Poet Alice Oswald is the editor of Bestiary, a new Ted Hughes anthology of animal poetry
In a rare public appearance, the prize-winning poet Alice Oswald introduces A Ted Hughes Bestiary in conversation with Faber & Faber poetry editor Paul Keegan at Daunt Books tonight, writes Lucy Brooks
Alice Oswald, born 1966, is a unique voice in British poetry. Educated in Classics and trained as a gardener, her work combines an obsession with the orality and time manipulation of classical poetry with a concern for the stories of the landscape. Famously shy of the spotlight, she seldom appears in public or publishes outside her poetry. Dart won the prestigious T. S. Eliot Prize, and three of her other collections have been shortlisted. Memorial went on to win the Warwick and Popescu Prizes.
The vivid imagination and sensitive ear that make Alice Oswald such a wondrous poet also make her a keen critic. Her collection and arrangement of Ted Hughes's poems is more than just a new anthology, it cast a new light of literary significance: "There is something very distilled and self-defining about his animal poems, almost as if they were prayers to language itself; which is why, out of the mass of his Collected Poems, it seemed a good idea to gather a bestiary," she explains.
As editor of Hughes's selected verse, Paul Keegan will discuss this new anthology with Oswald and give broad insight into Hughes's oeuvre. This is a rare chance to hear one of our most exciting living poets breathe new life into these canonical poems.
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