Steve Enniss sent an update on the recent acquisitions of the Ted Hughes Archives at Emory, the correspondence between Daniel Weissbort and Ted Hughes:
»The Daniel Weissbort papers include both personal and professional correspondence between Weissbort and Ted Hughes from ca. 1957-1998, and between Weissbort and Joseph Brodsky from 1977-1996. They also contain Weissborts correspondence with Hughes and others, as well as working papers, for several projects: a translated edition of Yehuda Amichais poetry, translations of Brodskys poetry, an anthology of Russian literature, a volume of poetry by Susan Alliston, and Hughes translation, with Janos Csokits, of Janos Pilinszkys poetry.
The correspondence between Hughes and Weissbort contains praise and advice for Weissborts poetry as well as information about several of Hughes own writing projects, particularly Crow, Wodwo, and Birthday Letters. Hughes also comments on his publication of Sylvia Plaths juvenilia, as well as other writers works about Plath. These letters also contain details of Hughes everyday life and news of friends and family. The collection also contains photocopies (and originals of fax transmissions) of Weissborts letters to Hughes from 1995 until shortly before Hughes death in 1998, providing access to material that was not a part of the Ted Hughes collection when it was purchased by Emory in 1996. Many of Weissborts earlier letters to Hughes are contained in the Ted Hughes collection.
Hughes and Weissbort collaborated on an edition of Yehuda Amichais poems, and items relating to this project are included in the collection: correspondence, copies of typescript drafts of the book, and autograph manuscript and typescript versions of Hughes introduction.
The correspondence from Joseph Brodsky to Weissbort, and photocopies of Weissborts correspondence to Brodsky, provides details of their 1979 dispute about translations of Brodskys poetry. There is also personal correspondence and letters that record their proposed collaboration on an anthology of Russian literature. The collection contains correspondence from others regarding this project, as well as printed items relating to Brodskys death, including the programmes from his New York and London memorial services.
Susan Alliston was a poet and friend of both Weissbort and Hughes in London during the 1960s. After her death, they had hoped to publish a volume of her poetry. The collection includes typescripts of Allistons poems, a typescript of Hughes draft introduction to the book, and correspondence relating to the project. There is also a damaged photograph of Susan Alliston.
This collection also contains material relating to Hughes translation of Janos Pilinszkys poetry, including a typescript of Hughes article about the translations (published in 1989), and autograph and typescript drafts of translations by Hughes and Janos Csokits.«
This is the first update after the summer break - here are the most important Ted Hughes-related news:
The British Library acquired a 143 letter correspondence between Keith Sagar and Ted Hughes. Coverage of this was in The Guardian on August 8 and 18.
Keith Sagar has a new web site at http://www.keithsagar.co.uk.
Sylvia Paul informed me about an »an on-line book about Ted Hughes' poetry [...] being written by Scottish poet Alan Jackson«.
The Sunday Times had coverage on Elaine Feinstein's book Ted Hughes: The Life of a Poet. (Sunday Times, October 7 and 14). The book is due for publication on October 22. A review will be published here shortly.
Sylvia Paul wrote that »the composer Antonin Tucapsky was commissioned
by the Bath Camerata and composed this choral work: Seven Sorrowful Songs
from Ted Hughes's Season Songs. It is available from Somm Recordings CD 205,
The Choral Works of
Antonin Tucapsky. [...] firstname.lastname@example.org
I'll be on holiday until the end of September, so there'll be no updates until then. Have a nice summer.
Keith Sagar wrote that Ted Hughes: A
Bibliography 1946-1995 is on sale at Postscript Books (www.psbooks.co.uk)
for just £ 6.99 plus p&p. I don't know how many copies
they have, though.
Keith has also supplied additional information on his forthcoming book Literature and the Crime Against Nature. This is now on a separate page and further details will follow soon.
Some weeks ago Lucas Myers approached me on the possibility of publishing
additional notes on his book Crow Steered / Bergs Appeared on this
site. I was intrigued by Lucas's ongoing care for and interest in the readers
of his book.
It has taken me a bit to find what I think is the most user-friendly way to publish this - as html and downloadable versions. Anyway, I'm happy to announce that »Crow Steered / Bergs Appeared: Additional Notes and Minor Corrections« is now published on this site. It is a very interesting collection of notes and corrections, and though they are not vital to understanding the book, they do no doubt present a good and useful addition to it.
I would like to thank Dawa and Lucas Myers for swiftly and carefully answering all my technical queries. I have tried to come up with versions which readers can print up and keep with their books, as well as read online. But best see for yourselves.
Prompted by Lucas Myers's suggestion for Crow Steered ..., I thought it useful to make all the other on-line material of this site available as Downloads, too. The Downloads Section will include essays, articles, papers, and any other useful material. It will be added to whenever new material comes up, and I will try to prepare some further exisiting documents over the next few months. For a start, the Downloads Section includes all on-line essays from this site, and you can also directly access it from the central column in the Main Menu.
Lucas Myers wrote a reply to Diane Middlebrook's review. I'll let you know when it is published.
Diane Middlebrook published a review of Lucas Myers's Crow Steered / Bergs Appeared and Emma Tennant's Sylvia and Ted in the San Francisco Chronicle, May 20 2001. It is accessible from the archives.
Robert W. Woodruff Library Research Fellowships announce deadline for applications June the 1st !
An interview by Terry Gifford with Fay Godwin (the photographer with whom Ted Hughes collaborated for Remains of Elmet and Elmet) has just been published in the British poetry magazine Thumbscrew (No 18, pp. 114-117). Thumbscrew can also be contacted at: Thumbscrew, PO Box 657, Oxford, OX2 6PH, UK. Copies are £4.00 plus p&p.
Tracy Brain just had her study The Other Sylvia Plath published by Longman. Tracy wrote that there is a significant amount of commentary devoted to Ted Hughes's work throughout the book and in its concluding section, which is entirely about his writing.
Tracy Brain: The Other Sylvia Plath. £16.99, Paperback, ISBN: 058232730X, Longman, an inprint of Pearson Education, March 2001.
Felicity Potter of The Bookcase in Hebden Bridge wrote about a review of a concert at Goldsmith's College London in the forthcoming »Recorder Magazine«:
»The evening was rounded off by a piece chosen by Peter [Peter Wells, a recorder music player and teacher] - Crow by Dublin composer Benjamin Dwyer. Dwyer has been intrigued with the poetry of Ted Hughes and particularly with the apocalyptic series »From the Life and Songs of the Crow« and wrote this piece in response to the death of the poet in 1998. This discomforting work was written for Peter who gave his all during this performance which, played in the dark, gives a powerful and frightening impression of what life is like beyond hope.«
Daniel Weissbort, a friend of Ted Hughes's from their time at Cambridge, is working on a book on Ted Hughes and Translation for Oxford University Press. In the mid-60s Ted and him began Modern Poetry in Translation and both worked very closely on many other occasions.
Daniel Weissbort also prepared the literal draft of Pushkin's »The Prophet«, which is thought to be Ted Hughes's last poem. For nearly 30 years Daniel Weissbort directed the MFA/Translation Programme at the University of Iowa.
Ted Hughes's work as a translator is an aspect of his output that has not been closely examined. For his book Daniel will compare Ted Hughes's meticulously preserved drafts with the source texts (Racine's Phedre, The Oresteia, Amichai's poems, Pilinszky's poems, Seneca's Oedipus, Ovid's Metamorphoses and so forth).
In addition to this Anvil Press (UK) will hopefully be publishing Daniel Weissbort's Letters to Ted, a sequence of poems addressed to Ted Hughes, written after his death, with accompanying notes on the context (Cambridge, Modern Poetry in Translation, etc...).
This site has recently been awarded the StudyWeb® Academic Excellence Award. I would like to thank everyone who contributed.
I'm happy to announce a new German publication of selected essays, Ted
Hughes: Wie Dichtung ensteht. Essays. The essays have been selected
and translated by Jutta and Wolfgang Kaußen and myself, and the book
also carries an afterword. The essays appear in German for the first time.
The book contains translations of the following: »The Rock«, »Phantastic Happenings ...«, »The Burnt Fox«, »Poetry in the Making« (excerpts), »Crow on the Beach«, »Poetry and Violence« (incl. a translation of »Thrushes«), »Myth and Education« (II), first part of »Myths, Metres, Rhythms«, »Sylvia Plath: Ariel«, »Publishing Sylvia Plath«, »On Sylvia Plath«, postscript to »Myths, Metres, Rhythms«, »The Great Theme: Notes on Shakespeare«, »Emily Dickinson«, »Revelations: The Genius of Isaac Bashevis Singer«, »The Poetic Self: A Centenary Tribute to T. S. Eliot«, »Inner Music«, »Regenerations«, »The Hanged Man and the Dragonfly« (incl. the image of the Baskin's Dragonfly).
Keith Sagar wrote:
»I have just read the Icon Readers' Guide to the Poetry of Ted Hughes, edited by Sandie Byrne. It claims to be a ›guide to essential criticism‹. I know that compiling critical anthologies is an invidious task - you will never satisfy everyone. Nevertheless, may I just say that in my opinion the two most essential critical books on Hughes (leaving my own out of account) are Ann Skea's Ted Hughes: The Poetic Quest, which is never mentioned, and Nicholas Bishop's Re-making Poetry: Ted Hughes and a New Critical Psychology, which is represented by one sentence.
Many thanks to all who helped find the Shakespeare poem. It is called »Shakespeare, drafting his will« and appeared in The Sunday Times, Books Section, on 6 September 1998.
Keith Sagar is looking for information on a poem called »Shakespeare's Will«, which was supposed to have been published in The Spectator some time around 1997. However, the librarian at The Spectator has been unable to find it in their archive. Has anybody seen this poem in any other publication? If so, please contact me.
Raphaėl Ingelbien contacted me about an article which was not listed on this site: Ingelbien, Raphaėl: »Mapping the Misreadings: Ted Hughes, Seamus Heaney, and Nationhood.« in Contemporary Literature, 40.4 (Winter 1999): 627-58.
I have just come accross Roy Davids's web site. Apart from an inventory of manuscripts, paintings, etc. which Roy Davids Ltd currently has for sale you will find on the site on-line articles and poems (select »Articles« from the menu).
New Book information: Lucas Myers: Crow
Steered / Bergs Appeared: A Memoir of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath.
Proctor's Hall Press, February 2001.
Details now on a separate page.
Ann Skea just informed me that there was a new book to be published on 22 February: Lucas Myers's Memoir of Ted and Sylvia. Crow Steered / Bergs Appeared. A Memoir of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath. Proctor's Hall Press, Sewanee, Tennessee ISBN 0 9706214 0 X. Price US$20.00.
There is a new page with information in German and with information on German publications.
I just received a note saying that Q/W/E/R/T/Y 10 has been published. I
this issue are collected essays on Shakespeare, Wharton, James Joyce, Fielding,
Hughes, Gaddis, Gardens & Landscape and Poverty in the UK. The essay
on Ted Hughes is by René Gallet (Université de Caen) and it
is titled »Ted Hughes et la tradition du pessimisme«.
Information and orders at: email@example.com
This site has undergone major revisions and a complete re-design. I have
also added material. Please let me know if there is anything that is not
working properly. I hope you'll find your way through it.
Ann Skea has placed further articles of her study of Poetry and Magic in Birthday Letters on-line. Her site is a http://ann.skea.com.
William Scammell, born on January 2, 1939 died on November 29 aged 61. William Scammell was a poet and editor. He also compiled Winter Pollen.
Keith Sagar was also invited by Northern Broadsides to give an introductory talk on Alcestis for the performance at the Lowry in Salford. The first half of this talk sets the play in the context of Greek theatre, the second half in the context of Ted Hughes' life and work. You will find a copy of the text from the Criticism/ Essays page.
Ann Skea has beautifully revised her web site and added a lot of new content to it. Her pages now also contain the latest chapters from her recent research on Birthday Letters as well as some of her own drawing to illustrate her findings. I strongly recommend taking a look at http://ann.skea.com.
Here are a few more relevant entries from the older News listing s:
Jehuda Amichai, the Jewish poet, born 1924, died on September 22. There was an obituary in the Guardian, Friday September 29.
Leonard Baskin, sculptor, illustrator and a lifelong friend of Ted Hughes died on June 3 aged 77. Among their inspired collaborations are Crow, Cave Birds, Moon-Whales and Other Moon-Poems, Season Songs and Under the North Star. The Times ran an obituary on June 7 and a further obituary was printed in The Independent on 8 June (thanks to Sylvia Paul and David Robins for this).
The Emory Archives were opened to researchers in an April 8 ceremony! The opening was observed with an exhibition and a tribute in verse by Paul Muldoon, Chair of Poetry at Oxford University. In addition, Leonard Baskin printed a broadside of a previously uncollected Hughes poem, his adaptation of Thomas the Rhymer's Song. 100 copies were printed by the Gehenna Press and feature a woodcut by Baskin. Each copy is signed and numbered by Baskin.
Further in formation on the Lyon conference, held February 2000.
Keith Sagar's The Laughter of Foxes. An Appreciation of Ted Hughes was published by Liverpool University Press.
Ted Hughes's translation of Pushkin's ›The Prophet‹ appeared in the Daily Telegraph on January 9. (Thanks to Keith Sagar for this information)
The Winter 1999 issue of the American magazine Wild
Steelhead & Salmon features a wonderful interview with Ted
Hughes. You can read more about it here.
(I am especially grateful to Tom Pero, editor of Wild Steelhead & Salmon,
for this information and permission to quote from the article.)
The Seattle Times (March 17) ran an article with further information on the interview: »Love of fishing snags final interview with poet Hughes«.
Apparently, sometime in 1998 The Gehenna Press has published a limited edition of 120 copies of Howls And Whispers, a book of eleven poems withheld from the trade edition of Birthday Letters, illustrated with eleven original etchings by Leonard Baskin.
The updated bibliography by Keith Sagar and Stephen Tabor has been published by Cassell. Ted Hughes: A Bibliography, 1946-1995, 496pp, ISBN: 0720123372.