OCTOBER LITERARY BIRTHDAYS

(Complete list of October authors here.)

Featured Authors

Dylan Marlais Thomas, Welsh poet, Oct. 27, 1914 - Nov. 9, 1953

Born in Swansea, Wales, and considered one of the best English-speaking poets of the 20th-century, Thomas worked as a journalist and a book reviewer until he established his reputation as a poet in the 1930s. He was a heavy drinker and a wonderful poetry reader.

Works include18 Poems (1934), Twenty-five Poems (1936), The Map of Love (1939; poems and short stories), The World I Breathe (1939), Portrait of the Artist as a Young Dog (1940; autobiographical sketches), New Poems (1942), Deaths and Entrances (1946), In Country Sleep (1952), Collected Poems (1953), and the play Under Milkwood.

The Dylan Thomas Home Page, managed by the Dylan Thomas Centre, has biography, works, a life chronology, more. The Life and Work of Dylan Thomas, at Undermilkwood.Net, offers biography, bibliography, poems, prose, quotes.

Sylvia Plath, American poet, Oct. 27, 1932 - Feb. 11, 1963

Sylvia Plath was born and grew up in Massachusetts. She sold her first poem while in high school, graduated from Smith College in 1955, married Ted Hughes (who later was Britain's poet laureate for many years), and moved to England, where she published The Colossus (1960), her first book of poetry. The Bell Jar, an autobiographical novel, was written soon after this and published (1963) under a pseudonym.

Plath suffered from depression and a seeming need for perfection for most, if not all, of her life. While in college, she was hospitalised and given shock treatments; The Bell Jar parallels this period in her life. After she and Hughes moved to England, she began to write more furiously than before (and she had always been prolific) and with greater power and less restraint. She ended her life by gassing herself in her oven. Ariel was published after her death (1965), as were Crossing the Water (1971) and Winter Trees (1971).

Anja Beckmann's Sylvia Plath Page (Leipzig, Germany) has, or has links to, pretty much everything about Plath on line, and her Plath links page is well-organized and annotated. Modern American Poetry offers some of her poems, commentary on some poems, and an article titled 'Two Views of Plath's Life and Career.' Both Poetry Foundation and the Academy of American Poets offer extensive biographical info and links to her poems. A November 2018 New Yorker essay titled "Sylvia Plath's Last Letters" looks at Plath's last years in the context of "a series of candid letters to her close friend and former psychiatrist, Ruth Beuscher."  

Other October Birthdays