Sylvia Plath (October 27, 1932 - February 11, 1963) was an American poet, author, and essayist.
She showed early literary promise, publishing her first poem at the age of 8; her father, a college professor and noted authority on the subject of bees, died at around the same time.
In her junior year at Smith College, Plath made what was to be the first of several suicide attempts: this was later to be detailed in the autobiographical novel, The Bell Jar, published in 1963.
It is argued that she was affected by manic depression, and, notably, she was a resident of McLean Hospital.
She married the English poet Ted Hughes in 1956, and published her first collection of poetry, The Colossus, in England in 1960.
She and Ted Hughes settled for a while in a small village in Devon, but separated less than two years after the birth of their first child, and Plath returned to London with their two children, Frieda and Nicholas, in tow. The winter of 1962/1963 was one of the harshest in living memory. On February 11, 1963, ill, low on money, Sylvia Plath committed suicide in her kitchen by gas asphyxiation. She is buried in the churchyard at Heptonstall, West Yorkshire.
Collections of her poetry were published posthumously: these include the celebrated Ariel, published in 1965, and The Collected Poems (1981), which was awarded the Pulitzer Prize in Poetry in 1983.