Herman Landshoff (cover photograph): © Hermann Landshoff estate, Münchner Stadtmuseum/Photography collection. Published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence.
Sylvia Plath: © Estate of Sylvia Plath. No copying, republication or modification is allowed for material © The Plath Estate. For further use of this material please seek formal permission from the copyright holder.
Sarah Bolster: © Estate of Sarah (Bolster) Bobbitt. Published under a Creative Commons Non-Commercial Licence.
In 1953, when she was an undergraduate student at Smith College, Sylvia Plath won a competition to become a guest editor for the American magazine Mademoiselle, a publication advertised as ‘the magazine for smart young women’. Plath spent the month of June at the New York offices of Mademoiselle in Madison Avenue, an experience that she later fictionalised in The Bell Jar.
Mademoiselle published Plath’s poem ‘Mad Girl’s Love Song’ in their August 1953 issue, alongside the work of one of her fellow guest editors, Sarah Bolster. The issue also contained other pieces written by Plath during her time at the magazine, including an interview with Elizabeth Bowen.