The Unabridged Journals of Sylvia Plath –


Goodreads Synopsis: A major literary event–the complete, uncensored journals of Sylvia Plath, published in their entirety for the first time.

Sylvia Plath’s journals were originally published in 1982 in a heavily abridged version authorized by Plath’s husband, Ted Hughes. This new edition is an exact and complete transcription of the diaries Plath kept during the last twelve years of her life. Sixty percent of the book is material that has never before been made public, more fully revealing the intensity of the poet’s personal and literary struggles, and providing fresh insight into both her frequent desperation and the bravery with which she faced down her demons. The complete Journals of Sylvia Plath is essential reading for all who have been moved and fascinated by Plath’s life and work.

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“I love people too much or not at all.”

Wow, this was quite a book to get through.

At 732 pages, the Journals of Syliva Plath take you into the mind of a genius, a woman, and a poet. I was so moved to be able to read her journals, though at times it did feel a little strange to reading something so personal.

So many people have different opinions on Sylvia Plath, some people think she’s brilliant, other’s immature, etc etc.  Me, I just found myself reading about the life of a woman struggling to find her place in the world. To me, it was really hopeful, reading her diaries. Reading the honesty, the depression, the ups and downs that come with trying to be a published writer. The honesty about her marriage, the ups and downs that come with that.  The journals made Plath a real person to me.  She’s not just the best woman poet of the century, she’s not some mythical creature.  She was a woman who loved to write, who loved people, who loved places. She was real.

There’s so much controversy around Plath’s death, and I doubt anything I say could add to this discussion.  So I feel it’s best that I don’t say much, only that in becoming real to me, her death also became real.  Reading her journals made me feel more for her.

The Journals of Sylvia Plath were very inspiring to me.  The encouraged me not to give up on my writing. They encouraged me in my own relationship with a fellow writer. Life gets hard sometimes, of this Plath never hides from, and neither should I.

I gave this book 4.5 stars on Goodreads.


Ariel and Other Poems – By Sylvia Plath


Goodreads Synopsis: Upon the publication of her posthumous volume of poetry, Ariel, in the mid-1960s, Sylvia Plath became a household name. Readers may be surprised to learn that the draft of Ariel left behind by Sylvia Plath when she died in 1963 is different from the volume of poetry eventually published to worldwide acclaim.

This facsimile edition restores, for the first time, the selection and arrangement of the poems as Sylvia Plath left them at the point of her death. In addition to the facsimile pages of Sylvia Plath’s manuscript, this edition also includes in facsimile the complete working drafts of the title poem, “Ariel,” in order to offer a sense of Plath’s creative process, as well as notes the author made for the BBC about some of the manuscript’s poems.

In her insightful foreword to this volume, Frieda Hughes, Sylvia Plath’s daughter, explains the reasons for the differences between the previously published edition of Ariel as edited by her father, Ted Hughes, and her mother’s original version published here. With this publication, Sylvia Plath’s legacy and vision will be re-evaluated in the light of her original working draft.

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“Out of ash/I rise with my red hair/And I eat men like air.”

I loved this collection of poems from Plath.  This is one of those books I read, put down and then longed to have a copy for my library.  I get most of my books from the local library, which is fantastic, but sometimes you just have to own a book!

Ariel is the sort of collection that I wish I could put together someday. Magical, lyrical, speaking truth into my life and hopefully into others as well.  Ariel is everything you could ever want from a poetry book. Plath’s writing will never not be relevant.

I also loved the forward to the book, which was written by Plath’s daughter, Frieda Hughes.  It’s very insightful into the life of Sylvia Plath, her husband Ted and the children she left behind.

Ariel was an instant five star read for me and I highly recommend it.

sylvia plath, submissions & camp updates

Note: This is an update from my Patreon, it’s a few days old but I liked it so I thought I’d republish it here. 

Last night I finished reading the Journals of Sylvia Plath. It was a long read and at times hard, but it was also very interesting because I found myself relating to her so much. It was like looking into a mirror. Like Plath I’m also married to a writer, like her I have depression and anxiety, I write poetry and want to be known as a writer. I loved reading her honesty, it was somehow comforting to know that even a well known writer like Plath could get writer’s block and fall into depression after rejections came in. I loved her life and vitality, I loved her love of people. It was such a great experience to read her journals, I recommend it to you all.

Because I was reading about Sylvia Plath I was inspired to write a few poems this week, and I even sent two into a magazine. Fingers crossed! I hope that at least one of them gets in. It’s been awhile since I’ve sent poetry out, but I have hope that my writing is getting better.

Camp NaNo is now in it’s 5th day.  This weekend has been crazy. I had no time to write, save a few hundred here and there. It was kind of depressing, but at the same time I was too busy to be bemoan it too much. I am now at 18k, and I have high hopes that I’ll make it to 20 before the week is done.