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Dr Steve Ely is Lecturer in Creative Writing and Director of the Ted Hughes Network. He is a poet, novelist, and biographer. He joined the University in September 2015 after a twenty-year career in secondary education as a teacher, senior leader and Headteacher. He has also worked as a freelance writer and educational consultant. Steve is the chair of the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire) a community-based organisation which seeks to develop the legacy of Ted Hughes in and around Hughes’s childhood home of Mexborough and which runs the annual Ted Hughes Poetry Festival.
Steve is currently working on a number of projects:
Various extended poetic sequences or long poems:
In his role as Director of the Ted Hughes Network, Steve (with Dr James Underwood) is organising a two day symposium — ‘Ted Hughes & Place’ — at the University in June 2017, with keynote speakers Professor Neil Roberts, Professor Terry Gifford and Dr Mark Wormald. The THN has secured eminent Hughes/Plath scholar Dr Heather Clark as visiting Professor in the Network in the summer of 2017. Dr Clark is in the process of completing what will be the definitive biography of Sylvia Plath, to be published by Knopf in late 2017. The Ted Hughes Network is also working closely with the Ted Hughes Society, The Elmet Trust and the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire) to make academic work on Ted Hughes more accessible to lay audiences, support community organisations and to develop a Yorkshire-wide Ted Hughes Literary and Heritage Trail by means of a major Heritage Lottery Fund Grant.
Ely, S (2017) ‘Bloody, proud and murderous men, adulterers and enemies of God’ The High Window .
Ely, S (2017) Incendium amoris . : Smokestack Books. ISBN 978-0995563551
Ely, S (2016) Tales of the Tribe: Modern epic, guerrilla-pastoral and utopian yeoman-anarchism in Oswalds Book of Hours and Englaland Doctoral thesis, University of Huddersfield.
Ely, S (2016) Werewolf . : Calder Valley Poetry.
Ely, S (2016) ‘The importance of Edna Wholey to the poetic development of Ted Hughes’ The Ted Hughes Society Journal , 5 (1), pp. 25-33. ISSN 2051-7270
Ely, S (2016) ‘Six poems from sufficient unto the day’ Poetry Review , 106 (3). ISSN 0032-2156
Ely, S (2015) Ted Hughes's South Yorkshire: Made in Mexborough . : AIAA. ISBN 978-1137499349
Ely, S (2015) ‘Beasts of Eden : Ted Hughes and influence’ The Dark Horse , 35, pp. 50-58.
Ely, S (2015) Englaland . : Smokestack Books. ISBN 978-0992958145
Ely, S (2015) ‘Werewolf’ London Review of Books , 35 (5). ISSN 0260-9592
Ely, S (2015) ‘'The white hart', 'Hugo of Fyslake' and 'Eofor'’ Poetry Review . ISSN 0032-2156
Ely, S (2014) ‘Prayers in time of great hunger’ London Review of Books , 36 (8). ISSN 0260-9592
Ely, S (2014) ‘How dear is life’. In: The Pity. : The Poetry Society. pp. 10-27.
Ely, S (2014) ‘'Deir ez-Zor', 'Work', 'Interhamwe' and 'Fasayil'’ Poetry Review , 104 (1). ISSN 0032-2156
Ely, S (2013) Oswald's book of hours . : Smokestack Books. ISBN 978-0957172234
Ely, S (2013) ‘Ted Hughes's South Yorkshire’ The Ted Hughes Society Journal , 3 (1), pp. 30-39. ISSN 2051-7270
Ely, S (2012) Ratmen . : Blackheath Books. ISBN 9781906099206
Steve’s book Oswald’s Book of Hours was nominated for the Forward Prize for Best First collection and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry in 2013. He was awarded a major Northern Writer’s Award for Poetry in 2015. He has appeared on Radio 4’s The Echo Chamber, Radio Three’s The Verb and his work has been featured in the Yorkshire Post. He has been commissioned to write poems for the Poetry Society, English Heritage and The Verb. He has given readings, talks and participated in discussions at prestigious literary festivals and similar events, including the Blenheim Palace Literary Festival, The Cornwall Contemporary Poetry Festival (2016) and The Tablet Festival of the Catholic Imagination (2015) The Poetry International website describes him as ‘one of the most exhilarating poets currently working in the UK’. He has been invited to run residentials, workshops and online courses by The Arvon Foundation and The Poetry School. As chair of the Ted Hughes Project (South Yorkshire) he runs the annual Ted Hughes Poetry Festival in Mexborough South Yorkshire which has programmed performers such as Ian McMillan, Frieda Hughes, David Morley, Simon Armitage and Linton Kwesi Johnson. Arts Council England cited the Ted Hughes Poetry Festival as an example of ‘excellence’ in terms of ‘quality of art and engagement’ in its Creative People and Places Report (2016).
Steve is interested in supervising Creative Writing projects (poetry) and research relating to the work of Ted Hughes. He is currently supervising:
In 2016-2017 Steve will be teaching the first year ‘Writing & Thinking Creatively’ and ‘ABC of Writing’ modules, the second year module, ‘The Art of Poetry’ and the third year module, ‘Liberating Poetic Chaos’. He also teaches two community creative writing groups — Write on Mexborough — in Mexborough (28 members in all) and regularly teaches online modules for the Poetry School.