Professor Neil Roberts, one of the leading scholars on Ted Hughes, will be giving a public lecture in Huddersfield on Thursday 9th March 2017. This lecture, delivered under the auspices of the University of Huddersfield's Ted Hughes Network, is titled 'Gaudete: the Shaman and the Poet'.
This will be a great opportunity to see an interpretation of one of Hughes's most powerful works, staged right in the heart of 'Hughes Country'.
For more details and for ticket bookings, see the LBT website: http://thelbt.org/Gaudete
The OBRA Theatre group will be bringing their production of Gaudete on tour in the UK in March 2017. This promises an opportunity to see one of Ted Hughes's most important works interpreted for the stage and will be of interest to all Hughes readers.
For more information on the production and for the full dates of the tour stops, check out OBRA's website.
We are pleased to announce that Michael Morpurgo OBE, FRSL, FKC, DL has agreed to become a Patron of the Ted Hughes Society.
Ted Hughes was a family friend and a great supporter of 'Farms for City Children' which Michael and his wife Clare established at Nethercott House, Devon, in 1976.
Michael writes: ‘I should be honoured to be a Patron of the Ted Hughes Society. He was a great friend, my chief mentor, and a huge influence on our lives. We miss his glow.’
We are delighted to announce that the first Patron of the Ted Hughes Society is Marina Warner DBE, FRSL, FBA. Ted Hughes thought that Marina’s review in the TLS of Shakespeare and the Goddess of Complete Being was perhaps the only one to understand what he had been about. He wrote to her, ‘I knew that our academic friends would leap into the role that I through Shakespeare have given them: Angelo’s, and that my book would appear to them as the stews of Vienna’.
At the 2016 dinner for Ted’s birthday, hosted by our partners the Elmet Trust, Marina said, ‘It was Ted Hughes’s deep receptivity and generosity to others – I was lucky but I was only one of numerous recipients – that stood out for me in the little time I knew him’.
We are grateful to Marina for her support for the work of the Ted Hughes Society and will be pleased to welcome her into our conversations and events.
With all apologies for the late notice... The Ted Hughes Network have issued a call for papers for their upcoming symposium: Ted Hughes & Place. This two-day event in June 2017 is looking like it will be a major intervention in Hughes scholarship, and anyone interested in submitting a proposal to speak at the event should check out their website now.
The deadline for proposals to be received is 31st December 2016.
Members of these organisations can now enjoy the full benefits of Society membership, including access to The Ted Hughes Society Journal where they can read the latest cutting-edge scholarship on Hughes's life and work.
If you are a member of any of these organisations, please get in touch with your contacts there and they will explain how to access the journal.
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.
The Society is pleased to announce the publication of the latest issue of The Ted Hughes Society Journal. The issue features a host of essays from last year's International Ted Hughes Conference, reviews and an editorial. The issue is available free of charge to all members of the Society, and can be accessed here.
If you aren't yet a member of the Society, then just click here, sign up and get reading...
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 Translation, a 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.
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.
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 Life: https://www.theguardian.com/books/2016/aug/24/gerald-hughes-obituary
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/
If you're going to be in or around Mexborough this summer, there's some exciting events taking place between the 18th and 26th June with the return of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival. Full details of the activities can be found on the Ted Hughes Project website (http://www.tedhughesproject.org/) but there'll be poetry readings, musical performances and talks about Hughes.
Over at the Elmet Trust, there's a new issue of their newsletter the Elmetian with lots of news and info which might be of interest particularly to Northern-English members of the Society. Check them out here: http://www.theelmettrust.org/
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 (email@example.com) 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.
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.
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.
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.
Over at the Elmet Trust, they've just issued the latest edition of their newsletter, The Elmetian. This would be well worth checking out for any reader of Hughes, particularly those interested in his roots in the Calder valley.