Inspired by Ted - performances, presentations and recitations

Poet Ted Hughes
Poet Ted Hughes

Hebden Bridge and Mytholmroyd are once again hosting the Ted Hughes Festival.

Hughes, Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998, was born in Mytholmroyd and saaid his first six years, while he lived there, “shaped everything.”

Opening on the afternoon of October 24, Katrina Naomi’s announcement of the winner of the Ted Hughes Young Poets Award, is followed by top performance poets Hollie McNish and Anna Freeman.

The day closes with Hebden’s popular poetry night, The Shindig. Guest readers will be Charlotte Wetton, David Simms and David Nixon.

On Saturday the Festival’s poetry café presents a talk by Terry Gifford on the greening of Ted Hughes; some thoughts on Hughes and World War 1 from Nick Wilding, David Blanchard and Mayor of Hebden Royd, Coun Jonathan Timbers, chaired by David Rudrum.

This is followed by readings from poets Lucy Burnett (who will also present The Elmet Poetry Prize), Helen Calcutt, Nadia Kingsley, David Calcutt, Daniel Huws, and the visionary writer and poet, Penelope Shuttle. The evening offers a joint acoustic set from New Model Army’s Justin Sullivan, with poet Joolz Denby.

Sunday sees writing workshops led by Helen Calcutt and Winston Plowes, with Nick Wilding and Johnny Turner leading walks that follow in the footsteps of Ted Hughes.

The festival ends on Sunday afternoon.

Anna Turner, festival organiser and joint chair of the Elmet Trust, says: “We’re delighted to be bringing such a varied programme to the Calder Valley. Performance features strongly in our festival this year, and as well as talks on Hughes from local and visiting scholars, we’re hosting a stellar line up of poets, and our ever-popular workshops and walks.

“There’s something for everyone and we look forward to welcoming a wide range of audiences to the festival.”