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Ted Hughes: A Brother’s Memories

Friday 31 March 2017

2 Hours


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Ticket price

Bafta-nominated filmmaker David Cohen introduces a showing of his film on the life of the poet Ted Hughes and discusses with biographer of Hughes’s early life Steve Ely some of the issues raised in it. Discussions are chaired by Hughes biographer Sir Jonathan Bate.

The 50-minute film, Ted Hughes: Dreamtime, is based on the memoir, Ted and I: A Brother’s Memoir, written by Hughes’s surviving elder brother Gerald. Cohen went out to Australia to interview Gerald.  The film includes contributions from other family members including his widow, Carol, and his daughter, Frieda. In the film, Gerald recounts their childhood, how their mother nurtured Ted’s poetic talent and how the countryside influenced him. It follows his life through his schooldays into maturity and his early death. Hughes was regarded as one of the leading poets of his generation and was poet laureate between 1984 and his death in 1998. His first marriage was to the American poet Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide at the age of 30.

Cohen is a psychologist, bestselling author and documentary filmmaker. His film for ITV on the Soham murders, When Holly Went Missing, was nominated for a Bafta. His books include Freud on Coke, The Escape of Sigmund Freud, Diana: Death of a Goddess and Great Psychologists as Parents.

Ely is a poet whose work was nominated for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2014. He has since written a biography, Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough, that tells the story of his early life in South Yorkshire and explains how his first experiences in education, literature and love were decisive in the later formation of the poet.

Bate is provost of Worcester College and professor of English at the University of Oxford. His biography Ted Hughes was shortlisted for the Samuel Johnson Prize.

This event lasts 2 hours.