The main event of the Ted Hughes festival will be held at the Old Grammar in Mexborough where Hughes studied from 1941-1949. There’s an inspirational line-up for the festival.
1:00-2.15pm Hughes at School – Presentation from Pauline Mayne and Zoe Bennett
It was at Mexborough Grammar School where Hughes came under the spell of two charismatic teachers, this presentation will take you on journey of Ted’s life as a student in Mexborough.
2:30-3:00pm Vidyan Ravinthiran – Reading (30 mins)
Born in Leeds to Sri Lankan parents, Vidyan is a Lecturer at Durham University. He is an editor for online poetry journal Prac Crit and his 2014 collection Grun-tu-molani was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, the Seamus Heaney Centre Poetry Prize and the 2015 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize.
3:00-3:30pm Greg Leadbetter – Reading (30 mins)
Greg has written radio drama for the BBC, and was awarded a Hawthornden Fellowship in 2013. He is Reader in Literature and Creative Writing at Birmingham City University. His debut poetry collection The Fetch will be published by Nine Arches Press in October 2016.
4.00-5.00pm Hughes & Politics – Chaired Discussion: Vidyan, Greg, Ed Reiss, Steve Ely (45 mins)
Ted Hughes’s politics remain something of an enigma. A lifelong monarchist but nevertheless a committed environmentalist. This roundtable discussion will cut some trajectories into Hughes’s politics as reflected in his poems ‘The Retired Colonel’ (Lupercal), ‘Remembrance Day’ (from ‘Out: III’, Wodwo) and ‘Shibboleth (Capriccio) and his little known essay on the British class system, ‘The Rat Under the Bowler’.
6.00-7.00pm Frieda Hughes – Reading
Frieda was born in London in 1960, grew up in Devon, and after living in various parts of England and Australia now lives on the Welsh Borders. She has published seven children’s books and four poetry collections and has had many exhibitions of her work. Her latest book is Alternative Values: poems & paintings.
7.20 – 8.00pm Cathy Galvin – Reading
Cathy has forged a formidable career as a journalist and was the deputy editor at The Sunday Times and editor of Newsweek. She founded London’s premier short story literary salon, The Word Factory. Since 2014, her poetry has been published in the The London Magazine, Morning Star, Visual Verse and a variety of anthologies.
8.20 – 9.00pm Mick Jenkinson – Ted’s Folk Songs & Ballads
Folk Singer, poet and coordinator of Doncaster Folk Festival presents a series of Folk Song & Ballads, recited by Hughes in his Cambridge undergraduate years in the mid 1950s.
9.15 – 10.00pm Helen Mort – Reading
Helen was born in Sheffield. Her first collection Division Street was shortlisted for the Costa Prize and the T.S. Eliot Prize and, in 2014, won the Fenton Aldeburgh Prize. Her new collection No Map Could Show Them is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation.
Check her out here…