All accommodation for the conference is in the conference venue itself, Gregynog Hall (full board) and can be booked through the conference registration site, however, if you wish to stay near by instead the following list offers a selection of accommodation within c. 20 minutes’ drive of Gregynog Hall.

1. Hotels

2. B&Bs

3. Airbnb

4. Serviced Apartments


List of Papers

Below you will find a list of papers arrange alphabetically by author. The full programme with timings will be released shortly – this is just to whet your appetite!


Gillian Clarke: Poetry Reading

Juliette Wood: Ted Hughes and the Mabinogion


Beyond the British Library: Ted Hughes archives in the UK

Pat Aske (Pembroke College, Cambridge University), Christine Faunch (University of Exeter), Carrie Smith (Cardiff University), James Underwood (University of Huddersfield)

Poetry in the Making: From Then to Now: Making Change

Mick Gowar (Angelia Ruskin University, UK), Claas Kazzer (Independent scholar, Germany), Lorraine Kerslake (Alicante University, Spain), Lissa Paul (Brock University, Ontario Canada) and David Whitley (Cambridge University, UK)



Selma Alispahić (Sarajevo Film Academy, Bosnia and Herzegovina), ‘Thespian Character of Poetry of Ted Hughes: An Actor from the Role to the Soul’

Di Beddow (Queen Mary University, UK), “It is still there, representing you” – The Cambridge of Birthday Letters

Bella Biddle (Central Saint Martins, UK), ‘The Morrigu Press’

Ruth Crossley (University of Huddersfield, UK), ‘Mapping Elmet: Childhood and Family Roots in the Upper Calder Valley’

Krishnendu Das Gupta (Netaji Subhas Open University, India), ‘The Goddess Within: Hindu Symbology in Ted Hughes’s Poetry’

C E Dreyer (University of South Wales, UK), ‘Ted Hughes and the weaponization of Birthday Letters’

Steve Ely (University of Huddersfield, UK), ‘A Prologue to Capriccio’

Peter Fydler (independent scholar, UK), ‘Crow Zero: Leonard Baskin and the Birth of a Legend’

Terry Gifford (Bath Spa University, UK), ‘Ted Hughes and Science’

Sayuri Hiwatashi (Meiji University, Japan), ‘Capturing Animals: Ted Hughes’s Pike in the Context of Natural History’

Gregory Leadbetter (Birmingham City University, UK), ‘The Fundamental Poetic Event’: Hughes, Poetry and Shamanism

Gary Leising (Utica College, USA), ‘Teaching Birthday Letters in a Sylvia Plath class: Contextualizing, Problematizing, or Mansplaining Ariel?’

Mimi McKay (Independent Scholar, USA), ‘Collecting Ted Hughes: Alone and Among Friends’

Tony Othen (curator, Greenwich Gallery, UK), ‘A day spent with Ted Hughes’

Felicity Powell (University of Sheffield, UK), The Quantum Trickster –Science and Subversion in the work of Ted Hughes

Yvonne Reddick (University of Central Lancashire, UK), ‘Ted Hughes’s Places: Local and International’

Neil Roberts (University of Sheffield, UK), ‘Hughes and Larkin: a Rapprochement?’

James Robinson (Durham University, UK), ‘The Sound of Dante’s Language: An Alternative Medieval Tradition for Ted Hughes’

Katherine Robinson (Cambridge University, UK), ‘Talismans of Power: Welsh Origins of Ted Hughes’s Curative Poetry’

Judy Rye (University of Exeter, UK), ‘Extravagances and Curiosities: Hughes’s Early Stage Plays’

Dibakar Sarkar (Ramakrishna Mission Residential College, India), Hughes and Plath’s Children’s Fiction

Sara Shahwan (Ain Shams University, Egypt), “Two Plus Two Is Five”: Traces of Hughes’s “Myth and Education” in Michael Rosen’s Poetry for Children

Martin Shaw (Schumacher College, UK), ‘Ted Hughes: The etiquette of the uncanny’

Janne Stigen Drangsholt (University of Stavanger, Norway), ‘Come build the empty house of the stare’: Ted Hughes and Dwelling

Mike Sweeting (Independent Scholar, UK), ‘Ted Hughes and Dialect’


Dorottya Tamás (University of Sussex, UK), ‘Summoning the White Goddess: Paganism in Birthday Letters, a Reflection on Sylvia Plath’

Fiona Tomkinson (Nagoya University, Japan), ‘The Golden Lotus: Ted Hughes and Buddhism’

David Troupes (Fellow of the Jerwood Opera Writing Programme, UK), ‘Ted Hughes in Massachusetts’

Mark Wormald (Cambridge University, UK), ‘The Missing Salmon’






Getting to Gregynog Hall

There will be a bus from Cardiff University (Colum Drive) departing at 10am 28th August and returning by 3pm 30th August (book at registration)

International guests may wish to stay in Cardiff the night before the conference. You can stay in university student halls, which are basic but inexpensive and can be booked here –

There are many hotels within the city, for example:



Getting from the London airports to Cardiff

Train to Cardiff Central Station – from here you can either get a taxi from the rank outside the station to John Percival Building, Colum Drive or take a local train to Cathays Station, which is a very short walk from the building.

National Express coach company have a Cardiff University stop and travel from most major airports.

If you are flying into Cardiff Airport there is a regular bus between the airport and the city. Tickets cost from £5, and you can also pay in Euros – €7 one way and €10 return –

If you are flying into Bristol Airport there is a regular National Express Bus to Cardiff University –

There will be a bus from Cardiff University (Colum Drive) departing at 10am 28th August and returning by 3pm 30th August (book at registration)

If you wish to go directly to Gregynog Hall:
The nearest station to Gregynog Hall is Newtown. And you will need to get a taxi from the station to Gregynog Hall, which will take about 15-20 mins.  There are local taxi services that you may wish to book in advance – see list and list
You are welcome to drive to Gregynog Hall and park. There are a limited number of parking spaces so please let me know if you wish to do this so that I can arrange it with Gregynog. For the SatNav postcode and driving instructions see here –



Poetry reading by Gillian Clarke

We are pleased to announce that Gillian Clarke will be reading at the conference on 29th August!

Gillian Clarke was born in Cardiff and lives in Ceredigion. She was awarded the Queen’s Gold medal for Poetry in 2010 and the Wilfred Owen Award in 2012. She was the National Poet for Wales. Prose works include a writer’s journal, At the Source. She has written for radio, and translated poetry and prose from Welsh. The Gathering/Yr Helfa, written for the National Theatre of Wales, was performed on Snowdon in September, 2014. Her last collection, Ice, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Award 2012 and Zoology was published in 2017.

Gillian’s reading is generously supported by the Ted Hughes Society

Introducing Plenary Speaker Juliette Wood

Dr Juliette Wood is an American academic who studied folklore and Celtic literature at the Universities of Pennsylvania, Wales and Oxford. She now lives in Cardiff where she is Associate Lecturer in the School of Welsh Cardiff University and a Director of The Folklore Society at the Warburg Institute, London.

After gaining degrees in medieval philosophy and Arthurian literature, she studied folklore at the University of Pennsylvania, from which she holds both an M.A and a PhD. Her doctoral thesis examined similarities between the geography and cosmology of medieval travelogues and journeys to the other world in Celtic and Italian tales. She continued her studies in folklore and Celtic literature at the University College of Wales, Aberystwyth and at Linacre College, Oxford where she received an M.Litt degree for research into the traditions of the Welsh poet Taliesin.



The Conference Venue: Gregynog Hall

The conference will be held at Gregynog Hall. A coach will take delegates from Cardiff University to the Hall.  Gregynog has existed for 800 years. By the 16th century it was the home of the Blayney family, local gentry who claimed descent from the early Welsh princes and whose courage and benevolence were praised by the court poets. Their coat of arms is the centrepiece of the fine oak carvings in the Blayney Room.

Gregynog Hall might have been demolished had not the wealthy Davies sisters acquired it in 1920 to become the headquarters of their enterprise to bring art, music and creative skills to the people of Wales in the aftermath of the First World War.

For twenty years the house was full of music, fine furniture and ceramics, hand-printed books from the Gregynog Press and, most extraordinary of all, the sisters’ collection of paintings by artists such as Monet, Cezanne and Van Gogh. Leading lights, such as George Bernard Shaw and Gustav Holst visited during these years for musical concerts – or simply to enjoy the beautiful gardens and woodland walks.

At the end of the 1950s, after wartime use as a Red Cross convalescent home, Gregynog was bequeathed to the University of Wales as a conference centre. It welcomed its first students in 1963 and they’ve been coming ever since! But the old Gregynog lives on – the music, the art, the printing press and the gardens. It is still a magical, timeless place where you can walk in the grounds on a quiet evening and listen to the birdsong just as the Davies sisters did many decades ago.

For more of its history click here

Practical info

The ground floor of the Hall is fully accessible. There are 2 rooms in the main house with support for those who need greater accessibilty.

All conference rooms will have AV support via Microsoft laptops. To connect a Mac delegates will need to provide their own lead.


Getting to Gregynog Hall

There will be a bus from Cardiff University (Colum Drive) departing at 10am 28th August and returning by 3pm 30th August (book at registration)

Gregynog’s location near the quiet village of Tregynon, 6 miles north of Newtown in Powys, makes it reachable within 3 hours from all parts of Wales, within 2 hours from Birmingham, Manchester, Chester and Liverpool and just 50 minutes from Shrewsbury. Rail links are via the Birmingham – Aberystwyth line, and the nearby A483 leads to the motorway network.

To drive use the postcode SY16 3PL, which will bring you into the Hall grounds via the main Estate entrance. From the Berriew direction, it may also direct you to turn right towards Brooks, which is a steep single track road. Please ignore this and continue onto Bettws Cedewain.

Please Note: Google Maps currently displays addresses and directions in a limited number of languages which does not include Welsh.

From Newtown

Entering Newtown from the South, keep on the A489 until you reach the traffic lights at McDonald’s. Turn left at the traffic lights (keeping McDonalds on your left). Go over the river bridge following signs for the hospital. Take the fifth turning on the right (opposite the Bell Hotel). Carry on up the hill out of Newtown for approx. 6 miles. The entrance to Gregynog is sign-posted on the left just before the village of Tregynon.

From Welshpool

Head towards Newtown on the A483 for approx. 4 miles. Turn right towards Berriew (B4390). In Berriew village take the second turning on the left, sign posted Bettws Cedewain 5 miles. In Bettws follow the road round to the right (keeping the New Inn pub on your right) sign-posted Tregynon 2.5 miles. At the next T junction the entrance to Gregynog is sign posted straight opposite.


Learn about The Ted Hughes Society

Promoting the scholarly reading and discussion of the work of Ted Hughes

Joining the Ted Hughes Society

Becoming a member of the Ted Hughes Society helps support our work promoting the scholarly reading and discussion of Hughes’s work and entitles you to:

  • Full access to the Ted Hughes Society Journal (comprising two new issues a year, and all back issues)This is an open access journal.
  • International Ted Hughes Conference notifications every three years (including the conference to be held at University of Cardiff, 2018).
  • Access to resources such as Post-graduate Liaison Officer’s information and updated bibliography.
  • Ted Hughes Society Website news and links
  • Contact with Hughes Scholars worldwide
  • Ability to purchase rare and difficult to source books on Hughes from other Society members

Subscriptions run annually from January/February and cost just £10 per annum.