‘I felt that I was coming home again’
After being one of the two national winners of Mademoiselle’s fiction contest ($500!) last August, I felt that I was coming home again when I won a guest editorship representing Smith & took a train to NYC for a salaried month working — hatted & heeled — in Mlle’s airconditioned Madison Ave. offices…Fantastic, fabulous, and all other inadequate adjectives go to describe the four gala and chaotic weeks I worked as guest managing Ed… living in luxury at the Barbizon, I edited, met celebrities, was feted and feasted by a galaxy of UN delegates, simultaneous interpreters & artists… an almost unbelievable merry-go-round month — this Smith Cinderella met idols: Vance Bourjaily, Paul Engle, Elizabeth Bowen — wrote article via correspondence with 5 handsome young male poet teachers (Alistair Reid, Anthony Hecht, Richard Wilbur, George Steiner, William Burford).
- Sylvia Plath’s scrapbook description of her month in New York City
Warm smile… energetic worker… Bumble Boogie piano special…Clever with chalk and paints… Weekends at Williams… Those fully packed sandwiches… Future writer… Those rejection slips from Seventeen… Oh, for a license.
- Sylvia Plath described in her high school yearbook, The Wellesleyan
Then I decided I would spend the summer writing a novel.
That would fix a lot of people.― Sylvia Plath, The Bell Jar
Grief and anger, exorcised,
Leave her alone now.
The future is a grey seagull
Tattling in its cat-voice of departure.
Age and terror, like nurses, attend her,
And a drowned man, complaining of the great cold,
Crawls up out of the sea.