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Showing posts from January, 2021

Sylvia Plath chat on Zoom

Please join me on Zoom for a 30 to 40 minute general Sylvia Plath chat starting at 10:30 eastern US time on Saturday, 30 January 2021 .  No format or agenda, just chatting about our favorite writer. You ask me questions? Maybe! I ask you questions? Maybe! Stare at each other awkwardly? Maybe! Maybe I can share a screen and show you some things that might be interesting? Regret logging in? No way.  Maybe if this goes smoothly it can be something we do monthly? Assuming that at least one person shows up besides me, I may limit the number of people in the attempt to have some control over the numbers. All links accessed 26 January 2021.

New Book on Sylvia Plath: Breaking Down Plath by Patricia Grisafi

Patricia (Trish) Grisafi ( website | Twitter ) is the author of a forthcoming book on Sylvia Plath entitled Breaking Down Plath (Wiley). It is part of Wiley's "Breaking Down Series" which includes also books on Fitzgerald and Vonnegut. Last week, on Twitter , she revealed the elegant cover, which features a small bell jar and a lovely blue color (Andes Summit blue, per Trish, in case you were curious). The book is scheduled to be published on 17 August 2021. 17 August is, as you know, the day Ted Hughes was born and, as well, the day in The Bell Jar , when Esther Greenwood attempts suicide. Nicely done. From Trish's website,  Breaking Down Plath (Wiley 2021) is a guide to Sylvia Plath geared towards middle and high school students. The guide covers Plath’s biography, cultural and historical contexts, selected poems, fiction, essays, journals, letters, and legacy. With an eye towards demythologizing Plath and focusing on her achievements instead of her suicide, Brea

Sylvia Plath and sherry

Last September I was reading some of Sylvia Plath's letters and journals, I started to notice a little leitmotif as I was hoping around. And that motif was sherry drinking. She famously wrote about drinking George Tyrer's sherry in a journal entry that was a part of her North Tawton and Devon dossier of neighbors and acquaintances: "George called out from the bedroom to give me some sherry. I asked the name of the sherry it was so good: Harvey's Bristol Milk." Plath and Sherry was also discussed at the Plath birthday shindig hosted by the Sylvia Plath Society by Trish Grisafi , author of a forthcoming book Breaking Down Plath (Wiley). I cannot find Harveys Bristol Milk in my area, so I found the next best thing(?) in their Harveys Bristol Cream (pictured right). It is a decent digestif but is not as good as port in my humble opinion. I have seen some 1950s bottles of Bristol Milk for sale via auction, but at the prices they realize , I am fine drinking the moder

Sylvia Plath's The Colossus sells via PBA Galleries

A dust-jacketless copy of Sylvia Plath's first poetry collection, The Colossus and Other Poems , published by Heinemann in 1960, recently sold for $900 at a PBA Galleries online auction  (Lot 255). The sale price includes buyer's premium and exceeded the estimate of $500-$800. Congrats to the winner.  All links accessed 9 January 2021.

Sylvia Plath's Writer's Block

One of my favorite people in the world, Jett Whitehead of Jett W. Whitehead Rare Books , sent me a little Sylvia Plath Christmas present in the mail. It took a while to reach me, which is understandable. I was not sure I ever needed something like this before; but now that I have it, I can say safely it was something I was missing, truly... It is a small block with prints on all six sides of Plath book covers ( The Bell Jar , Ariel , Crossing the Water , and Winter Trees ), a photo of Plath (from 1952), and her beautiful signature. Jett included a note saying that he hopes it is the only writer's block I ever get. Could not agree more. The funny thing is I was just reading the other day an entry in Plath's journals about her feeling of writer's block during her Boston year.  Thank you, Jett! Here is the block, which came with an official Poetry Pad of from Jett's office. And, here is the block in use in my office: All links accessed 7 January 2021.

Sylvia Plath: Thunder Stealer

It is true. Sylvia Plath stole someone's thunder. She did it twice. To Ted Hughes, no less, within months of marrying him.  In the first days of October 1956, Sylvia Plath was at Whitstead in Cambridge, England, writing a blitzkrieg of letters to Ted Hughes and receiving a nearly equal amount of letters from him. It was a daily thing. Reading these letters leaves one probably feeling breathless.  According to her calendars, on the 8th and the 11th of October, Plath was at work writing a story called "The Wishing Box" , and it was here that she stole Hughes' thunder. In the story, Agnes Higgins is envious of her husband Harold Higgins' dreams. The end of the story is grim as Agnes takes an overdose of pills. But before this, Plath's protagonist writes about two of her husbands' dreams in particular... Agnes wrote of the former, "Harold dreamed that a red fox ran through his kitchen, grievously burnt, its fur charred black, bleeding from several wounds.