Juliet Stevenson reads from Sylvia Plath’s letters and poetry.
Blurring the lines between life and art, Sylvia Plath took her personal experiences and wove them into the very fabric of her poetry. But what does it mean to be an artist in the public eye?
When Plath’s first volume of letters were posthumously published in 2017, detailing private messages to family and friends, and to her future husband Ted Hughes, we got to once again engage with her refreshingly candid and witty voice, and trace her extraordinary literary development through her earlier years. Now we are offered a new insight into this great poet’s life through the publication of Volume II, containing her letters from the period of 1956 to her death in 1963. This volume documents Plath and Hughes’ development into major influential contemporary writers, as well as Plath’s rapidly changing life.
Join us as we explore how Plath’s extraordinary life, wrapped in the lines of her poetry, became such an engaging part of her legacy, and how this relationship with the public was navigated by Plath and Hughes. Through selected readings of Plath’s letters, and her poems, we ask what it meant for Plath to turn her life into art, hearing from topical experts on Plath, as well as contemporary poets who have been moved and inspired by her work.
This is a Poet in the City event in partnership with Faber Members for Faber’s 90 anniversary.