Sylvia Plath (1932–1963)

American poet and novelist. Born in Boston to an Austrian American mother and a German immigrant father who taught at Boston University, Plath was only eight years old when her first poem was published in the Boston Herald. While an undergraduate at Smith College, she won a coveted internship at Mademoiselle magazine in New York City, an experience she later recounted in her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar (1963), a harrowing chronicle of mental illness. Shortly after receiving her B.A. in English, Plath won a Fulbright Scholarship to study at Cambridge University, where she met her future husband, the poet Ted Hughes. In her short lifetime she published only one volume of poetry, The Colossus and Other Poems (1960); her second collection, Ariel (1963), came out shortly after her death by suicide and immediately secured her place among the greatest American poets of the twentieth century. See also