Tickets now on sale for Ted Hughes Festival

Ted Hughes
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Tickets are now on sale for a celebration of the talent of Calderdale’s most famous poet.

The Ted Hughes Festival takes place at venues across Mytholmroyd and Hebden Bridge between Friday, October 19 and Sunday, October 21.

One of the highlights of the festival will be Kathleen Jamie, described as one of the most gifted contemporary poets in the UK.

She will be reading from her work in Hebden Bridge Library on the Friday evening and festival organisers hope the audience might get a glimpse of her new collection The Overhaul which is due out next month.

Kathleen has won several prestigious awards including the Forward Poetry Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Award.

She was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2009 and is currently the University of Stirling’s first appointed Professor of Creative writing.

“We are so lucky that Kathleen Jamie has accepted our invitation to Hebden Bridge and to judge this year’s Elmet Poetry Prize which was set up to honour the memory and literary legacy of Ted Hughes,” said Elmet director Mark Hinchliffe.

“We are looking forward to a weekend of great poetry, talks and literary walks to celebrate the written word and Calderdale’s famous son.” 
Ted Hughes was born on the Banksfield Estate in Mytholmroyd. 
The area was a powerful source of inspiration in his poetry long after he moved south. In his The Remains of Elmet, he suggested that the Calder Valley was originally the kingdom of Elmet - the last Celtic land to fall to the Anglo-Saxons. 
The Elmet Trust, in partnership with Calderdale Council, has refurbished the house where he lived at 1 Aspinall Street, Mytholmroyd as it might have appeared during his childhood in the 1930s. The house is now a holiday-let but will be open to the public on certain days in the year, including during the festival week.

The festival will include a walk around Mytholmroyd with Donald Crossley, Nick Wilding and Terry Gifford to show the places where Ted played as a boy, the house where he was born, and the rivers and hills where he spent his earliest years.

It takes place on the Saturday at 11am, meeting at Erringden Room on Church Street in Mytholmroyd. Tickets are £3.

Poet and ukulele-player Paul Cookson, who has been compared to the likes of Peter Kay and Eddie Izzard, will be performing at Erringden Room on the Friday afternoon, from 3.30pm to 6pm.

He will appear with Andrew McMillan, a young poet who will be presenting the winning prizes from the Ted Hughes Young Poet Award.

Prize-winning poets Char March and Valerie Laws will join forces to present their new collections on the Saturday at 5pm at the Erringden Room.

They are promising to take the audience on an exploration of pathology, insanity, lost pigeons, dogs in space and much more.

Between them, the poets have racked up 15 books and numerous plays.

Tickets for all the festival events are on sale at Hebden Bridge Visitor and Canal Centre or from www.wegottickets.com. Full brochures for the festival can be found in the library or from the visitor centre, or for more details visit www.theelmettrust.co.uk.