Elmet Poetry Prize
Sunday, 26 October 2008
The daughter of Sylvia Plath and Ted Hughes, Frieda Hughes, poet and artist, presented the awards for the first Elmet Poetry Prize Friday evening in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire – the birthplace of Ted Hughes.
The winner was Roy Cockcroft from Langtoft in East Yorkshire, with Wet Harvest. In second place was Lydia Macpherson from Cambridge, with Insomnia.
Frieda Hughes with prize winner Roy Cockroft in the foyer of the Ted Hughes theatre. The bust of Ted Hughes is by sculptor Graham High
The competition attracted more than 400 entries from all over the world, including Nepal and New Zealand. Entries from the Yorkshire region were also judged for a new prize sponsored by the University of Huddersfield, and this was won by Pauline Stephenson from Halifax, with Glen Hume Mine 1948. The Yorkshire entries were judged by the American lyric poet, Anne Stevenson.
The ceremony, at which Frieda Hughes read from her own work, was part of a week-long festival to mark the 10th anniversary of the death of Ted Hughes, the former poet laureate. It followed the world premiere of a play about Hughes’ childhood, Dreaming of Foxes, written and directed by Aelish Michael.
Further events include an evening with the performance poet, Lemn Sissay, and the premiere of two orchestral works commissioned for the occasion. The events are being staged in the new Ted Hughes Theatre at Calder High School, just around the corner from where Hughes was born. His home, in Aspinall Street, is open to visitors during the festival, and can now be booked as a holiday cottage and writers’ retreat.