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Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate: born 1930, died 1998

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Ted Hughes: 1930 - 1998 The god of granite who could shatter stones with plain words

MY FIRST, and most recent, exposure to the flinty and percussive rhythms of Ted Hughes's verse both came in settings a world away from the classroom or the armchair. This morning, that point deserves some stress. For this often secretive and embattled man did more than anyone since Tennyson to give great English verse a deep public presence. His impact in the air and on the tongue far outweighs the formal honours symbolised by his accession to the thankless role of Poet Laureate in 1984.

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Ted Hughes wins pounds 10,000 poetry prize

TED HUGHES, the Poet Laureate, continued his marvellous year last night when his book Birthday Letters won the pounds 10,000 Forward Prize for the best collection of 1998.

First poems published by Plath's daughter

THE DAUGHTER of poet laureate Ted Hughes and the tortured, controversial genius Sylvia Plath, is to follow in her parents' footsteps by publishing her first volume of poems.

Books: Inspirations Novelist and Journalist James Hamilton-Paterson

I can't begin to fathom this column's usual list of categories, having never in my life been inspired by anybody's play, painting, film or book. It is not other people's works that provide the germ or impetus, unless they are so bad (like Tippett's librettos or X's poems) that one half-dreams of re-writing them out of sheer exasperation. The promise of a cheque, or the threat of a deadline, are more potent for the flow of ideas than any amount of grand influences or aspirational flummery.

Theatre: Staging a protest

In my salad days, when I was green in judgement (as Cleopatra, with whom I am oft compared, once remarked), I once acted in a show in Edinburgh. Blame it on my (misspent) youth. The salient point here is not my erstwhile career but the location and the timing of the production in question. This August event took place in April, ie out of Festival time.

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Leading Article: In defence of unhappiness

BEING an MP leads to higher levels of physical and emotional stress, researchers have found. Well, knock us down with a ballot paper. It is a commonplace that you have got to be pretty strange to want to be an MP, and what are academic researchers for if not for dressing up the commonplace?

Ted Hughes scores hat-trick of awards

The Poet Laureate, Ted Hughes, yesterday completed an extraordinary comeback when his Tales from Ovid picked up the 40th W H Smith Literary Award, worth pounds 10,000, writes Boyd Tonkin, Literary Editor.

I can't stand Sylvia Plath's poetry, but you should hear her comic material

Brian Walden attracted a flurry of publicity the other day by saying the unsayable - that is, for saying that he thought Nelson Mandela was not a wholly admirable person. The late Enoch Powell will be remembered, poor chap, entirely for saying the unsayable on one single occasion, even though it is paradoxical that such a scholarly, academic chap should have caught the public fancy entirely in the character of a fiery racialist. Prince Charles caught the attention of the public by saying the unsayable about modern architecture.

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