Ted Hughes, Poet Laureate, one of the twentieth century’s finest poets writing in English and an especially original voice, died on the 28th of October 1998 at the age of 68. Since his death, and now again at the start of this October in which the 20th anniversary of his death will fall, we can also think of Hughes in the company of the older voices he loved, allowed himself to be guided by, and even took over from.
In a tribute to Ted Hughes in 1998 at the funeral service in the North Devon village where he lived for nearly forty years, Seamus Heaney said that his friend had become an honoured part of the span of English poetry from William Langland’s early work about the land, Piers Plowman, across six hundred years to Gerard Manley Hopkins and so into our own time.
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Graham Fawcett lectures on poetry in the UK, Italy, Spain and America.
For the last ten years, he has been presenting his two series of lecture-performances-with-readings, Seven Olympians and World Poets, in art galleries, bookshops, pubs, hotels, retreat centres, and inspirational old houses across England, and in Farnham since 2013.
In his lecture-performances, Graham wants to give audiences who love poetry a fresh experience of each poet which he hopes will feel more like listening to a live radio programme with readings rather than to a lecture, so blowing away some of the more daunting associations we have with that word . . .
Graham has made many programmes on literature and music for BBC Radio 3 as writer, presenter and interviewer, including a verse translation of Dante’s La Vita Nuova for BBC Radio Drama, and conversations with poets Miroslav Holub, Thom Gunn, Adrienne Rich, Czeslaw Milosz, and Ivan Lalic, and novelists Carlos Fuentes, Mario Vargas Llosa, Margaret Drabble and Ian McEwan.
Graham worked for The Poetry School in London from when it began in 1997 until 2014, devising and teaching poetry courses and on-location days to encourage the reading of poetry past and present from around the world.
He has appeared at the Bridlington Poetry Festival and literary festivals in Aldeburgh, Bridport, Chipping Campden, Dulwich, Henley, Ilkley, the Isle of Wight, Islip, Little Gidding, Padiham, Peterborough, Taunton and Yeovil.