Five Views of Ted Hughes

Hughes has been much in the media of late, with a recent sequence of BBC Radio 3’s The Essay dedicated to ‘Five Views of Ted Hughes’.

These broadcasts (available on the BBC website throughout the world) feature five contemporary poets exploring five aspects of Hughes’s work, beginning with current Oxford Professor of Poetry (and long-time friend to the Society) talking on ‘Hughes and Tenderness’.

To hear these essays in full, visit the BBC website or else subscribe to the podcast version of The Essay, available throughout the world.

New Ted Hughes Letters at the British Library

The British Library recently acquired the correspondence from Ted Hughes to Elizabeth Hicklin (nee Grattidge), a girlfriend of Hughes’s at Cambridge, prior to his meeting with Sylvia Plath.

To announce the opening of this important addition to the Hughes archive at the British Library, Hughes scholar and Society member Di Beddow has written a brilliant account of the background to the acquisition, Hughes’s relationship with Hicklin and the exciting avenues these letters promise to open in the study of Hughes’s earliest work.

For those who have yet to explore the substantial (and publicly available) Hughes resources available at the BL, their ‘Ted Hughes: Discovering Literature’ page is a great place to start.

Ted Hughes and Shakespeare

In July 2018 Robert McCrum delivered the Ted Hughes Memorial lecture as part of the Ways with Words Festival of Words and Ideas at Dartington Hall.

For those who weren’t lucky enough to hear this lecture in person, there is now an essay version available on the Guardian website.

 
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This is a lucid and helpful charting of the many complex pathways through Hughes’s Shakespearean labyrinth, and would make a great starting point for anyone contemplating starting in on Hughes’s longest work, Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being.

Ted Hughes's Translations - A Modern Poetry in Translation Event

One of the most important of Ted Hughes’s many contributions to the life of poetry beyond his own writing was his co-founding of the journal Modern Poetry in Translation. To mark the twentieth anniversary of his death, MPT are now hosting an evening dedicated to Hughes’s own translation work.

 
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A combination of readings of Hughes’s translations, discussion and the chance to hear new poetry written in response to these works, the event is taking place at The Other Palace on 10th October 2018.

Admission is free, but booking is essential. For more information and to book tickets please visit the event’s website.

The Iron Woman - Musical Stage Adaptation

Some exciting news has come out via Faber and Faber about a new musical adaptation of Ted Hughes’s The Iron Woman, to be staged in a workshop production 12th-13th October 2018 at The Other Palace, Victoria, London.

 
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Adapted from Hughes’s children’s book by Mike Kenny, with songs by Pippa Cleary and directed by Luke Sheppard, the production will be a unique chance to see this environmental fable brought to life, twenty five years after its first publication.

For more information and to book tickets for the performances, please visit The Other Palace website.

And here is Faber’s press release for the event.

Sylvia Plath: Inside The Bell Jar - BBC Documentary

For those who may have missed it, BBC 2 recently screened a profound and thoughtful documentary on Sylvia Plath's novel, The Bell Jar. The film, Sylvia Plath: Inside the Bell Jar featured interviews with many of Plath's friends and contemporaries, and the first televised interview with Frieda Hughes on the subject of her mother. 

The documentary is available within the United Kingdom via the BBC's iPlayer service until 10th September 2018.

Peter K. Steinberg has written an interesting post on some of the background to the film (and offers a few interesting quibbles) over on his Sylvia Plath Info Blog.

Link: Ted Hughes Trunk and Scrapbook at Emory

The Sylvia Plath Info Blog maintained by Peter K. Steinberg (the renowned Plath scholar and co-editor of the recent magisterial edition of The Letters of Sylvia Plath) has long been a source of invaluable information for those interested in either Plath or Ted Hughes's works.

Two recent posts are particularly worth checking out for those interested in Hughes.

Ted Hughes Scrapbook at Emory - in which Peter provides a detailed account of the publication scrapbook for Hughes started and compiled by Sylvia Plath.

Ted Hughes's Trunk at Emory - which reveals that some of the contents of the trunk of sealed materials included in Hughes's sale of his archive to Emory University were incorporated into his publicly-available archive there in 2003.

Ted Hughes in Context

This month has seen the publication of what promises to be a milestone in Ted Hughes scholarship, Ted Hughes in Context

 
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This volume in Cambridge University Press's prestigious 'In Context' series has been edited by the Chair of the Ted Hughes Society, Professor Terry Gifford, and brings together both established and new voices in Hughes studies to present thirty-six essays addressing a wide range of perspectives on Hughes's works and his social, literary, historical and cultural engagements.

For more information on this important new book, and for the chance to purchase it from CUP, please click here

Lorraine Kerslake - The Voice of Nature in Ted Hughes's Writing for Children

The Society is delighted to draw attention to a recent publication by one of our members, Dr Lorraine Kerslake of the University of Alicante.

 
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Her book The Voice of Nature in Ted Hughes's Writing for Children: Correcting Nature's Error was published by Routledge this year and breaks new ground in exploring Hughes's writing for children from an ecocritical perspective. For more information and to purchase this book from the publisher please click here.

New Issue of the Ted Hughes Society Journal

The Ted Hughes Society is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of The Ted Hughes Society Journal.

 
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This issue was guest-edited by James Underwood of the Ted Hughes Network and continues the publication of the wealth of scholarship showcased at the Huddersfield Symposium last year, including essays on Hughes and landscape, his relation to anthropology and the reception of Hughes's work by writers as diverse as William Golding and Nick Cave.

This issue of the Ted Hughes Society Journal is open-access and can be found here.

International Ted Hughes Conference - Registration Open

Registration is now open for 'Poetry in the Making': The 8th International Ted Hughes Conference, to be hosted by Cardiff University at Gregynog Hall, 28th-30th August 2018.

The International Ted Hughes Conference is a wonderful opportunity to meet Hughes readers from all over the world, and hear a range of papers from the forefront of the flourishing field of Hughes studies. There is also a strong tradition of poetic presence at the conference, and this year will include a reading from former National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke.

Full details of how to register can be found on the conference website.

We look forward to seeing everyone at Gregynog Hall in August!

Ted Hughes Memorial Lecture, 7th July 2018

The bi-annual Ted Hughes Memorial Lecture will be given this year by the former editor-in-chief of Faber & Faber, Robert McCrum at the Ways with Words Festival of Words and Ideas taking place at Dartington Hall on 7th July 2018.

Robert McCrum will be drawing on his own memories of working with Hughes as well as his sustained reading of the poet's work to explore Hughes's fascination with William Shakespeare, and to offer a reappraisal of Hughes's prose work.

For more information about the lecture and about the full ten-day programme of the festival, please check out the website.

International Ted Hughes Conference - CfP Deadline Changed

Due to the disruption caused by the recent industrial action in the UK university sector, the organisers of 'Poetry in the Making' the 8th International Ted Hughes Conference, have extended the deadline for paper proposals to 30th April 2018. So for anyone who was sitting on the fence, there's now more time to get a proposal together and join what is sure to be a marvellous few days discussion of Hughes.

Check out the conference website for full details.

International Ted Hughes Conference - Call for Papers Reminder

This is just a quick reminder for those who might be planning on submitting a proposal to deliver a paper at 'Poetry in the Making': the 8th International Ted Hughes Conference, at Cardiff University, 28th-30th August 2018.

The deadline for the CfP is 31st March 2018, now only two weeks away.

Topics which papers could explore (but need not be limited to) include:

The literary afterlives of Hughes

Birthday Letters 20 years on

Dialogues with Hughes: literary friendships

Hughes and folklore

Hughes and medievalism

Hughes’s bestiary

Hughes’s prose

Hughes and tradition

Hughes and farming

Hughes’s writing for children

Hughes and place

Hughes’s manuscripts

Hughes and fishing

Hughes and Cambridge

Hughes and the Romantics

Hughes and translation

Hughes and visual culture

Hughes and Plath

Hughes and the environment

Hughes’s laureateship

For more details please see the conference website.

8th International Ted Hughes Conference - Call for Papers

'Poetry in the Making', the 8th International Ted Hughes Conference, to be hosted at Cardiff University, 28th-30th August 2018, has issued a Call for Papers.

The International Ted Hughes Conference is the major event within Hughes Studies and the Society would warmly encourage any of its members or readers of its Journal to consider submitting a proposal to join in what will be sure to be a friendly, stimulating and robust event.

For full details of the conference, including plenary speakers please see the conference website.

The CfP closes on 31st March 2018.

Congratulations to Lord Melvyn Bragg and Sir Michael Morpurgo

The Ted Hughes Society would like to extend its warm congratulations to two of the Society's patrons who received honours in the New Year's List.

Lord Melvyn Bragg of Wigton was named to the Order of Companions of Honour, for services to Broadcasting and the Arts.

Sir Michael Morpurgo was named to the Order of the Knights Bachelor, the services to literature and charity.

For full details of the awards please see the full honours list

Yvonne Reddick - Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet

The Society is delighted to announce the publication of a new book on Hughes by one of our members, Yvonne Reddick of the University of Central Lancashire: Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet

 
 

Drawing on cutting-edge research in ecocriticism and environmental poetics, Yvonne's book is an important new contribution not only to Hughes studies but to environmental studies more widely.

For more information and to purchase the book from its publisher, Palgrave MacMillan, please click here.