Ted Hughes and the Small Press
Ted Hughes (1930-1998) was one of Britain's most important poets of the second half of the twentieth century. The Fisher Library has recently acquired and catalogued a virtually complete collection of limited, signed works by Hughes, published in the 1970s and early 1980s by two presses he established, the Rainbow Press and the Morrigu Press.
Of the sixteen titles issued under the Rainbow Press imprint, ten were by Hughes, including Prometheus on His Crag and Moortown Elegies, and four by his first wife, Sylvia Plath. The volumes were attractively designed, printed on hand-made paper, and bound using a variety of materials, including goat vellum, morocco leather, and patterned paper. In contrast to the sophisticated production techniques associated with these publications, the broadsides and slim one-poem booklets of the Morrigu Press were altogether less elaborate. Printed by Hughes’s teenage son, Nicholas, on an Albion hand-press, the nearly twenty separately published poems appeared between 1979 and 1983. These poems, with titles such as Mice are Funny Little Creatures and Wolf-watching, reflect the poet’s deep concern for nature, especially animals and the environment. The collection includes two of the more uncommon Hughes items, Cows and Tapirs’ Saga, both broadsides, the latter title one of only fifteen copies printed.
The Hughes material is accessible through the Library’s online catalogue.
To read more about this material, along with other Fisher donations and acquisitions over the past year, please read the current Halcyon, the newsletter of the Friends of the Fisher Library. It can be accessed by clicking here.