The response of one writer to the work of another can be doubly illuminating. In this series, a poet selects and introduces another poet whom they have particularly admired. Ted Hughes's classic selection of Sylvia Plath's poetry provides the perfect introduction to a major body of work in twentieth-century poetry.
Hughes draws upon the collections Ariel, The Colossus, Crossing the Water and Winter Trees, and from Sylvia Plath's Pulitzer Prize-winning Collected Poems.
Sylvia Plath (1932-1963) was born in Boston, Massachusetts, and studied at Smith College. In 1955 she went to Cambridge University on a Fulbright scholarship, where she met and later married Ted Hughes. She published one collection of poems in her lifetime, The Colossus (1960), and a novel, The Bell Jar (1963); Ariel was published posthumously in 1965. Her Collected Poems, which contains her poetry written from 1956 until her death, was published in 1981 and was awarded the Pulitzer Prize for poetry.