Literary festival will celebrate Ted’s legacy

MarchViolets are appearing at the 2013 Ted Hughes Festival. Photo by Mel Butler
MarchViolets are appearing at the 2013 Ted Hughes Festival. Photo by Mel Butler

Poetry lovers are getting ready for a weekend of literary fun as a festival returns to carry on the legacy of Mytholmroyd’s most famous son.

The 2013 Ted Hughes Festival takes place on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, with various event planned for Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge.

Paul Farley will open the poetry with a reading of his work in Hebden Bridge Library at 7pm on Friday. Farley was awarded the Whitbread Poetry Prize for his collection ‘Ice Age’ and in 2012 was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

A spokesman for event organisers The Elmet Trust said: “We are very lucky to have such a fine poetic voice coming to the Calder Valley. Especially as Farley is a northern voice and has such interesting observations on nature and landscape.”

The northern theme is continued the next day at the Poetry Cafe in the Erringden Room, St Michael’s Church, Mytholmroyd.

Local poet, Adelle Stripe, a founder of the Brutalist Poets, will be reading from 1pm, followed by novelist Jenn Ashworth and Forward Nominated poet Steve Ely (2.15pm). Nikolai Duffy of Manchester Metropolitan University will talk about the state of contemporary poetry from 3.30pm.

The afternoon will continue with ‘PoetryNites@thebookcase visits Mytholmroyd’ where local poet and organiser of Poetry Nites Sarah Corbett will read along with Melissa Lee-Houghton (4.45pm).

As well as the Bookcase, two other Hebden Bridge institutions are supporting the festival. The White Lion, Bridge Gate, is the venue for an open mic Poetry Slam at 8.30pm on Friday, while on Saturday The Trades Club will host post punk band The March Violets from 8pm.

Rounding off the festival on Sunday, will be two walks. The first at 10am is “Over the Tops” with Johnny Turner - meet at 1 Aspinall Street, Mytholmroyd.

The second at 10.30am is “A Ted Hughes trail through the years”. Meet at 1 Aspinall Street. Tickets must be purchased in advance and are each £10, £8 concessions.

To buy a ticket for any of the events, go to Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre on New Road, call 01422 843831, email or visit

l A talk by Keith Sagar, planned for Wednesday, had to be cancelled after the author’s sudden death last week. Keith was a friend of Ted’s.