The Sylvia Plath Literary Festival will mark the 90th birthday of the legendary poet, and coincide with the publication of After Sylvia, an inspiring anthology of new poems and essays in celebration of her life and work. The weekend festival will feature talks, readings, workshops and events at venues across Hebden Bridge and Heptonstall.
Festival Director Sarah Corbett said: “We’re excited that the festival will bring together leading and emerging poets and writers from across the UK, Ireland and the US to celebrate Sylvia Plath’s legacy, her importance for 20th and 21st Century literary arts, and her continued influence on contemporary writers.”
Events will include a poetry brunch, a poetry séance and open mic night, writing workshops and close readings, cocktail hour at Nelson’s Wine Bar with Gail Crowther, author of Three Martini Afternoons at the Ritz: The Rebellion of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton, and will offer a range of digital and live-streamed events. Among speakers at the festival are Sylvia Plath biographer Heather Clark (Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath), poets Mona Arshi (winner of the Forward Poetry Prize 2015, for Small Hands), Victoria Kennefick (shortlisted for the Costa and T.S. Eliot poetry prizes for Eat and We Both Starve) and Rosie Garland (What Girls Do in the Dark).
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ANNOUNCEMENTS & UPDATES
- Waiting Lists: There will a waiting list policy for workshops and sold out events. Waiting lists will be available from Friday on the Festival Desk, please don’t email.
- Sylvia: Hebden Bridge Picture House will be showing ‘Sylvia’ on Saturday 22nd October at 7.45pm.
- New Event: ADAPTING PLATH with Saskia Black, director of the new adaptation of Plath’s ‘Three Women’ and other poems for BBC Radio 3, at The Heptonstall Museum, Sunday 23rd October 1pm – suggested donation £3 (goes to the museum fund). See Plath’s Glitter page for more info.
- Sarah Hesketh will be showing her art work in response to Plath, ‘My Little Flicker’, in the Town Hall Foyer throughout the festival. With an artist’s talk and reading in the Town Hall Foyer, Sunday 23rd October, 3.15 pm, free to drop in.
- Contemplation Space: Friends of Heptonstall Museum are creating a ‘contemplation space’ with comfy chairs, cups of tea, candles and poetry books, where you can take time out to reflect on Sylvia life and work, what she means to you. See Plath’s Glitter page for more information.
- The Golden Slipper Hunt: if you haven’t heard about it yet, you will soon! Student and local artist Amy Coaten is busy creating a pair of Golden Slippers inspired by Plath’s golden slippers worn at Court Green whilst writing her Ariel poems. Complete the clues to be in with a chance of winning! Free to enter. The first clue will be on the paper programme, available form the Festival Desk, Library and Bookcase from Friday 21st, and posted on Plath’s Glitter Page here.