The third Ted Hughes Poetry Festival takes place over the weekend of 23-25 June with a varied and exciting programme of events in and around Mexborough, including readings and performances from award-winning poets Simon Armitage, Vahni Capildeo and Linton Kwesi Johnson.

In the weeks leading up to the main festival weekend, we ‘raise the curtain’ with a series of one-off events that highlight the festival’s engagement with place, beginning on Saturday 20 May with a poetry and birding workshop at RSPB Old Moor, led by poet and avid birder John Whale. Steve Ely launches ‘Incendium Amoris’, his fourth collection, in the unique atmosphere of St. Laurence’s Church, Adwick-le-Street, on Thursday 8 June (joined by Chris Jones and Ann Walton), and Helen Mort leads us back into Hughes’s landscape on Saturday 11 June with a poetry walk from Denaby Ings to Sprotbrough.

The main festival weekend opens at Mexborough Business Centre on Friday 23 June, with an evening of readings from Simon Armitage, Mike O’Brien and Vahni Capildeo. On Saturday morning, watch out for a range of unexpected poetry-themed activities and interventions in Mexborough town centre, while, back at the Business Centre, Andy Armitage’s Sylvia Plath workshop gets underway. Our afternoon session maintains the focus on Plath, with a special reading featuring poets Melissa Lee Houghton, Charlotte Wetton and Kim Moore, followed by a talk from leading Plath scholar Heather Clark. An unmissable line-up of Tim Wells, Janine Booth, Peg Powler and Linton Kwesi Johnson brings Saturday’s programme to a memorable conclusion.

On Sunday 25 June, we revisit the paths and perspectives of Ted Hughes’s Paper Round (recently featured on Radio 4’s The Echo Chamber) led by Steve Ely and Dominic Somers. This event also marks the launch of the Ted Hughes Trail, with new sculptures commissioned for the project.

Join us for what is sure to be a fascinating and unforgettable festival. We look forward to seeing you.


Tickets are for Sat 20 May 2017 – Sat 1 July 2017 and range from £5 to £8.