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Ted Hughes memorial to go at foot of T.S. Eliot in Poets’ Corner

By Harriet Staff


Poets & Writers leads us to the Mirror, who’s got the skinny on the new Westminster Abbey memorial for poet Ted Hughes; it will be placed at the foot of T.S. Eliot’s stone in Poets’ Corner (on which it says, “The communication of the dead is tongued with fire beyond the language of the living”). Though Hughes died in 1998 and plans were in place to create a memorial last year, the exact location had not been known until now. Friend and fellow poet Seamus Heaney will be there to read at the dedication ceremony, among others. More:

Hughes’s widow, Carol Hughes, and his daughter, Frieda Hughes, will be among those at the ceremony to see the Kirkstone green slate memorial stone placed alongside that of Eliot – his Faber and Faber publisher – in the South Transept. It has been designed by Ronald Parsons.

Other great writers who have been recognised at the abbey include the poets laureate John Dryden, John Masefield and Alfred Lord Tennyson who are all buried there, while John Betjeman, William Wordsworth and Robert Southey have memorials.

The writer – born in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, in 1930 – found immediate acclaim with his first book of poems, Hawk In The Rain, in 1957. Over the next 41 years he wrote nearly 90 books, winning numerous prizes.

He won the Whitbread Book Of The Year prize posthumously in 1999 with Birthday Letters. He had been awarded the prize for the first time only a year earlier for Tales From Ovid.

The memorial will be dedicated on December 6.

The Dean, who will lead the dedication, said: “There are 111 poets, writers and dramatists buried or commemorated in Poets’ Corner. It is entirely right that Ted Hughes, as one of the most important poets of the 20th century, should be remembered amongst them.”

You can find the entire list of those buried and/or memorialized in Westminster Abbey at their site here.

Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, November 2nd, 2011 by Harriet Staff.