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.
April 23, 2013
Patrick Garland, 78, an award-winning British theater producer and director, died at Worthing Hospital in England, following a long illness, the Press Association reported. Mr. Garland was the only director ever to have had four plays running in London's West End at the same time. He won a Golden Globe for his 1971 film The Snow Goose , which was also nominated for a Bafta and an Emmy. He worked with actors including Rex Harrison in a revival of the musical My Fair Lady on Broadway and wrote a best- selling biography about Harrison, The Incomparable Rex . While at the British Broadcasting Corp.
December 7, 2011 |
A new biography of Queen Elizabeth II excerpted in Vanity Fair paints the young Elizabeth as a passionate woman who agreed to marry Prince Philip in 1946 without consulting her parents because she was hopelessly smitten. Philip was equally enchanted, writing to her in a letter that he had "fallen in love completely and unreservedly. " But, writes Sally Bedell Smith in Elizabeth the Queen: The Life of a Modern Monarch , the couple's love was fraught with some angst.
June 28, 2010
Ben Sonnenberg, 73, whose whims and myriad enthusiasms made Grand Street, the quarterly he founded in 1981, one of the most revered literary magazines of the postwar era, died Thursday in Manhattan of complications from multiple sclerosis. Mr. Sonnenberg edited and published Grand Street for nine years, working from the dining room of his apartment on Riverside Drive, until health problems forced him to sell the magazine in 1990. It ceased publication in 2004. A self-educated litterateur, Mr. Sonnenberg consulted only his own taste, backing it with substantial paychecks to his writers, some widely known and others not. The first issue of Grand Street - named after the street on the Lower East Side of New York where Mr. Sonnenberg's parents grew up - featured excerpts from the novelist Glenway Wescott's Paris journals, as well as articles, stories, and poems by Ted Hughes, Alice Munro, James Salter, John Hollander, Northrop Frye, and W.S. Merwin.
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.
July 24, 2000 |
Once upon a time in 1956, a beautiful, brilliant young American poet married a handsome, equally brilliant young British poet. Waking at dawn, they wrote, encouraged, criticized, suggesting topics and even attempting to elicit subjects for poems from the Ouija board. Theirs was the ultimate 20th-century marriage of true minds. They had two children, a boy and a girl. And one morning in 1963, after he had abandoned her for another woman poet, the beautiful young American set out bread and milk by her children's cots, went downstairs, put her head in the oven, and turned on the gas. The other woman also gassed herself and her two-year-old daughter by him. Plath became one of the most influential poets in the last half of the century.
March 6, 1999 |
The parents left their two sleeping girls in a van when they ran inside a friend's house for a minute in 1997. It was all that a drunken ex-con needed. Ted Hughes, 42, thought it was a stroke of luck. At the time, he was prowling the streets looking for a kidnap victim. He told cops he had been thinking about "taking a hostage" so he could demand "a ransom" when he saw "the lights flashing and the door open," according to testimony. So he reached inside the van, stopped on Gale Street near Rising Sun Avenue, and grabbed a 5-year-old on July 10, 1997.
December 12, 1998 |
Ted Hughes said when he saw two sleeping girls in a van, he decided to kidnap one for sex and a ransom. "I snatched her out of the van," said Hughes, 42, in a statement to police. "The lights were flashing and the door was open. " Assistant District Attorney Karen McRory said Hughes, of Adams Avenue near Rising Sun, not only sexually molested his 5-year-old captive, he also strangled her on July 10, 1997. The girl survived the attack. McRory said the victim's parents had left their kids while they went inside a friend's house on Gale Street near Rising Sun Avenue.
November 28, 1998
Ever since poet Ted Hughes died last month, the British have been getting their knickers in a twist over who should now be crowned Poet Laureate. It's a battle between the conservative establishment view that a Real Poet should be honored and those who think a "poet of the people" should win, because Real Poetry is too hard to understand (In other words, get outta here with your freakin' iambic pentameter). The poet-of-the-people faction is lobbying hard for Paul McCartney.
November 28, 1998 |
The death of Ted Hughes in October, as Seamus Heaney said at his funeral, has "rent the veil of English poetry. " The strongest British poet since World War II, he was best known in this country as the husband of Sylvia Plath, an American poet as gifted and as obsessed as he was. His leaving precipitated her suicide (an act she had rehearsed several times since her high school days), for which Hughes has been much criticized ever since. He kept silent, publishing Birthday Letters, a sequence of 88 poems, all but two addressed to her. Written over 25 years, they were published only this year, when he knew he was dying of cancer.