Sylvia Plath


Other People’s Poetry (OPP) Presents
The Poetry of Sylvia Plath
Ariel [The Restored Edition, Plus]

Sunday, November 13 2016
Deep Vellum Books
3000 Commerce Street
Dallas, TX 75226

About Sylvia Plath and Ariel | Poems & Readers | About the Readers | About OPP

Sylvia Plath (1932 – 1963)

Few American authors continue to exert as much readerly fascination and writerly influence as Sylvia Plath. While her poetry is most often discussed in terms of the “Confessionalism” associated with fellow New Englanders Robert Lowell and Anne Sexton, Plath’s greatest work defies easy classification. Raw emotion rubs up against startling, sometimes surreal imagery and painstakingly calibrated rhetorical flourishes. Ariel was only Plath’s second collection and the last she composed before her suicide in early 1963. In its original incarnation, Ariel was the first of several posthumous publications assembled and edited by Plath’s husband, the poet Ted Hughes, a man from whom she had been estranged since September of 1962. While many readers may consider themselves to be on intimate terms with that 1965 edition, it did not reflect Plath’s own vision for the book. In fact, more than one critic has complained that Hughes bowdlerized Plath’s original manuscript, excising several poems that exposed their marital troubles and otherwise making editorial choices to protect his own personal reputation. Nearly 40 years later, Plath’s daughter Frieda Hughes (herself a poet, as well as a painter) oversaw the publication of a “restored” edition of Ariel which, for the first time, gave a general readership access to the book as Plath intended. Whatever the merits of either edition—and this is still a subject of some debate—Ariel finds Plath, despite her desperate personal circumstances, writing from a place of real artistic strength. In Plath’s own words, Ariel is a product of her having achieved a willingness “to be true to my own weirdnesses.” Ariel is by turns oblique, fearless, sardonic, profane, desolate and transcendent. Perhaps most importantly, Ariel is also unmistakably the work of a woman, one making meaning at the very limits of her experience.

Sylvia Plath, Ariel. Faber and Faber, 1965; Harper Perennial, 2005. See also: The Collected Poems. Harper Perennial, 2008.

Poems & Readers

Ariel (1963)

Morning Song (Caitlin Pryor)
The Couriers (Gayle Reaves-King)
The Rabbit Catcher (Eileen Simeonov)
Thalidomide (Lauren Belmore)
The Applicant (Kenny Martin)
Barren Woman (Michael Puttonen)
Lady Lazarus (R. Flowers Rivera)
Tulips (Lyndsay Taylor Knecht)
A Secret (Tamitha Curiel)
The Jailor (James Barrett Rodehaver [Bear])
Cut (Sebastián Hasani Páramo)
Elm (Stephanie Amsel)
The Night Dances (Thea Temple)
The Detective (Darius Ajai Frasure)
Ariel (Caitlin Pryor)
Death & Co. (V. P. Crowe)
Magi (Amanda Huynh)
Lesbos (Christopher Stephen Soden)
The Other (Ginni Beam)
Stopped Dead (James Barrett Rodehaver [Bear])
Poppies In October (Danielle Sellers)
The Courage of Shutting-Up (Gayle Reaves-King)
Nick and the Candlestick (Darius Ajai Frasure)
Berck-Plage (Tamitha Curiel / Gayle Reaves-King / Sebastián Hasani Páramo / R. Flowers Rivera / Caitlin Pryor / V. P. Crowe / Ginni Beam)
Gulliver (Kenny Martin)
Getting There (Eileen Simeonov)
Medusa (Lauren Belmore)
Purdah (Sebastián Hasani Páramo)
The Moon and the Yew Tree (Thea Temple)
A Birthday Present (Michael Puttonen)
Letter in November (Amanda Huynh)
Amnesiac (Christopher Stephen Soden)
The Rival (Lyndsay Taylor Knecht)
Daddy (R. Flowers Rivera)
You’re (Danielle Sellers)
Fever 103º (Darius Ajai Frasure)
The Bee Meeting (Stephanie Amsel)
The Arrival of the Bee Box (Michael Puttonen)
Stings (Gayle Reaves-King)
Wintering (Kenny Martin)

Ariel (1965)
(Poems inserted by Ted Hughes)

Sheep In Fog (Christopher Stephen Soden)
Mary’s Song (Thea Temple)
The Swarm (Caitlin Pryor)
The Hanging Man (Lauren Belmore)
Little Fugue (Sebastián Hasani Páramo)
Years (V. P. Crowe)
The Munich Mannequins (Amanda Huynh)
Totem (James Barrett Rodehaver [Bear])
Paralytic (Lyndsay Taylor Knecht)
Balloons (Ginni Beam)
Poppies In July (Danielle Sellers)
Kindness (Stephanie Amsel)
Contusion (R. Flowers Rivera)
Edge (Eileen Simeonov)
Words (Tamitha Curiel)

About the Readers

Stephanie Amsel, a teacher and poet, teaches writing classes at Southern Methodist University. She has taught in public and private schools in Italy, New York, and Texas. She has an MA and PhD in English Literature from the University of Texas at San Antonio and specializes in English and Italian medieval literature. Her poems have appeared in Fog City Review, Sagebrush Review, and Ilya’s Honey. She has received several awards for poetry and short fiction, including a Wendy Barker Poetry Award and a Dallas Poets Community Award.

Ginni Beam is finally graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas, where she received the Bryce and Jonelle Jordan Scholarship for Creative and Performing Arts, with a BA in Arts & Performance (Creative Writing concentration). Her poetry has appeared regularly on her grandmother’s refrigerator.

Lauren Belmore is a mysterious queer living in Dallas, TX. Their work has been seen and heard at the Nasher Sculpture Center, Dallas Contemporary Theater, Deep Vellum Books, and Lucky Dog Books, among other places. They have been published in Alien Mouth Quarterly and in work by Anklebiters Press. In their spare time, they enjoy listening to The Smiths and staring at the ceiling.

V. P. Crowe has been puttering around the Dallas poetry scene off and on since it was pretty much confined to one wee strip of Elm Street. Her work has appeared in Illya’s Honey, the Red River Review, Electron Press, the Texas Poetry Calendar, and an anthology or three. She lives in the suburbs with a mad scientist and a houseful of fur.

Tamitha Curiel’s work has appeared in the White Rock Zine Machine, the Inverse/Looped sound installation at The Nasher Sculpture Center, Mad Swirl, and is forthcoming in Winter Tangerine and Pink Drum. She performs spoken word with her husband in the experimental jazz band, Swirve. She is an IB Film Instructor and leads programs for The Writer’s Garret. She is also mom to three amazing adult children, Chaz, Caleb and Chloe.

Darius Ajai Frasure is an award-winning educator who is deeply involved in the literary arts and education community in the Dallas-Fort Worth area. His poems have appeared in literary journals, which include The Manila Envelope, The Lion’s Roar, Illya’s Honey, Red River Review, and the Dallas Poets Community anthology Cattlemen & Cadillacs.

Amanda Huynh is a Chicana poet living in Virginia where she attends the MFA Creative Writing Program at Old Dominion University. She was a finalist for the 2015 Gloria Anzaldúa Poetry Prize, and winner of a 2016 AWP Intro Journal Project Award.

Lyndsay Taylor Knecht is a writer and audio-storymaker. She performed her poetry for the first time as meira in May for the Dark Moon Poetry and Arts series. Her account of the day a crane fell on the Dallas Museum of Art is forthcoming on the Pink Drum compilation.

Kenny Martin is a junior at SMU, where he studies music and English with a creative writing specialization. He is editor of Hilltopics, the honors program hybrid magazine, and won SMU’s 2016 David R. Russell award for poetry and the Margaret Terry Crooks award for best all-round Creative Writing student.

Joe Milazzo is the founder and artistic director of Other People’s Poetry (OPP). He is the author of the novel Crepuscule W/ Nellie and The Habiliments, a volume of poetry. You can learn more about his activities—literary as well as extra-literary—by visiting

Sebastián Hasani Páramo’s work has appeared in Pleiades, Front Porch Journal, & elsewhere. He edits The Boiler Journal and lives in Denton, Texas, where he is a teaching fellow in the doctoral program at the University of North Texas. He co-curates The Pegasus Reading Series in Dallas.

Caitlin Pryor’s work has appeared or is forthcoming in Pleiades, Entropy, Gulf Coast, Poet Lore, Boxcar Poetry Review, The Mississippi Review, and elsewhere. She holds degrees from The University of Michigan, The New School, and The University of North Texas, where she is currently a lecturer in the Department of English. She writes for the Dallas Observer, American Microreviews and Interviews, and other outlets. She lives in Denton, TX.

Michael Puttonen was born in Wisconsin and moved to the Dallas area when he was one-year-old. He attended Austin College, Eastfield College, Texas Tech, and UT Arlington, and makes his living as a graphic designer. You can read some of his poetry courtesy of Lisa Huffaker’s White Rock Zine Machine project.

Gayle Reaves-King is a Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist based in Fort Worth. In addition to freelance reporting and editing, she teaches journalism at the University of North Texas and is working with co-authors on a nonfiction book called Dividing the Baby. Her poetry chapbook Spectral Analysis was published in 2015 by the Dallas Poets Community. Her recent freelance work has appeared in the Texas Observer and American Way magazines. She teaches journalism at the University of North Texas, is a former national president of the Journalism and Women Symposium and part of the brain trust at the Pandora’s Box Poetry Showcase in Dallas.

R. Flowers Rivera is the recipient of the 2016 Mississippi Institute of Arts and Letters poetry award for her second collection, Heathen (Lotus Press). Her debut collection of poetry, Troubling Accents (Xavier Review Press, 2013), was selected by the Texas Association of Authors as its 2014 Poetry Book of the Year. A Mississippi native, Rivera teaches creative writing and poetry at the University of Texas at Dallas. Visit her online at

James Barrett Rodehaver, also known as Bear the Poet, is a happily married 33-year old bisexual poet, editor, and author living with his husband in Dallas, Texas. A native of Alabama, James has written poetry since he was seven years old, and it keeps him alive during the hard times. He’s the author of a book of poetry called Strangely Wonderful, and the co-creator and editor of Not Dead Yet: An Anthology of Survivor Poetry, both published by Penhall Publishing.

Danielle Sellers’ poems have appeared in Prairie Schooner, Subtropics, Smartish Pace, The Cimarron Review, Poet Lore, and elsewhere. Her first book, Bone Key Elegies, was published by Main Street Rag in 2009. Her second collection, The Minor Territories, is forthcoming from Sundress Publications in 2018. She teaches at Trinity Valley School in Fort Worth, TX.

Eileen Simeonov is a fine artist and an accidental poet. She loves the spoken word performance venue, has been published by and is a member of Mad Swirl poetry group, and considers herself a Pandora’s Box groupie. You can often hear her saying, “I don’t know how it happened but a good poem just fell out of me.”

Christopher Stephen Soden is the author of the poetry collection Closer (Rebel Satori Press). He also writes plays, performance pieces, and literary, film and theatre critique. He currently writes theatre critique for The Examiner, Pegasus News and A + C DFW. You can find more of his work in the pages of Assaracus, Poetic Voices Without Borders, The Texas Observer, Sentence, Borderlands, and Cafe Review, among other publications. Find him online at

Thea Temple is the Executive Director of The Writer’s Garret, a literary center serving readers and writers across North Central Texas which she co-founded with her late husband, poet Jack Myers. Learn more about The Writer’s Garret by visiting

About OPP

Other People’s Poetry (OPP) is a new repertory poetry reading series. One poet, one book of great poetry per event.

OPP’s mission: To develop an audience for poetry. To provide opportunities for audiences to interact with poetry that has otherwise fallen out of the oral tradition (because the originating poets are no longer alive to present the work themselves). To broaden notions of canon. To recognize the important work done by our poetic predecessors. To increase the diversity of literary programming in DFW (Dallas-Fort Worth), in part, by creating more opportunities for DFW’s discrete poetic communities to intersect and collaborate.


Special thanks to Will Evans, Anne Hollander, Tanya Wardell and Deep Vellum Books for sponsoring this event.