Maya Angelou Memoirs/Ted Hughes Collection – Poetry News Roundup May 9th

In today’s poetry news roundup we bring you the planned dramatization for Radio of the memoirs of Maya Angelou and we take a look at the Ted Hughes collection being accumulated by the University of Huddersfield.

Poets Memoirs to be Dramatised for Radio

BBC Radio 4 is planning to broadcast dramatisations of six of the memoirs of the poet Maya Angelou. The first broadcasts in the series are scheduled for late June this year and will coincide with the 90thanniversary of the poet’s birth.

Angelou’s work has been dramatized by the award-winning playwrights. The first programme “I Know Why the Caged Birds Sing” will begin with Angelou’s childhood and continue into adulthood.  Over the course of the six programmes, the memoirs will take the listener on a detailed journey through a crucial period in black history, a period that altered culture, attitudes and society.

The journey will see Angelou survive both racial and physical abuse as she grew up in the deep south. It will touch on her time working as a prostitute and pimp, a dancer and singer before she finally rose to fame as a poet and a writer. It also discusses her work with civil rights.

In a career that spanned over 50 years, Angelou wrote a total of seven autobiographies, several books of poetry and three books of essays. She was also credited with a lengthy list of plays, movies and TV shows.

She was also the recipient of numerous awards and was the first poet in over 30 years to make an inaugural recitation, which she did during the ceremony for Bill Clinton. Barack Obama awarded her a Presidential Medal of Freedom.

Each program in the series will run for 4 days, beginning with the first recording from 18thto 22ndJune. The final programme will run from 25thFebruary to 1stMarch.

Most Extensive Ted Hughes Collection Accumulated

The University of Huddersfield is hoping to amass the most extensive collection of works by Ted Hughes in the world, and they are well on the way to achieving their goal.

A rare handwritten volume of poems by Hughes has just recently joined the collection having been won via telephone bidding from a world-renowned London Auction house. The book which is being described as the jewel in the crown of the collection sold for £11, 875.

A Bundle of Birds is an exquisite piece of Hughes memorabilia, containing 23 handwritten poems. The book was specially bound by the poet’s son Nicholas in 1982 and was given as a gift to Hughes Sister. The collection now contains more than 90 individual items and it is thought that it may well be a comprehensive public collection of limited editions by Hughes.

It seems fitting for the collection to be housed in the University, Hughes was born in Mytholmroyd, and raised in nearby Mexborough. Heiss one of the most famous sons of Yorkshire. He married fellow poet Sylvia Plath and was poet laureate from 1984 until his death.

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