Type Punch Matrix Offers Rare Sylvia Plath Manuscript
The poem, “Snowflake Star,” is written entirely in the poet’s hand.

"Snowflake Star" by Sylvia Plath

Image of the poem "Snowflake Star" handwritten by a 14-year-old Sylvia Plath.

In its latest catalogue, Washington D.C.-based rare book firm Type Punch Matrix offers more than 70 historic books and documents from the 16th to the 21st century — including an incredibly rare manuscript poem by a teenage Sylvia Plath.

The poem, “Snowflake Star,” is written entirely in the poet’s hand. According to TPM co-founder Rebecca Romney, that makes it very unusual in the marketplace: “While typescripts of her poems do appear from time to time, practically all of her handwritten drafts remained with Plath’s papers, which now reside almost entirely in institutions.” And while the poem was written when the poet was just 14, Romney explains, “It is one of a small number of early poems in which Plath first began experimenting with images that would come to define her most famous work. We were excited to offer the poem when we first saw it because her voice was so clearly already present.”

Other important highlights from the catalogue include:

  • An original program for Muhammad Ali’s legendary rematch against Sonny Liston, signed as “Muhammad Ali” shortly before the bout, only a year after he took the name — and additionally signed by three other heavyweight champs present at Ali’s training camp: Joe Louis, Jim Braddock, and Jersey Joe Walcott.
  • A previously unrecorded printing of one of Martin Luther King’s most important speeches: his anti-war address at The Riverside Church, delivered exactly one year to the day before his assassination.
  • An original Yayoi Kusama’s poster advertising the 1965 installation of her first ever mirror room — hand-addressed by the artist in 1965 to the Museum of Modern Art.
  • An extravagant (and extravagantly purple) deluxe signed book from Prince, documenting the musician’s legendary 21-night 2007 residency at London’s O2 arena — with forty minutes of exclusive footage on the original included iPod.

These items and others from the catalogue will be featured in TPM’s booth (#326) at the upcoming Boston International Antiquarian Book Fair being held next week October 27th - 29th, 2023 at the Hynes Convention Center.

“We’re proud to help steward items such as these to the next generation of collectors,” said Brian Cassidy, Type Punch Matrix co-founder. “Book collecting is a conscious project to discover, preserve, and learn,” Cassidy said. “It informs our modern thinking with the successes and failures of history, with stories that remind us why we work, why we want to create, and how we want to live.”

Link to the catalogue (PDF): 


About the company:

Type Punch Matrix is a rare book founded by Rebecca Romney and Brian Cassidy. Romney (a “cockeyed optimist of bibliophilia” according to Variety) is the rare book expert on the HISTORY Channel’s show Pawn Stars and author of the book Printer’s Error. Cassidy (described by the Village Voice as “an enthusiastic, soulful young dealer”) is a specialist in the Beats, counterculture, 20th-century avant-garde and outsider works, and is an authority on modern duplicating technologies. The New York Times has praised TPM for its “edgy stock that pushes the boundaries of the rare books category.” The company offers an eclectic mix of landmark books alongside quirky, off-beat material: everything from classic first editions of Jane Austen, Edgar Allen Poe, and Walt Whitman; to original Patti Smith flyers once stapled to telephone poles, and the first book (1881) to describe the Venn diagram.

Contact Information:
Rebecca Romney
[email protected]
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Original Source: Type Punch Matrix Offers Rare Sylvia Plath Manuscript