Sylvia Plath Archive

Girls Looking in the Mirror

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As a teenager, I suffered long bouts of gazing into the mirror. Time fell away and I went into a kind of deliberate stupor. I thought if I stared long enough, I might forget who I was looking at, and—for a moment—see myself as others saw me.

The Language From the Far Places: Experiences of Mental Illness in Literature

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How can one adequately capture experiences that very often undo language itself, that are often so profoundly isolating precisely because they defy our common speech, our tested vocabularies and definitions of human experience? How do we find the right words to map that place?

Literary Meals & Cocktails for the Summer

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Maybe it’s because I’m always hungry, but meals have always been some of the most memorable scenes in books. I drink tea from a porcelain tea cup while reading Oscar Wilde, and crave fried okra or salt pork between readings of Faulkner and Harper Lee.

Lilies in the Yard: On Getting Away

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I reread Sylvia Plath this summer on a fairly remote island off Ireland’s Connemara coast. Plath had been there once in September of 1962. She and Ted Hughes accepted an invitation from the Irish poet, Richard Murphy, to visit him at his home in the country’s heralded west.

NOTES ON THE STATE OF VIRGINIA: Journey to the Center of an American Document, Query XIV

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We’ve reached the section of Notes I dread the most. It’s also the query I’ve spent more time contemplating than any other. Here, at the center of the book, he makes his infamous case for slavery in his time.

Round-Up: THE BELL JAR’s New Cinematic Adaptation, a Reading at Oscar Wilde’s Prison, and PEN America’s New Awards

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From a new film adaption of The Bell Jar to a massive reading in honor of Oscar Wilde, here are this week's biggest literary stories.

She was wearing —

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It had been a rough week, and there, there, perfect and waiting for me, was a short robe on the sale rack, tissue-thin, in a pale turquoise redolent of Cannes, or what I imagine Cannes to be like, with sleeves made to drape on a languid arm.

“Musings on Motherhood are Not Enough”: On the Perils and Joys of Parenting Poetry

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Recently I was looking at calls for poetry and I came across one that listed the editor’s preferences for the type of work that appealed to her. She listed the things which, in her mind, made a poem worthy of calling itself a poem.

Preserving Intent: What’s Lost in the Cinematic Translation of Mrs. Dalloway

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I like to follow up my reading of a text with its cinematic counterpart. After finishing Virginia Woolf’s Mrs. Dalloway, I rented the DVD of the same name with great anticipation. But after the credits rolled, I was unsatisfied: while the cinematic version of Woolf’s novel provides a touching

Round-Down: On Women Writers And the Fallout from ‘Confession’ in the Digital Age

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Social media is in the spotlight—or crosshairs, as it may be–in the literary landscape this week. Several articles and author interviews have touched upon both the benefits and the tremendous costs known to an author maintaining their online presence, none of them coming to a firm conclusion about whether it’s better to be