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 later husband Ted Hughes, we were once again offered a seemingly transparent door into her innermost thoughts.
With the publication of the second volume, documenting Plath and Hughes development into major influential contemporary writers, we are able to better understand the processes behind her work, and interrogate the question: what is public, what is private, what is life, and what is art?
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 these letters mean for the public’s relationship to the poet and whether we are able to think of them as an extension of her art.
With journalist Rachel Cooke, poet Mona Arshi and writer Gail Crowther.
In collaboration with Faber Members for Faber’s 90th anniversary.