- This event has passed.
Mexborough Business Centre
Saturday 24 June
1pm – 4pm
An Afternoon with Sylvia Plath will celebrate and explore the legacy and relevance of Sylvia Plath. Three of our best younger poets – Melissa Lee-Houghton, Kim Moore and Charlotte Wetton — will read from their work. They will then be joined by Dr Heather Clark — the world’s leading expert on Sylvia Plath and author of a forthcoming major biography of the poet — for a panel discussion chaired by Hughes & Plath expert Dr Andrew Armitage. (Andrew is also leading a 2 hour creative writing workshop based on Sylvia Plath’s work in the morning prior to the event, at Mexborough Business Centre, starting at 10am.) The panel will discuss the question, ‘Over fifty years after her death, what is the relevance of Sylvia Plath for younger female poets?’ The afternoon will conclude with a talk from Heather about Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath: ‘A happy Heathcliff and Cathy’: Sylvia Plath in Brontë Country’.
The venue of the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival has a direct link with Sylvia Plath. She visited South Yorkshire with Ted Hughes on 22nd July, 1961, when Hughes returned to his alma mater, Mexborough Grammar School, to give a speech at the school’s prizegiving ceremony. The ceremony took place in the great hall of the grammar school — now the main hall of Mexborough Business Centre, the main venue of the Ted Hughes Festival and where An Afternoon with Sylvia Plath will take place. On that same visit, Plath also accompanied Hughes when he called on his old Mexborough friends the Wholey family at the Lodge at Crookhill Receiving Hospital — now Crookhill Golf Course. The Lodge house was immediately to the right of the drive on entrance.
Tickets: £5. To reserve your place, please book through our TicketTailor event page.
Dr. Heather Clark is a Fellow at the Leon Levy Center for Biography at the City University of New York; a Visiting U.S. Fellow at the Eccles Centre for American Studies at the British Library; and a Visiting International Professor at the Ted Hughes Network, University of Huddersfield.
She is the author of two award-winning books: The Grief of Influence: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (Oxford UP, 2011) and The Ulster Renaissance: Poetry in Belfast 1962-1972 (Oxford UP, 2006). She is currently working on a literary biography of Sylvia Plath, under contract with Alfred A. Knopf.
Melissa Lee-Houghton‘s third collection, Sunshine (Penned in the Margins, 2016), was shortlisted for the Costa Book Awards and the Ted Hughes Award, and a long poem from the collection was shortlisted for the Forward Prize.
She is also an essayist, playwright and fiction writer represented by RCW and is performing her first solo show in Norwich in June. Her work has appeared in Granta and The Guardian Review as well as on BBC Radio Four.
Kim Moore’s first collection The Art of Falling was published by Seren in 2015. Her poem ‘In That Year’ was shortlisted for the 2015 Forward Prize for Best Published Poem. Her pamphlet If We Could Speak Like Wolves was a winner in the 2012 Poetry Business Pamphlet Competition.
She won an Eric Gregory Award in 2010 and a Northern Writers Award in 2014. After working for 13 years as a peripatetic brass teacher, in 2016 she began a PhD in poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Charlotte Wetton is a page and performance poet, based in West Yorkshire. She has performed at Brighouse Arts Festival, Ilkley Literature Festival and more; and last year won second prize at the StAnza Slam. She has a spoken word album Body Politic and has just published her first pamphlet I Refuse to Turn into a Hat-Stand with Calder Valley Poetry. Her hobbies include fell running and hearing about other people’s careers.