Famous Alumni: Sylvia Plath, poet


American poet and author Sylvia Plath attended three different summer camps in the 1940s: Camp Weetamoe in Center Ossipee, N.H., Camp Helen Storrow in Plymouth, MA, and the Vineyard Sailing Camp at Oak Bluffs, Martha’s Vineyard, according to a paper written by Peter K. Steinberg, who maintains the website SylviaPlath.info.

Steinberg’s paper details Plath’s experiences at Camp Helen Storrow, which is no longer operating but still has many remnants of the camp on the property Steinberg visited during his research. Through letters home preserved in an archive at Indiana University and her poetry, which includes the poem “Camp Helen Storrow,” Steinberg details some of the experiences the young writer had at the camp.

For example, he writes that she was unanimously selected by her cabin to sing the Frank Sinatra song “Prisoner of Love” but ended up having to lip-sync it because she had come down with a cold and also played the umpire in a performance of “Casey at the Bat.”

Plath committed suicide in 1963 at age 30 in London, but was awarded a Pulitzer Prize posthumously for The Collected Poems. She is perhaps best known for her semi-autobiographical novel The Bell Jar.

Matt Ralph

Matt Ralph

I'm the editor of Summer Camp Culture and also blog at Tangzine.com and MatthewRalph.com. I live in the Philadelphia area and went to camps and camp meetings growing up in Ohio, Maryland and New Jersey.

Leave a Response