A self-confessed 'Plath and Hughes' addict, Crystal Hurdle began her fascination with Great Britain's Poet Laureate Ted Hughes, who died in 1998, and his wife and fellow poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide (by gas) in the year she published her autobiographical novel The Bell Jar, in 1963, after hearing Ted Hughes read his poetry in Vancouver in 1993. The Collected Poems of Sylvia Plath, edited by Ted Hughes, had won the Pulitzer Prize in 1982. Hughes was accorded the post of Britain's Poet Laureate in 1984. Following two trips to England to research the couple, Hurdle's collection of poems called After Ted and Sylvia (Ronsdale 2003) 'forms a ménage a trois with the two poets' to explore their love-torn relationship. The final section from Purgatory features Plath's fury upon reading Ted Hughes' poems from a prize winning collection called Birthday Letters that appeared in the year of his death. Hurdle read a number of her Plath/Hughes poems at the international Plath Symposium at the University of Indiana in the fall of 2002. Crystal Hurdle was born in Zwiebrucken, Germany in 1958 and grew up in Ottawa, Ontario and Victoria, British Columbia, where she obtained a BA and MA in English. Since 1985 she has been teaching Creative Writing and English Literature and Composition at Capilano College in North Vancouver. Her poetry has been published in Canadian journals, including Canadian Literature, The Dalhousie Review and The Capilano Review, a publication for which she has served as fiction editor. She lives in North Vancouver.

[BCBW 2003] "Poetry"