Hughes, Ted (Edward James Hughes), 1930–98, English poet, b. Mytholmyroyd, Yorkshire. Hughes's best poetry focuses on the unsentimental within nature. His poems are marked by controlled diction and style, which create a sense of order and meaning in violent or passionate natural events, often in the world of animals. His volumes of poetry include The Hawk in the Rain (1957), Lupercal (1960), Wodwo (1967), Crow (1971), Gaudete (1977), Moortown (1980, 1989), River (1984), and Wolfwatching (1991). From 1984 until his death Hughes was poet laureate of England. He also wrote fiction, plays, stories for children, and essays, e. g., those included in the large collection Winter Pollen (1995). In addition, he edited a number of books and translated such authors as Ovid (1997) and Aeschylus, Euripides, and Racine (all: 1999). Hughes was married (1956–63) to the American poet Sylvia Plath; he explored their complex relationship in Birthday Letters (1998), his last book of verse.
See C. Reid, ed., Letters of Ted Hughes (2008); biography by E. Feinstein (2002); J. Malcolm, The Silent Woman: Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes (1994); E. Tennant, Burnt Diaries (2001); E. Wagner, Ariel's Gift: Ted Hughes, Sylvia Plath, and the Story of Birthday Letters (2001); D. Midddlebrook, Her Husband: Hughes and Plath—A Marriage (2003); studies by K. Sagar, ed. (1975, 1983, 1994, and 2000), C. Robinson (1989), A. E. Dyson (1990), N. Bishop (1991), L. M. Scigaj (1992), P. Bentley (1998), and N. Gammage, ed. (1999).
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