Ted Hughes and the Arvon Foundation

We've just added a new essay to our 'Ted Hughes: Life and Work' section: Ann Skea explores Hughes's unflagging support for the work of the Arvon Foundation, a residential creative writing programme which has been supporting writers, poets, musicians and artists for decades and is still a central part of the British literary landscape today.

For more of Ann's wonderful writing on Hughes and his work, make sure you check out her website: The Ted Hughes Homepage.

Modern Poetry in Translation No. 1

Alongside his own vast corpus of publications, one of Ted Hughes's most important contributions to poetry was his unflagging support for other poets and writers, and particularly his promotion of translated works. Together with his lifelong friend Daniel Weissbort, in 1965 Hughes founded Modern Poetry in Translationa magazine which would introduce the finest foreign-language poetry to an English-speaking audience, and which remains one of the most vital and important publications on the poetry scene today.

On the MPT website, those readers who want to get a sense of how it all got started can now access a brilliant micro-site exploring that very first issue of the magazine, edited by Hughes and Weissbort, and including the issue in full: Modern Poetry in Translation No. 1.

Happy Birthday Ted Hughes... from Cape Town

Yesterday (17th August) was the 86th anniversary of the birth of Ted Hughes, and news has reached the Society that one place the birthday was marked was the 'This Day in History' programme on Cape Town's local radio station, Cape Talk.

It's good to hear that Hughes's profile remains high in South Africa. And of course, as we were reminded by Claire Heaney at last year's International Ted Hughes Conference, Cape Town's own most famous literary son J.M. Coetzee is a significant reader of Hughes as well, exploring the poet's imaginative attitude towards animals in his works The Lives of Animals and Elizabeth Costello. All further testament to Hughes's standing as a poet of truly international importance... And thanks to Society member Pauline Friedman for drawing our attention to these African birthday wishes.

Gerald Hughes (1920-2016)

We at the society were saddened to hear the news of the death of Gerald Hughes, Ted Hughes's beloved elder brother, at the age of 95. Gerald's influence on Hughes and his work was truly formative, and his recent memoir of their relationship, Ted and I is essential reading.

For obituaries of Gerald Hughes please click here and/or visit this link: http://www.telegraph.co.uk/obituaries/2016/08/15/gerald-hughes-brother-of-ted--obituary/

EDIT: Another obituary of Gerald Hughes has been published in The Guardian, this time by Jonathan Bate, author of the recent Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Lifehttps://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/24/gerald-hughes-obituary

Ledbury Poetry Festival Podcasts

The Ledbury Poetry Festival took place between 30th June and 9th July 2016, and in amongst the many panels, readings and talks there were some of great interest to readers of Ted Hughes.

The Festival has now made a good number of these events available as recordings through their podcast, including a fascinating talk and reading from the poet and artist Frieda Hughes about her marvellous new collection Alternative Values.

You can hear Frieda's talk on episode 56 of the podcast here: http://www.poetry-festival.co.uk/podcast/56-frieda-hughes-alternative-values/

Jonathan Bate also gave a talk during the Festival on his recent controversial biography of Hughes, Ted Hughes: The Unauthorised Life. You can hear this event here: http://www.poetry-festival.co.uk/podcast/36-ted-hughes-the-unauthorised-life/

The Ted Hughes Network, University of Huddersfield

We're happy to draw attention to a new organisation which has been set up at the University of Huddersfield: The Ted Hughes Network.

The Ted Hughes Network will be based in the English and Creative Writing subject area in the School of Music, Humanities & Media. Its Director is Steve Ely (s.ely@hud.ac.uk) and Dr James Underwood is the Network’s Research Fellow.

The Ted Hughes Network intends to develop new approaches that will enhance Hughes studies, develop Hughes’s public profile and create more opportunities for academic and non-academic audiences to engage with Hughes’s work.   With that in mind the Ted Hughes Network will:

•           Develop teaching and research related to Hughes’s work at the University of Huddersfield

•           Host an annual Ted Hughes-based symposium at the University

•           Sponsor an annual Ted Hughes lecture at the University

•           Sponsor an annual International Visiting Fellowship at the University

•           Develop and digitise archival materials

•           Develop a range of public and outreach events arising from academic work — lectures, readings, performances, the development of a ‘Ted Hughes Trail’ and links with community groups and schools.

Seven Crows (no longer) a Secret

A real rarity has surfaced on Youtube... This is a short film made by John Forrest for the National Film Board of Canada in 1994 on the natural history of corvids, Seven Crows a Secret. This film, long since out of print, is well known - but rarely seen - amongst Hughes scholars for featuring not only a fascinating interview with the artist Leonard Baskin discussing his art works about crows, but also one of the very few existing pieces of footage of Ted Hughes, in which he reads from his Crow poems and discusses the mythic history of the crow.

You can find the original VHS packaging and a teacher's guide to the film at the National Film Board of Canada's website.

Many thanks to Ann Skea (http://ann.skea.com/THHome.htm) for finding this wonderful resource.

Ted Hughes Books for Sale

The Ted Hughes Society is pleased to announce a new benefit for its members - the chance to purchase rare, out-of-print, difficult to find and just plain useful books on Hughes from other members. The idea behind this new page on our website (which you can find under our 'Research' tab - or just click here) is to enable members to access important books on Hughes which would otherwise be difficult to obtain. International members are particularly welcome to make use of this service, as many of these books are not published or are usually available in all countries.

If you have books which you would like to offer for sale to other members of the Society, please get in touch with us and we'll be happy to list them. But please bear in mind that the purpose of this listing is to make resources available to researchers working on Hughes who might otherwise not be able to access these books, and so we hope all books will be offered at a price with that aim in mind.

Please note that all transactions will be organised by the individuals offering books for sale, and that the Ted Hughes Society accepts no responsibility for these private transactions.

 

Ted Hughes and the Todmorden Folk Festival

Hughes's work continues to be of great interest to performers in a range of art-forms, and the latest to take on his poetry is folk music. The Todmorden Folk Festival (15th-17th April 2016) will be featuring the world-premiere of Gareth Scott's commissioned piece 'This is from The Remains of Elmet'. A musician from the Calder valley, Gareth's songs will be responding to Hughes's verse, particularly his 1979 collection Remains of Elmet.

Further details of the performance and details about the Todmorden Folk Festival can be found here: http://todfolkfest.co.uk/content/remains-elmet-gareth-scott

New Perspectives Theatre Company - The Tiger's Bones and Other Stories

The New Perspectives Theatre Company are about to embark on a UK tour of their new production The Tiger's Bones and Other Stories: a performance bringing together three of Ted Hughes's plays for children. The tour is running from 20th February to 9th April 2016 and would be well worth checking out for any reader of Hughes, whatever their age. For more information see the New Perspectives website: The Tiger's Bones and Other Stories.

New Ted Hughes Society Journal Issue, Website and Subscription Renewal

The Ted Hughes Society is pleased to announce the publication of the new issue of The Ted Hughes Society Journal (Volume V. 1), which brings together a first collection of outstanding papers from our Sheffield conference, along with reviews of the new books on Hughes and Hughes-related topics recently published. The journal issue is available to Society members now (Volume V. 2 will be published later in 2016).

Along with the new issue of the Journal, we're also happy to launch our new, updated website. The site will feature regular updates and news on Hughes and his work, and will provide an invaluable resource for all readers of Hughes.

Finally, we're also making some small changes to our membership procedure and would like to invite members to renew their subscriptions, and welcome new members who are joining us for the first time. For more details please see the Join section of our website.

Ted Hughes Society Award Announced

The Ted Hughes Society and the Sheffield International Ted Hughes Conference Committee have pleasure in announcing that the winner of the £100 prize for the most outstanding conference paper is awarded to David Troupes (Sheffield University) whose paper, “Putting the Primitive in Primitive Methodism”, will be published in the forthcoming issue of Ted Hughes Society Journal.

Of David’s paper the judges said: ‘David Troupes contributes original research to his reading of familiar texts and combines this with an elegant argument, whilst correcting some confusions around discussions of Methodism and handling contradictory opinions in his sources with thoughtful clarity. This is a mature, original and well structured paper.’