The Fox-Heads return! Welcome to the programme for the 2019 Ted Hughes Poetry Festival, the fifth annual celebration of the life of Ted Hughes, bringing vibrant poetry to Mexborough and South Yorkshire.
It was in the countryside around Mexborough where Hughes developed the knowledge of animals, nature and landscape that was to inform his poetry so deeply. It was at Vinah’s Pond, Old Denaby and latterly the pond at Crookhill, that Hughes developed the obsession with fishing that was to so powerfully influence his life and poetry. To reflect this, the 2019 programme is loosely themed around the idea of landscape and nature.
This year’s programme also includes exciting performances from some of the most popular names in poetry, including Ian McMillan, Hollie McNish, Andrew McMillan and Raymond Antrobus. There are also workshops, on-the-street poetry performances and talks.
So, take a peek, book your tickets and come along!
Rob O’Connor – Creative Producer, Ted Hughes Project.

Festival booking is now open; click on the programme links below for full details of all events. The Valley Press showcase and Raymond Antrobus and Clare Shaw event on Saturday 14 September are suitable for deaf and hard of hearing audiences, with live translation from a British Sign Language interpreter.

Saturday 31 August
11am – 2pm: Thorne Moors: a walk with Brian Lewis

Wednesday 11 September
6pm – 9pm: Launch Event – Pies ‘n’ Peas, with Ian McMillan, Suzannah Evans and Write On Mexborough!

Thursday 12 September
6.30pm – 9pm: Hollie McNish and Steve Nash

Friday 13 September
6pm – 9pm: Andrew McMillan, Isaiah Hull and Young Identity

Saturday 14 September
10.30am – 12.30pm: Poetry Workshop with Antony Dunn
10.30am – 12.30pm: Transformation through Poetry – a workshop with Vicky Morris
12 noon – 2.30pm: Democracy of Words
1.30pm – 3pm: Ted Hughes: Ecopoet. Yvonne Reddick poetry reading and in conversation with Steve Ely
4pm – 6pm: Valley Press Poets: Antony Dunn, Penny Boxall, Robert Powell, Wendy Pratt
6.30pm – 9pm: Festival Closing Event with Raymond Antrobus and Clare Shaw

Sunday 15 September
11am – 2pm: Ted Hughes’s Paper Round: a performance trail with Steve Ely and Dominic Somers

Friday/Saturday Festival Ticket
A Fri/Sat ticket is available for the special price of £15, granting you entry to four events on Friday 13 and Saturday 14 September (please note that this does NOT include entry to either of the Saturday workshops which must be booked separately). Click here for further details and to book.

Food and drink
A bar will be open for the evening events at Mexborough Business Centre. A pie ‘n’ peas supper will be included as part of the Launch Event with Ian McMillan and Suzannah Evans, and Jan’s Caribbean Kitchen will be serving food throughout Saturday 14 September (click here for further details).


If you wish to volunteer for the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival then please let us know by contacting Please be aware that volunteers will be required to carry out light manual tasks and must have an enthusiasm for literary events. All volunteers will be able to attend the events for free.

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


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