The Key of the Sycamore

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In the summer of 2017, in my role as the Director of the newly-established Ted Hughes Network at the University of Huddersfield, I was working on two projects that led to me develop an interest in Ted Hughes’s poetry about Assia Wevill, the woman for whom Hughes left Sylvia Plath in the autumn of 1962, and who would remain his partner until 23 March 1969, the day of her death. The first project involved developing a range of public engagement activities - workshops, talks, the provision of discounted and free tickets to students and community groups - related to the Obra Theatre Company’s staging of Hughes’s long narrative poem Gaudete at the Lawrence Batley Theatre in Huddersfield.1 The second was beginning of the Network’s attempt to acquire a comprehensive collection of Hughes’s small press and limited edition work for the University’s archive at Heritage Quay. In preparing for these projects, I re-acquainted myself with Gaudete, encountered the Gehenna Press Capriccio for the first time, refreshed my knowledge of the relevant scholarly literature and conducted research in the Ted Hughes archives at the British Library and Emory University, and in the archive of the Gehenna Press at the Bodleian Library, Oxford.2
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)42-64
Number of pages23
JournalThe Ted Hughes Society Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2020


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