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Spotlight Sylvia Plath

Who Was She?

Sylvia Plath was a poet and novelist from the United States. Plath met and married Ted Hughes, a British poet, but the two later divorced. Plath ended her life in 1963, but her work The Bell Jar and poetry collections The Colossus and Ariel earned her acclaim after her death. Plath was the first person to receive a Pulitzer Prize after her death, in 1982.

Plath was born in Boston, Massachusetts, on October 27, 1932. Plath was a skilled and tormented poet whose work was noted for its confessional nature. Her passion for writing began at a young age, and she began by keeping a notebook. Plath was awarded a scholarship to Smith College in 1950 after releasing a number of works.

Plath worked as a guest editor for Mademoiselle magazine in New York City during the summer of 1953 while still a student. Plath attempted suicide shortly after by taking sleeping tablets. She eventually made a full recovery after receiving therapy in a mental health center. Plath returned to Smith in 1955 to complete her degree.

Plath sank into a profound despair after Hughes left her for another woman in 1962. She struggled with her mental illness and authored The Bell Jar (1963), her only novel, which is based on her life and follows the mental breakdown of a young lady. The work was published under the alias Victoria Lucas by Plath. She also wrote the poetry for the Ariel (1965) collection, which was published after her death. On February 11, 1963, Plath committed suicide.


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