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Celebrating the life and work of Ted Hughes


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Ted Hughes Festival 2018 (19th – 21st October)


The 2018 Ted Hughes Festival will commemorate the 20th anniversary of the death of the poet laureate Ted Hughes and the 50th anniversary of the publication of his book The Iron Man. There are six Festival events planned by the Elmet Trust.


Laura Carlin and The Iron Man

 Friday 19th October 2018 – 4pm – 5.30pm


Laura Carlin, illustrator of a recently published edition of The Iron Man, will talk about the process of creating her illustrations and their relationship to Hughes’ text. She will also announce the winners of a local children’s art competition. The event will take place at St. Michael’s Parish Hall in Mytholmroyd.


This is a FREE community event but booking is essential. Book through Eventbrite here.


Simon Armitage and Frieda Hughes

Friday 19th October 2018 – 7.30pm – 9pm


An evening of poetry readings by Simon Armitage, patron of the Elmet Trust, and Frieda Hughes at Hope Baptist Chapel in Hebden Bridge.


Frieda is the daughter of two of the most celebrated and finest poets of the twentieth century- Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, and she has a distinctive poetic voice all her own. She needs to have a strong original voice to be heard above the music of her parents’ poetry and she has her own music. She has published seven collections, 45, a poetic autobiography published in America, and has just published a selected poems Out of The Ashes for which she has chosen the poems herself. She has written books for children and is also a respected artist. She is the subject of one of Ted Hughes’ best known poems, Full Moon and Little Frieda.


Simon has published eleven poetry collections, the most recent last year The Unaccompanied. He also recently published his versions of Virgil’s Georgic poems Still alongside photographs from the First World War which feel like distant relatives of Edward Thomas’ poetry. He has written plays and translated classic poems. He is currently Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, following the distinguished footsteps of such as Robert Graves, W. H. Auden, Seamus Heaney and Geoffrey Hill. Simon is also Professor at Sheffield University and Leeds University. He is read widely in schools and has edited a selected collection of poems by Ted Hughes, who he knew. Simon is Patron of the Elmet Trust.


£15 + booking fee. Elmet Trust Members and Concessions £10 + booking fee. Book through We Got Tickets here.


Guided Tours of the Ted Hughes Birthplace

Saturday 20th October 2018 – 11am, 2.30pm and 4pm


Guided tours of the Ted Hughes birthplace in Mytholmroyd, the inspiration for eight of his poems.


Tours are FREE but booking is essential. Book through Eventbrite here.


Poetry Café

Saturday 20th October 2018 – 1pm – 4pm


The Festival’s Poetry Café will take place in the Erringden Room of St Michael’s Parish Hall in Mytholmroyd. The event will feature six notable, Yorkshire-based poets, each of whom will read a selection of their own work.


Neil Clarkson is a long-standing member of the Albert Poets, published in magazines including Pennine Platform, The Black Horse and Obsessed by Pipework. He has won prizes in numerous competitions. His debut collection, Build You Again from Wood, was published in February 2017 by Calder Valley Poetry.


Mark Hinchliffe is current chair of The Elmet Trust. He has been writing poems since his schooldays and been involved in The Albert Poets in Huddersfield for twenty one years as organiser of the readings, as well as a regular reader there. He has enjoyed support and encouragement from Ted Hughes, Daniel Huws and Christopher Reid. His debut collection The Raven and The Laughing Head was published two years ago, and a second collection is due out this year.


Alison Lock is a poet and author living in West Yorkshire. Her latest poetry collection, Revealing the Odour of Earth (2017) is published by Calder Valley Poetry. She finds inspiration in the moorlands and the natural environment of the South Pennines, which is often reflected in her writing, but she is also influenced by her childhood home of the West Country. Her previous poetry collections are A Slither of Air (2011) – winner of the Indigo Dreams Poetry Collection Competition 2010, and Beyond Wings (2015). She has an MA in Literature Studies from York St John University.


Charlotte Wetton is based in West Yorkshire. Her first pamphlet, I Refuse to Turn into a Hat-Stand won the Michael Marks Awards 2017, following a spoken word album, Body Politic. She’s been published in Poetry Wales, Staple, Stand etc.  She has given workshops as part of the Bridlington Poetry Festival and Poetry at the Parsonage at the Bronte Museum. She regularly performs across the North, came second in last year’s the StAnza Festival Slam, and this year is performing at the Aldburgh and Ledbury Festivals.


Judith Willson grew up in Manchester and lives in Hebden Bridge. She has worked as a teacher and as an editor in book and journal publishing. Her poems have been published in magazines and in the Carcanet anthology New Poetries VI (2015). Her first collection, Crossing the Mirror Line, was published by Carcanet in 2017.


Sheila Wild lives in Littleborough. An equalities' professional as well as a poet she has had a long and successful career in women's equality. Her poetry has been widely published and has won a number of awards. Her first collection Equinox is available from Cinnamon Press. Sheila is working on a book about 50 years of equal pay and, in homage to her Yorkshire ancestry, a sequence of poems about John Wesley’s several visits to Calderdale. She blogs on nature and poetry at


Refreshments will be available to purchase throughout the afternoon.


This is a FREE community event but booking is essential.Book through eventbrite





Elmet Poetry Prize and Ted Hughes Young Poets Award 2018

Saturday 20th October 2018 – 4.15pm – 5.30pm


Yvonne Reddick, winner of a Northern Writer’s Award for her poetry in 2016, will talk about her book Ted Hughes: Environmentalist and Ecopoet which has recently been published by Palgrave Macmillan. Yvonne is also the judge of the Elmet Poetry Prize and Ted Hughes Young Poets Award 2018 and she will announce the winners at this event.


This is a FREE event at St Michael’s Parish Hall in Mytholmroyd but booking is essential. Book through Eventbrite here.


Ted Hughes Guided Circular Walk

 Sunday 21st October 2018 – 11am – 3pm


A circular walk around Mytholmroyd taking in key locations relating to Ted Hughes’s life and poetry, starting at the car park near Mytholmroyd Cricket Club, Moderna Way, Mytholmroyd.


Walking boots are recommended. Please bring your lunch.


£4 + booking fee. Book through We Got Tickets here.







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