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Showing posts from May, 2022

Sylvia Plath's Loose Diary Items

The other day I was looking at some of my photographs from one of the Lilly Library's wonderful Sylvia Plath collections and I was instantly inspired to present some of the information to you in a blog post.  In Plath mss II, Box 7, 1949 loose items, there are a bounty of Plathian things that she once used in her daily or perhaps more ephemeral life. On the day I photographed the contents---a perk I had due to my editorial work on Plath's Letters , the contents were: 1. Typed on a small, blue sheet of paper: "An End" by Sara Teasdale, which ends "And summer will not come to me again". Plath famously used this as the title for her short story which was her first fictional piece in Seventeen  magazine.  2. Record of Summer Dates for July and August 1949 3. Handwritten quote from Thomas Carlyle's Sartor Resartus , "The Everlasting No":  "How beautiful to die of broken-heart, on Paper! Quite another thing in practice; every window of your Feel

New Harper edition of Sylvia Plath's Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams

On 6 September 2022, Harper Perennial will issue a new paperback edition of Sylvia Plath's  Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams: Short Stories, Prose, and Diary Excerpts,  and the cover was recently revealed: The book price is a reasonable $10. The ISBN is 978-0063269620. 400 pages. You can order now via Amazon , or if you prefer to buy directly from the publisher Harper Perennial , you can do so, too. All links accessed 25 May 2022. If you benefited from this post or any content on the Sylvia Plath Info Blog, my website for Sylvia Plath ( A celebration, this is ), and @sylviaplathinfo on Twitter, then please consider sending me a tip via PayPal . Thank you for at least considering!

A new archive of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes materials

The University of Huddersfield bolstered its burgeoning archival collections with its recent acquisition of the "Mark Hinchliffe Ted Hughes Collection." It features also materials created by, owned by, etc. of Sylvia Plath, Leonard Baskin, Assia Wevill, and Nicholas Hughes, to name a few prominent people.  A preliminary cataloging of the papers was released recently and is visible online here . Steve Ely comments the collection "comprises over 170 items, including signed first editions of dozens of Hughes’ trade, limited-edition and fine-press publications; original letters written by Hughes and his first wife, the poet Sylvia Plath; signed and annotated books from Hughes’s personal collection; and, some absolutely unique items: a very fine ceramic jaguar sculpted by Hughes in 1967, the only intact example anywhere in the world of Hughes’s work in the plastic arts." ( Press Release ) Item 3, a ceramic jaguar with the letter 'A' on it, made the news in 2011 .

Sylvia Plath's Excuses

In Box 10 of Plath mss II at the Lilly Library is perhaps one of my favorite documents Sylvia Plath created. Folder 6 in said box contains a six lovely and wonderful items that were once a part of Plath's day-to-day life. The folder name on the finding aid is simply "Miscellaneous."   The first item in the folder is a typed list of poetry and prose submissions, annotated with acceptances (dates, periodicals, and money earned) from 1948 to 1952. It is the first of such submissions lists which have been more famously made use of for the 1959 to 1963 period (these leafs are held by Smith College).  The second item is a beautiful handwritten thing of "Excuses for unwanted dates". The third item is a catalog of "boys gone out with [in the] 1948-1949 (school year)". The back page is "Boys who asked & were unlucky".   Fourth, is a two-paragraph "Leaves from a Date-Palm Tree" in which Plath incorporates the last names of the boys she da

Sylvia Plath's Cambridge-era Prose: A Survey

"Sylvia Plath's Cambridge-era Prose: A Survey" is a talk I prepared for Emily Van Duyne's Sylvia Plath and Trans-Atlanticism Symposium held on 20 May 2022. Via Southampton where her ship the Queen Elizabeth docked, Sylvia Plath arrived in London on 20 September 1955. She left England, also at Southampton and also on the Queen Elizabeth , on 20 June 1957. That means Plath's first stint in Europe lasted 640 days. Her primary country was obviously England, but she traveled to and through France, Germany, Italy, Austria, and the principality of Monaco, where she lost $3 at a roulette table in Monte Carlo. In her first term at Newnham College, Plath did little creative writing, concentrating at the time on writing letters---she wrote at least 240 of them during those 640 days---and having experiences such as joining up with the Amateur Dramatics Club and much socializing, including vigorous dating. It was during these first months in Cambridge that she started writi

Sylvia Plath's Valentine from Elly

I meant to post this back in February but it slipped through the cracks.  On Monday, 17 February 1958, Sylvia Plath recorded in her journal about receiving in the mail a homemade Valentine from her friend Elinor Friedman Klein. Plath wrote: "then a black & white valentine from Elly with a photo-montage of lovers, of three men behind barbwire at a Concentration Camp clipped from the Times from a review which I read about tortures & black trains bearing victims to the furnace" (330). While it is not clear what the "photo-montage of lovers" might have been, that clipping of "three men behind barbwire at a Concentration Camp" came from the review "A Black Train Stuffed With Doom" by Frederic Morton about Jacob Presser's book Breaking Point (World Publishing). It appeared in the Book Review on 9 February 1958.  The etching was drawn by William Sharp, and appeared courtesy of the Weyhe Gallery. The etching was one of many of Sharp's u

Sylvia Plath Collections: Irene Worth papers at Boston University

Earlier this year I did a random Google search for "Sylvia Plath" and "Writer and his background". This was one of the final prose pieces Plath wrote which was published as "Ocean 1212-W". However Plath called her typescript "Landscape on Childhood" (which sold via Bonhams in 2019 ). This prose piece was the subject of intense research back circa 2008-2010 and was the subject of two papers I co-wrote, and later revised as two chapters in 2017's book These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath  ( Amazon ).  The results of the Google search led me to a collection that was kind of surprising: the Irene Worth Collection held by Boston University. If you search for Plath you see that in Box 12, Folder 14, there are two interesting items: 1) "The Writer and His Background," by Sylvia Plath, 9 p.  2) "Poems by Sylvia Plath," TS and holograph, 4 p.  Initially it was the typescript and holograph poems that excited me. H

These Ghostly Archives Turns Five

These Ghostly Archives: The Unearthing of Sylvia Plath was published in the UK five years ago today, 11 May 2017!!!!! Thank you to all who have purchased it, and particularly to those who have both purchased it and read it! If you have not done so, please consider buying the book  from ! Or,  buy it from ! All proceeds from royalties will go towards the purchasing of ice cream.  The book can also be found for sale on eBay, ABE Books, and elsewhere. All links accessed 1 May 2022. If you benefited from this post or any content on the Sylvia Plath Info Blog, my website for Sylvia Plath ( A celebration, this is ), and @sylviaplathinfo on Twitter, then please consider sending me a tip via PayPal . Thank you for at least considering! All funds will be put towards my Sylvia Plath research.

Faber to reissue Sylvia Plath: Drawings in September

On 15 September 2022, Faber and Faber is reissuing a paperback edition of Sylvia Plath: Drawings . The description from's website reads, "In 1956 Sylvia Plath wrote to her mother, Aurelia Plath: 'I feel I'm developing a kind of primitive style of my own which I am very fond of. Wait til you see. The Cambridge sketch was nothing compared to these.' "Sylvia Plath cited art as her deepest source of inspiration but, while her poetry is celebrated around the world, her drawings are little known. This volume brings together drawings from 1955 to 1957, the period she spent on a Fulbright scholarship from the US at Newnham College, Cambridge. During this time she married Ted Hughes and travelled with him to Paris and Spain. "First published as a catalogue for an exhibition at the Mayor Gallery, the tiny drawings in pen and ink are exquisitely observed. They include Parisian rooftops, trees and churches." Sylvia Plath: Drawings has been translat

Sylvia Plath Collections: Siv Arb

I am extremely grateful to Eva Stenskar for sharing the information with me presented in this blog post. Back in November 2021, Eva wrote to me about an article she read that mentioned two letters from Plath to Siv Arb. This was news! The article, " När Sylvia Plath kom till Sverige " by Anna-Klara Bojö, was published on 8 April 2021, on the Ord & Bild website.   The letters were dated 5 May 1962---just after Arb visited Court Green---and 21 July 1962, just as Plath's marriage was crumbling down. It appears to be a good article (such as is possible to trust the Google translation...for example, "Elm" in Swedish is "Almen" but through Google translate it displays as "General".) The 5 May 1962 letter was written on the same day Plath wrote to Judith Jones, thanking her belatedly for the first copy she saw of the Knopf edition of The Colossus . In the letter to Arb, Plath enclosed a few poems (no longer with the letter) and mentions by titl

Sylvia Plath, Assia Wevill, and Royal Typewriters

It appears that Sylvia Plath and Assia Wevill both were photographed with Royal typewriters...  Assia Wevill's was likely the 1948 Royal Quiet Deluxe ; and Plath's is the 1954 Royal HH . Plath's Royal typewriter is now held by Smith. Here is a video of that machine in action . And, you can read more about Royal typewriters here, if interested. All links accessed 1 May 2022. If you benefited from this post or any content on the Sylvia Plath Info Blog, my website for Sylvia Plath ( A celebration, this is ), and @sylviaplathinfo on Twitter, then please consider sending me a tip via PayPal . Thank you for at least considering! All funds will be put towards my Sylvia Plath research.