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Ted Hughes Festival returns to celebrate life of poet

Simon Armitage.
Simon Armitage.

The Ted Hughes Festival returns to celebrate the life of the late poet laureate on the 20th anniversary of his death with a variety of talks, tours and guided walks.

The Elmet Trust has planned a series of events, including a unique opportunity to hear award-winning poet, Simon Armitage, and daughter of Ted, Frieda Hughes read a selection of poems on the first night of the festival.

Here’s a selection of what’s on offer:

October 19 (4-5.30pm), St. Michael’s Parish Hall, Mytholmroyd. 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.

October 19 (7.30-9pm), Hope Baptist Church. An evening of poetry readings by Simon Armitage, patron of the Elmet Trust, and Frieda Hughes.

October 20 (11am, 2.30pm and 4pm). Guided tours of the Ted Hughes birthplace in Mytholmroyd, the inspiration for eight of his poems.

October 20 (1-4pm). 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, Mark Hinchliffe, Sheila Wild, Charlotte Wetton, Judith Willson, Alison Lock and Neil Clarkson, each of whom will read a selection of their own work.

October 20 (4.15-5.30pm), Elmet Poetry Prize and Ted Hughes Young Poets Award 2018, St Michael’s Parish Hall. 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.

October 21 (11am to 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.

“We have worked really hard to plan something extra special this year, as it’s the 20th anniversary of Ted’s death, and the 50th anniversary of his book The Iron Man. It’s important that we remember Ted’s work, and the impact he had and still has on poetry today,” said Mark Hinchliffe, director and chair of The Elmet Trust.

More information or to get tickets for any of these events, go to www.theelmettrust.org/ted-hughes-festival