Ted Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, West Yorkshire, in 1930. One of the most important and distinctive writers of his generation, he served as Poet Laureate from 1984 until his death in 1998.

The Ted Hughes Network was founded in 2016, and has quickly established itself as a centre of excellence for Hughes-related research, teaching, public engagement, and creativity.

For more information, please contact Dr Steve Ely and Dr James Underwood.


  • Dr Steve Ely is the author of Ted Hughes’s South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough (Palgrave Macmillan, 2015). He has published essays on Hughes in the Ted Hughes Society Journal and The Dark Horse.
  • Dr James Underwood’s essay ‘Mayday on Holderness: Ted Hughes, National Service and East Yorkshire’ was published in the Autumn 2017 issue of the Ted Hughes Society Journal. He is currently guest-editing a special issue of the Journal, on Ted Hughes and Place,to be published in Spring 2018.
  • The Network welcomes enquiries and proposals from prospective MRes and PhD students. Please contact Dr Steve Ely and Dr James Underwood. Current postgraduate research includes Ruth Crossley’s ‘Mapping Elmet’ project. 

In addition to research, the Network is currently involved in the following activities:

  • The Ted Hughes Yorkshire Literary & Heritage Trail: the Network is leading a Yorkshire-wide bid, comprising multiple stakeholders and communities, to develop a world-class trail based on Hughes’s life and work.
  • Building the Archive: the Network is in the process of developing an internationally-significant archive of Hughes’s small press publications, and other collections. Already the archive boasts a complete set of rare Morrigu Press publications and the 1975 Scholar Press limited edition of Cave Birds, Hughes’s collaboration with Leonard Baskin.
  • Creative Writing: the Network leads, facilitates, and sponsors numerous creative writing workshops and groups, including Write on Mexborough!
  • Community Groups: the Network works closely with community groups and other organisations, including the Elmet Trust, the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire), and the Ted Hughes Society.
  • Teaching: Network staff have introduced Hughes’s work to the undergraduate curriculum in innovative ways, including the third-year ‘Public Humanities’ module in which students are curating an exhibition and designing related promotional and educational materials. The exhibition will be a key event in the 2018 Huddersfield Literature Festival.

Previous projects and activities:

  • Gaudete: the Network supported Obra Theatre Company’s 2017 stage production of Gaudete. As well as support-in-kind, the Network organised a public lecture and two public poetry workshops.
  • Ted Hughes & Place: the Network hosted a two-day international conference at the University in June 2016.
  • Poetry & Printing: inspired by our Morrigu Press archive, the Network hosted a hands-on workshop for children which saw them write, illustrate, and print their own animal poems. 


Dr Steve Ely

The Director of the Ted Hughes Network

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Dr James Underwood

Research Fellow on the Ted Hughes Network

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