(1930-1998), Ted Edward James Hughes was born on August 17, 1930, in 1 Aspinal Street, Mytholmroyd, a small town close to Hebden Bridge in Calder Valley, Yorkshire, England
. He was the third child of Edith Fararr and William Henry Hughes.
In 1938 the family moved to Mexborough, a mining town in South Yorkshire. At the age of 11, Ted began writing comic verse, encouraged by English teachers at Mexborough Grammar School. In June 1946, one of his poems and a short story was published in the school magazine, followed by more poems in the July 1948 issue. That same year, he won an Open Exhibition in English to Pembroke College, Cambridge.
He served two years of National Service in the RAF from 1949 to 1951, where he was stationed as a ground wireless mechanic on an isolated, three-man station in East Yorkshire.
Ted entered Cambridge in 1951, pursuing a degree in English, hoping it would help his writing. However, this proved to be the opposite, so he switched to archeology and anthropology. The June 1954 issue of the university magazine published his poem "The Little Boys and the Seasons" under the pseudonym Daniel Hearing. He graduated in 1954 and worked several part-time jobs to support himself, including rose-gardener, night-watchman, zoo attendant, and schoolteacher.
In 1956 he and his friends decided to start a poetry magazine, St. Botolph's Review. At the first (and only) issue party, he met Sylvia Path. They were married on June 16, 1956 and honeymooned in Benidorm, Spain. During this time, after hearing how lucrative it was, Ted started writing children's books.
Later that year,Plath typed up a manuscript of Hughes' poetry and submitted it to a competition for English poetry. The prize was immediate publication by the publishing house Harper.
After Plath finished her M.A., the couple travelled to Cape Cod for the summer. In the autumn of 1957, Plath took up a teaching position at Smith College, in Northampton, Massachusetts, and Ted taught a semester of Creative Writing and English at the University of Massachusetts in Amherst. On September 18, Hawk in the Rain was published.
In 1958 the couple met the sculptor and graphic artist Leonard Baskin, which led to several colloborations: Crow (1970/1973), Cave Birds (1975/1978), Moon-Whales and Other Moon Poems (1976), Season Songs (1976), Under the North Star (1981) and Flowers and Insects (1986).
Later, Ted and Sylvia moved to a small apartment in Boston. Sylvia gave up her academic teaching career to focus on writing. After a summer camping tour across the United States in 1959, the couple spent the autumn in the artists colony Yaddo, Saratoga Springs, where Plath finished The Colossus and Hughes finished Lupercal.
In December the couple moved back to England and settled in London. Lupercal was published in March of 1960, and their daughter, Frieda Rebecca, was born on April 1. Plath worked on The Bell Jar and Hughes worked on several poems that would later be collected into Recklings.
On April 7, 1961, Faber & Faber published Hughes' first children's book, Meet My Folks!, which contained rhyming poems about imaginery relatives. In August, the couple moved to Devon.
On January 17, 1962, their second child, Nicholas Farrar, was born. The marriage subsequently crumbled and Hughes separated from Plath, moving back to London. Plath and the two children followed shortly, moving into a separate flat.
In February 1962 Sylvia Plath committed suicide.
After her death, Ted took the children. He was granted a lecturer's salary at the University of Vienna for five years. From 1963 onwards, he wrote virtually no poetry for adults, concentrating on writings for children and reviews and criticism. In February of 1964, Faber & Faber published Nessie the Mannerless Monster. In 1965, Hughes worked as a judge in the National Children's Poetry Competition (now known as W. H. Smith National Literary Competition).
In 1966, Ted and the children moved to Ireland. He worked on Wodwo and poems for Crow. The family later returned in Devon in the summer. Recklings and The Burning of the Brothel were published. In May 1967, Faber & Faber published Wodwo. In 1968, The Iron Man was published.
In 1969, his partner, Assia Wevill, took her own life and that of their daughter, Shura (born in 1967). In May, his mother died. Hughes bought Lumb Bank in Yorkshire and moved back and forth between England and Ireland.
In 1970 Hughes married Carol Orchard, and he stayed in Devon. In 1971 he travelled to Iran to work on theatre colloborations with Peter Brook. Upon his return to England, he retreated from the public, buying a farm, to concentrate on his writing, having numerous volumes published.
On December 19, 1984, Ted Hughes was appointed Poet Laureate of England, succeeding the late John Betjeman.
Since then, Hughes concentrated on translations and theatre. He was awarded the Forward Prize in 1998 and appointed a member of the Order of Merit.
On October 28, 1998 Ted Hughes died of cancer at the age of 68 in his house in Devon.