December 27, 2015
The Unauthorised Life By Jonathan Bate HarperCollins. 662 pp. $40 Reviewed by Frank Wilson Ted Hughes, poet laureate of the United Kingdom from 1984 until his death in 1998, is at least as well known for having been the husband of Sylvia Path as he is for his work, which, though uneven, at its best is among the best. Jonathan Bate's biography is the first to make extensive use of the immense Hughes archive. Bate says the archive shows that the way Hughes lived "was authorised not by social convention or by upbringing, but by his passions, his mental landscape and his unwavering sense of vocation.
December 2, 2013 |
Paris before it became the City of Light; the watercolors of an artist best known for portraits; creatures conjured from the medieval imagination - these are just a few of the fruits in this year's crop of books to be put out in the open, not hidden away on shelves. If you think books may be passé, check out the gorgeous buildings that house so many of them. Prices are list, but discounts abound. John Singer Sargent: Watercolors (MFA Publications/Brooklyn Museum, $60) . Sargent wasn't eager to show or sell his watercolors.
October 28, 2013 |
Doubt too many people at your local supermarket have ever heard of Robert Hayden, Elizabeth Bishop, or Anne Bradstreet. But mention Sylvia Plath's name and you're likely to get a reaction. Plath, who committed suicide 50 years ago at the age of 30, is a rarity: a famous poet. She remains popular, and retains a certain sex appeal in an age when poetry, and poets, have become increasingly academic, insular, and marginalized. She has even been immortalized on celluloid by Gwyneth Paltrow in the 2003 biopic Sylvia . West Chester University's acclaimed poetry center will celebrate Plath's life and work with a program of poetry readings and discussions by seven women artists and writers Sunday, on what would have been Plath's 81st birthday.
August 5, 2005 |
The first time I met two-time U.S. poet laureate Stanley Kunitz he was reading before more than 2,000 people at New Jersey's biennial Geraldine R. Dodge Poetry Festival at Waterloo Village in Stanhope. He had ascended the main stage, under a large circuslike tent, and was greeted by thunderous applause that hung in the air like a trapeze performer under a similar enclosure. He sipped from a water glass, cleared his throat, and surveyed the assembled masses. From the moment he spoke, I was transfixed.
April 10, 2005 |
Boys of 9 or 10 often know exactly what they want to be when they grow up. Some want to be firemen, others race-car drivers. John Ashbery recalls that he had his own heroes at that age. "I was living in Rochester back then," says the 77-year-old poet in his Chelsea apartment, wind blowing in hard off the Hudson River. "And I saw all these paintings from the 'Fantastic, Dada, and Surrealism' show at the Museum of Modern Art in Life magazine. I decided then and there I wanted to be a surrealist when I grew up. " Nearly 70 years later, Ashbery has achieved his dream - in poetry, rather than painting, although he gave the latter a try - and he's kept at it long enough for the world to catch up to his tastes.
May 23, 2004 |
Reading the words of Dylan Thomas, Sylvia Plath and Billy Collins inspired high school sophomore Megan Kyle to convey her emotions through poetry. Her lyrical style caught the eye of the judges for the Bucks County Community College poetry contest, who declared Kyle the 2004 Bucks County High School poet of the year. Entries from 162 students were received for the contest. "She wasn't afraid to have fun with the language," said judge Brian Lutz, 2003 Bucks County poet laureate.
October 31, 2003 |
BEYOND BORDERS. This film about a romance between aid workers has stink-o tendencies. Starring Angelina Jolie, Clive Owen, Noah Emmerich and Teri Polo. (R) C- GOOD BOY! Nice little movie about a boy (Liam Aiken) and the outer-space terrier who clues him in to secret life of dogs. (PG) B INTOLERABLE CRUELTY. Gold digger (Catherine Zeta-Jones) meets match in divorce lawyer (George Clooney). Some bright moments, but doesn't match level of talent. (R) B- KILL BILL: VOL. I. Killer (Uma Thurman)
October 24, 2003 |
Out of the ash she rises with red hair, eating men like air. In her latest resurrection, Lady Lazarus, poet Sylvia Plath (1932-1963), arrives in the form of Gwyneth Paltrow, star of filmmaker Christine Jeffs' portrait of the artist as a glowing meteor doomed to vaporize in Earth's atmosphere. Make that a double portrait, for Jeffs' actual subject is the volatile marriage of Plath and Ted Hughes, also a poet (and in 1984 named poet laureate of England), whose first wife, Plath, and his second, Assia Wevill, took their own lives.
September 14, 2003 |
Avid fiction readers are likely to experience a serious case of cross-media deja vu this fall, when a whole shelf of best-sellers rematerialize as Hollywood movies. In The Human Stain (Oct. 3), based on the Philip Roth novel, Anthony Hopkins and Nicole Kidman star as a college professor living a lie and his consoling, many-years-younger cleaning lady. Robert Benton directs the likely Oscar contender. In Under the Tuscan Sun (Sept. 26), Diane Lane plays a divorcee seeking solace in Chianti country.
June 29, 2003 |
Jessica Thom, who admires the writings of Sylvia Plath, Carl Sandburg and Robert Frost, is Bucks County's 2003 high school poet of the year. Thom, who will be a senior at Central Bucks East High School in Buckingham, won the $400 top prize in the poet-laureate program coordinated by Bucks County Community College. Entries came from 185 high school students throughout the county. "I try to keep my poetry short and to the point, not too obscure, easy for everyone to understand," said Thom, who writes about family, friends and relationships.