News

Could this have been an act of sabotage by the outraged burghers of bucolic Stedham, deep in the Sussex countryside?

INTERVIEW: FIRE IN HIS BELLY

Tony Harrison, our greatest public poet, recently wrote a long, vituperative verse giving his reasons for not wanting to be laureate. He talks to Nicholas Lezard about his profanity, his parents and his new film-poem, `Prometheus'

Dance: Event Of The Week - Elbow Room

Elbow Room Tue to 10 Apr

Prizes Galore

THE DAVID COHEN British Literature Prize is one of 225 literary prizes which will be awarded this year.Among them are:

Words: Virtuosity

There is variety and depth," said Raymond Seitz last week, "and always a virtuosity of words". Our former American ambassador was talking about the poetry of Ted Hughes, posthumous winner of the Whitbread Book of the Year award; Mr Seitz, who is quite a wordsmith himself, had chaired the judges' panel.

The Millennium Brain

The psychiatrist Edward Bullmore explains why he agrees with the late Ted Hughes that the brain is the best symbol of the end of the millennium

Ted Hughes wins Whitbread prize

THE LATE POET laureate Ted Hughes received his second posthumous award in as many days yesterday. His collection of poems about his relationship with Sylvia Plath, Birthday Letters, won the 1998 Whitbread Poetry Award only 24 hours after it won the T S Eliot Prize.

Letter: Turn of the year

Sir: Ted Hughes said: "Before us stands yesterday." So it does, but what if we choose to ignore it?

The sunday poem: 2. Simon Armitage

Every week Ruth Padel discusses a contemporary poet through an example of their work

These they have loved

Finest crime, alternative Bookers, dazzling poets, science and history - writers and critics choose their favourites

Arts: Sex, size and schizophrenia

Pushkin was a poet of paradoxes. Misogynist or feminist? Heretic or Christian? One thing is certain: he wasn't a tall man.

Ted Hughes listed for top poetry prizes

A WEEK after the Poet Laureate's death, Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes has been shortlisted for two of the country's leading poetry prizes. Yesterday, Hughes's final work, which has already won the Forward Prize, was named as a contender for the Whitbread Poetry Award. The T S Eliot Prize had placed it on their shortlist a few days earlier.

Arts: Ted Hughes was here. In spirit

Death overshadows the Poetry International.

Ted Hughes: 1930-1998: Ted Hughes and the stage

Robert Butler watches the vanishing glow of a 'hurtling rocket'

Ted Hughes: 1930-1998: A poet pinned and wriggling

The day of his death was a dark cold day. Auden's great elegy for Yeats might have been written with last Wednesday and Thursday in mind, when the shattering news of Ted Hughes's death broke. Black storm clouds covered the entire country. Torrential rain and hail beat down, gales blasted autumn trees, the rivers he loved were in spate everywhere, drowning fields and villages, as if in grief.

Cultural Comment: Monitor: The range of tributes to the late Poet Laureate Ted Hughes - as seen by the newspapers

NOT ONLY did this imposing, craggily handsome Yorkshireman look the part - more so than any Laureate since Tennyson - but he used the post to continue on a more public stage his campaign for the imagination and against what he saw as our despiritualised and disembodied civilisation. Hughes's concern with the environment puts him in the mainstream of much modern thought. His belief that the women's movement reflected the unleashing of primeval forces was a little more eccentric, though. But raising one's eyebrows at the wider reaches of his thought seems as irrelevant as noting his archaic and ardent royalism. These things were as necessary to his imagination as the spirit-world was to Yeats, and his best work rises free of them.
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