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Poet and Critic (hardback)

Published Date:
May 2012
British Library
Bibliographic Details:
Hardback, 320 pages, 234x156mm, 12 black and white images
Keith Sagar
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The Letters of Ted Hughes and Keith Sagar

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The correspondence between the English poet Ted Hughes and the literary critic Keith Sagar began in 1969 and lasted until Hughes’s death in 1998. During that time Hughes wrote 146 letters to Sagar, which show a unique dialogue between a writer and a critic. In the letters Hughes describes his creative process candidly and in great depth, offering exceptional insight into the poet at work. Their relationship, however, extended to many areas beyond literature, and the letters also cover such topics as Hughes’s travels, hunting, religion, education and his relationship with Sylvia Plath. Never published before in their entirety, this collection provides a significant new perspective on Hughes’s life and work.

'That Keith Sagar was engaged with Hughes in such a correspondence for nearly thirty years and in such detail, is a measure of Hughes's trust and of how constructive and fortifying he found their exchange.' John Moat, poet, novelist and founder of the Avon Foundation.

About the Author
Keith Sagar was Reader in Literature at Manchester University for 33 years. He is now a Special Professor at Nottingham University. He has published over 20 books, most of them on D.H. Lawrence or Ted Hughes, including The Art of Ted Hughes (1978) and Ted Hughes and Nature: ‘Terror and Exultation’ (2010). Ted Hughes (1930– 1998) is widely considered the greatest English poet of the 20th century. He is best known for his poetry collections The Hawk in the Rain (1957), Crow (1970) and Birthday Letters (1998), and the children’s book The Iron Man (1968). He also made important contributions to drama, fiction, translation and literary criticism. Hughes received many awards, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for poetry in 1974. He became Poet Laureate in 1984, and was awarded the Queen’s Order of Merit in August 1998.

'Newly published letters shed light on Ted Hughes’ eccentricity and what he really felt about Sylvia Plath’
Ham & High

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