank you Marie!

All links accessed 20 January 2020.

08 April 2020

Barnes and Noble "Collectible Editions" of Sylvia Plath


HarperCollins has teamed up with Barnes and Noble to produce a book in their Collectible Edition Series. The book, as you may have surmised, is by one Sylvia Plath. The book is a combined The Bell Jar and Collected Poems.

Coming in at 688 pages, the cover price is $25. ISBN: 978-0-06-2-97354-2. Bizarrely, when I searched Amazon I saw that the price is double!

The endpapers are a knockout!



This is a book that was dreamed up a long while ago by Ted Hughes. In fact, he wrote an introduction on a proposed edition of a joint Collected Poems and The Bell Jar. I like Hughes' introduction very much and you can find it printed in his Winter Pollen: Occasional Prose. Many foreign editions of Plath's work have even included both such as Opere (Italian) and Ouevres (French). You can view their covers on A celebration, this is.

This Barnes and Noble edition repeats some of HarperCollins' perversions to Plath's text (which I discuss in "Textual Variation"). It includes the usual Foreword by Frances McCullough and Lois Ames' Afterword (which prints "Mad Girl's Love Song"; and so for the first time that poem appears in a volume with the rest of the poems in Plath's Collected Poems). Additionally, shockingly, "Daddy" appears in the Index for the first time, too. Joyce Carol Oates' well-known essay "Sylvia Plath and the Death Throes of Romanticism" is printed, too.

All links accessed 25 March 2020

03 April 2020

An old Sylvia Plath Ariel

Recently I acquired a 1971 edition of Faber's Ariel with funds that were generously gifted at the end of last year. This one filled in a gap; I still need one printed in 1970; but the goal is to have the as complete a run as possible of editions. I cannot possibly have better life goals.


Just a used edition to go with my other "reading" copies of the book from that era (1972, 1974, 1976, 1979, and 1981). In total I have now fifteen copies from which to choose.

01 April 2020

For Men, Who Read Sylvia Plath

Men. Do you find it embarrassing not to remember your favorite Sylvia Plath lines of poetry and the concomitant premature evaluation that you are a dolt?

Do you intentionally avoid ALA, MLA, and other academic conferences for fear of drawing a blank when quizzed about Plath's use of gerund versus the infinitive in her college sonnets?

Did last October 27th's Google Doodle send you straight to A celebration, this is?

PLATHAGRA is a prescription pill that may help you achieve Plath poem retrieval the natural wayin response to cerebral stimulation which combats Plathtile Dysfunction. Ask your primary source-loving Ph.D if PLATHAGRA is the right step for you.

PLATHAGRA (sylviaplath citrate) should not be taken by men who read Ted Hughes habitually in any genre, at any time. This may reduce blood pressure to unsafe levels if used in conjunction with PLATHAGRA. And you might end up going pre-dawn fishing.

In poetry survey courses, PLATHAGRA was well received. Some men experienced side effects, including brilliance, charm, blushing, and marriage proposals. A small percentage of men experienced mild and temporary fulfillment. If poetry recitation continues in excess of four hours you should immediately take another pill because why kill the buzz? (See product information for more details.)

PLATHAGRA: Erect your self-confidence, in any occasion.

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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