The Poetry Foundation blog has a great article on Sylvia Plath artifacts by David Trinidad. This is just the kind of obsessive poet-worship I could get into, a combination of historic research and hours spent on Ebay searching for stuff no one else wants. Also a great window into the life of poets (albeit two extremely talented and successful poets) of the time; they paid for a car on poetry prize winnings! After Emily Dickinson, Sylvia Plath was my meat and bread. To be that powerful and controlled through words became my goal. If only she had lived longer and left us more. I love these words to her mother after receiving a book on tarot from Hughes for her birthday: “We celebrated my birthday yesterday: he gave me a lovely Tarot pack of cards and a dear rhyme with it, so after the obligations of this term are over your daughter shall start her way on the road to becoming a seeress & will also learn how to do horoscopes, a very difficult art which means reviving my elementary math.”
My debut collection Church of Needles which won the Red Mountain Poetry Prize and was published last month by Red Mountain Press is now available directly from me through my Etsy shop. The Diary of Esther Small 1886 is also available in the shop. So if you’d like a signed copy with a rambling note from me, you know where to get one!
Yes, those are pink streamers, garland and Christmas balls. There were sparkly lights too but I was distracted and didn’t get a photo of them. My book launch decor was a combination of barn dance, rustic wedding and maybe summer camp farewell party all thrown into one. But it was the audience of women who made the night for me. A group of the sweetest, smartest, craftiest and most enthusiastic listeners I’ve ever had the pleasure of reading to. This is not an exaggeration. My audience was stellar! To look out and see women listening and knitting (this was an artsy craftsy retreat after all) just seemed so fitting. Besides celebrating the publication of my debut poetry collection Church of Needles, I was also introducing the heartbreaking Diary of Esther Small. I read several poems from a series in the collection inspired by Esther’s diary and received a thoroughly thoughtful response and questions. I’m most grateful for the genuine kindness that flowed my way from this audience. It was palpable. Thank you ladies!