The Ted Hughes Festival
It’s Poetry International at The South Bank where I am artist in residence. But since returning from The Arctic with Cape Farewell on October 6th I’ve been on a book tour around the country and Europe. Tonight I’m at The Ted Hughes festival in Mytholmroyd. Mytholmroyd is a village in the county of West Yorkshire, England, near Hebden Bridgeand west of Halifax. It is in the borough of Calderdale. Its population is roughly 4,200. Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was born at 1 Aspinall Street Mytholmroyd on the 17th August 1930. He lived there until he was 7 when his family moved to Mexborough. During his childhood he spent many hours exploring the local countryside. These experiences and the influences of the landscape on him were to inform much of his later poetry. He's best known as one of the greatest poets of his generationAt 3pm I’m at The Ted Hughes Theatre in Mytholmroyd just one train stop away stopaway from Hebden Bridge and minutes from Heptonstall which is where Hughes lived with Sylvia Plaith and where she is laid to rest. Their house was donated by Hughes to the Arvon Foundation which Hughes began with his friends john Moat and john Fairfax, in the 1960’s. Last week I was interviewed for a radio four documentary on The Arvon Foundation which celebrates its fortieth year, this year. The celebration takes place at Poetry International. I am at The South Bank in spirit throughout the festival. Late this afternoon I arrived and gave an one hour workshop with some enthusiastic young people and read to the public in the evening.The Ted Hughes Theatre is impressive and the reading is a success, though I wonder if sometimes I make audiences laugh too much. The books sell out, but it's all relative. I'm staying at The Dusty Miller Inn.