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Sylvia Plath

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February 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Fifty years ago Monday, Sylvia Plath, a 30-year-old American living in England, put her head in her oven and committed suicide. Her two children were upstairs; her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, had left her after a tempestuous relationship. Her poetry and the semi-autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar" have become lasting parts of our literary culture.  Today, Plath is much remembered -- and specifically, she's being remembered online. Poet Craig Morgan Teicher looks at the poems in Plath's debut collection, "The Colossus," at NPR: "The strange psyche at the core of these poems is made powerful by its seemingly limitless ability to endure self-destruction ... . As tragic and dark as her end would be, it's nonetheless thrilling to watch this great artist becoming herself.
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March 31, 2014 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Scholar Jonathan Bate has been at work on his biography of British poet Ted Hughes for four years. He was surprised to recently learn that the Hughes estate had withdrawn its support of the book. Hughes was British poet laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998. Much beloved at home, the prolific writer has been less well-regarded by some fans of Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide when she was married to Hughes. Bate, a Shakespeare scholar, was at work on a biography that would tie together Hughes' life and work.
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October 27, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Poet Sylvia Plath was born on this day in 1932. Had she not committed suicide in 1963, she would have been 80 years old today. Although she was just 30 years old when she died, Plath's poetry has had lasting appeal. The Poetry Foundation writes that she has "tightly-tuned, startling verses. " Much of those were written toward the end of her life and published in her collection "Ariel. " Posthumously published with some assitance from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, "Ariel" caused a splash with both its creativity and the questions it raised about the way Hughes, from whom she had separated, had shaped her work.
ENTERTAINMENT
December 12, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The most striking thing about the 44 images reproduced in Sylvia Plath's “Drawings” (Harper: 64 pp., $25.99) may be how unpopulated they are. Produced during the two years the poet spent on a Fulbright fellowship at Cambridge - the same period in which she met and married (secretly, at first) Ted Hughes  - this material evokes a world bound almost entirely by objects: boats, shoes, rooftops, all of it detailed, shadowed, but at the same time more than a little bit removed.
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December 12, 2013 | By David L. Ulin, Los Angeles Times Book Critic
The most striking thing about the 44 images reproduced in Sylvia Plath's “Drawings” (Harper: 64 pp., $25.99) may be how unpopulated they are. Produced during the two years the poet spent on a Fulbright fellowship at Cambridge - the same period in which she met and married (secretly, at first) Ted Hughes  - this material evokes a world bound almost entirely by objects: boats, shoes, rooftops, all of it detailed, shadowed, but at the same time more than a little bit removed.
BOOKS
March 15, 1998
Axes After whose stroke the wood rings, And the echoes! Echoes travelling Off from the centre like horses. The sap Wells like tears, like the Water striving To re-establish its mirror Over the rock That drops and turns, A white skull, Eaten by weedy greens. Years later I Encounter them on the road-- Words dry and riderless, The indefatigable hoof-taps. While From the bottom of the pool, fixed stars Govern a life. From "Ariel" by Sylvia Plath (HarperCollins: 96 pp., $10)
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December 6, 2004 | Claudia La Rocco, Associated Press
British painter and writer Frieda Hughes was 35 before she was able to even glance at the poetry of her mother, Sylvia Plath, whose painfully sharp images and tumultuous life have captivated readers for decades. But now, having flown from Wales for the occasion, Hughes sat calmly for more than two hours one evening last week as six authors read "Ariel: The Restored Edition." It was the first time that the restored manuscript had been publicly read in its entirety.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Nicholas Hughes, 47, a fisheries biologist who was the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, killed himself March 16 at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, state police reported. Hughes, who hanged himself, died 46 years after his mother committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen of her London home and nearly 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, also killed herself. Hughes graduated from the University of Oxford in 1984 and received a master's degree from Oxford in 1990.
NEWS
January 21, 1998 | WILLIAM D. MONTALBANO, TIMES STAFF WRITER
Each of us was the stake Impaling the other. We struggled Quietly through the streets, affirming each other Dream-maimed and dream-blind. From "9 Willow Street" A poem by Ted Hughes to Sylvia Plath included in "Birthday Letters" It is a love story, after all. After 35 years, dream-maimed Ted Hughes, Britain's poet laureate, has come in from the silence, his voice suffused with passion and pain.
NEWS
June 5, 1988 | From Associated Press
First her married name was chiseled off her tombstone three times. Later the stone vanished, and so did its replacement. Even in death, Sylvia Plath is not at peace. The admired American poet lies in an unmarked grave high in the Yorkshire hills, a bleak resting place for a tormented soul who killed herself when she was 30.
ENTERTAINMENT
September 23, 2013 | By Emily Keeler
The poet C.J. Allen has withdrawn his poem, “Explaining the Plot of Blade Runner to My Mother Who Has Alzheimers,” from the shortlist of Britain's Forward Poetry prize after admitting to plagiarizing some early poems. The award for single best poem, the category Allen was shortlisted for, comes with a prize of about $1,600. Poet Matthew Welton discovered that Allen had plagiarized a number of his poems after attending a reading of Allen's last year. In a post on his publisher Carcanet's blog, Welton compares his own poems to Allen's plagiarized versions . Jeannette Winterson, a judge for the Forward Poetry Prize, told the Bookseller that she has conflicted feelings about Allen's poem being withdrawn from consideration.
ENTERTAINMENT
May 10, 2013 | By Hector Tobar
No two readers are alike. No two mothers are alike. And the only way to really find out what might be a good book to get your mother for Mother's Day is to ask her what she likes to read. My own mother's reading habits have always been a bit of a mystery to me. I don't remember her reading many books when I was growing up in L.A. as the son of Guatemalan immigrants. She was a single mom, working a series of clerical jobs and raising an only son, and she never had much free time. So I got on the phone and called Guatemala  - my mother retired and moved back to Latin America two decades ago - and asked her: “ ¿Cuáles son sus libros favoritos?
ENTERTAINMENT
February 11, 2013 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Fifty years ago Monday, Sylvia Plath, a 30-year-old American living in England, put her head in her oven and committed suicide. Her two children were upstairs; her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, had left her after a tempestuous relationship. Her poetry and the semi-autobiographical novel "The Bell Jar" have become lasting parts of our literary culture.  Today, Plath is much remembered -- and specifically, she's being remembered online. Poet Craig Morgan Teicher looks at the poems in Plath's debut collection, "The Colossus," at NPR: "The strange psyche at the core of these poems is made powerful by its seemingly limitless ability to endure self-destruction ... . As tragic and dark as her end would be, it's nonetheless thrilling to watch this great artist becoming herself.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 27, 2012 | By Carolyn Kellogg
Poet Sylvia Plath was born on this day in 1932. Had she not committed suicide in 1963, she would have been 80 years old today. Although she was just 30 years old when she died, Plath's poetry has had lasting appeal. The Poetry Foundation writes that she has "tightly-tuned, startling verses. " Much of those were written toward the end of her life and published in her collection "Ariel. " Posthumously published with some assitance from her husband, the poet Ted Hughes, "Ariel" caused a splash with both its creativity and the questions it raised about the way Hughes, from whom she had separated, had shaped her work.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 28, 2012 | By Mary Rourke, Special to the Los Angeles Times
Adrienne Rich, a pioneering feminist poet and essayist who challenged what she considered to be the myths of the American dream and subsequently received high literary honors, died Tuesday at her home in Santa Cruz. She was 82. The cause was complications from the rheumatoid arthritis that had plagued her for much of her life, said a son, Pablo Conrad. "Adrienne Rich made a very important contribution to poetry," Helen Vendler, a Harvard University professor and literary critic told The Times in 2005.
CALIFORNIA | LOCAL
March 24, 2009 | Times Staff and Wire Reports
Nicholas Hughes, 47, a fisheries biologist who was the son of poets Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, killed himself March 16 at his home in Fairbanks, Alaska, state police reported. Hughes, who hanged himself, died 46 years after his mother committed suicide by gassing herself in the kitchen of her London home and nearly 40 years to the day after his stepmother, Assia Wevill, also killed herself. Hughes graduated from the University of Oxford in 1984 and received a master's degree from Oxford in 1990.
ENTERTAINMENT
October 19, 2003 | Julia M. Klein, Special to The Times
You could say that the poet Ted Hughes helped guarantee his own bad press -- and not just by abandoning his wife, Sylvia Plath, for another woman. The 30-year-old Plath killed herself in 1963, leaving in Hughes' care two young children, poems of radiant despair and a life story easily transmogrified into myth. As her literary executor, Hughes helped fuel the myth.
BOOKS
August 20, 1989 | Nancy Mairs, Mairs, a poet and essayist, attended the School of Criticism and Theory at Dartmouth this summer. and
To write the life of the poet Sylvia Plath in any form other than a "pathography," to use Joyce Carol Oates' apt word, may well be impossible. In the 26 years since her suicide, the circumstances surrounding her death by carbon monoxide poisoning--together with the youthful breakdown anatomized in her autobiographical novel, "The Bell Jar," and the ferocity of her poems, especially those in "Ariel"--have fueled the imaginations and sympathies of a broad readership.
ENTERTAINMENT
February 15, 2009 | John Freeman, Freeman is the American editor of Granta.
There are poets who show us the exterior world and poets who ferry news of their inner turmoil. Yet very few possess the double vision required to do both. Sylvia Plath surveyed and stoked the fires within her; Gary Snyder is far happier scouting for forest blazes in the Sierras. Until he began publishing the wickedly well-tuned work collected in "Chronic," D.A. Powell seemed of the Plath school: fierce, inward and wrapped in tongues of camp. To read his poems was to watch a man blow on the embers of erotic memory.
ENTERTAINMENT
January 11, 2008 | Charlotte Stoudt; F. Kathleen Foley; David C. Nichols
A lightning round of Meet My Family is always fun, especially when you're a gay black man introducing his white boyfriend, and your sister greets you at the door with the latest religious tracts on "re-education."
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