Sylvia Plath Literary Festival
21st - 23rd October 2022
Hebden Bridge & Heptonstall
The blood jet is poetry, / There is no stopping it.
Sylvia Plath Literary Festival
21st - 23rd October 2022
Hebden Bridge & Heptonstall
The blood jet is poetry, / There is no stopping it.

Author Archives: Sophie

The Golden Slipper Hunt

Local emerging artist Amy Coaten is designing and making a pair of Golden Slippers, inspired by the slippers worn by Sylvia at Court Green in the autumn of 1962, as she wrote her Ariel poems. The slippers will be the prize for a treasure hunt written and devised by Amy & Lugh Corbett-Martin, held over the festival weekend. Five clues at five locations will ask you to work out the title of a Plath poem, and when you have all five poem titles, you put your answers in a box on the festival desk by 6.30 on Sunday 23rd October. The winner will be drawn after the final event on Sunday evening. The first clue and full instructions will be printed with the festival programme, available at the Festival Desk, Town Hall Foyer, Hebden Bridge Library, and The Bookcase, Hebden Bridge on the day of the festival.


Here’s the first clue:

Plath’s Cakes

Writer and Plath scholar, Gail Crowther, has adapted a range of recipe cards for Plath’s favourite cakes. Participating cafes include Muse Music and Love Cafe, Albert Street, Hebden Bridge, Mooch Café Ba, Market Street, Hebden Bridge, and Towngate Tearoom in Heptonstall. Continue Reading

Pop-Up Pamphlet Readings

Pop-Up Pamphlet Readings, hosted and produced by Lugh Corbett-Martin and Eira Murphy. Four short readings in independent and exciting venues introducing the work of emerging poets. See programme for further details. Free, but do book online if you can. Daniel Fraser at The Trades Club, Hebden Bridge, Friday 21st October at 6 o’clock. Cathleen Allyn Conway at… Continue Reading

‘My Little Flicker’

‘My Little Flicker’, by Sarah Hesketh: The Town Hall Foyer, Friday 21st October – Sunday 23rd October. Poet and artist, Sarah Hesketh’s art work responds to Sylvia Plath, motherhood and and menstruation.   Sarah will also be giving an artist’s talk and reading, in the Town Hall Foyer, Sunday 23rd October at 3.15 pm. Free… Continue Reading

Poetry Film

Rebecca Goss’s Sylvia Plath Prize winning poem, ‘when it feels hot, that rage against me’ is being made into a poetry film, courtesy of The Poetry Society, and will be screened at Hebden Bridge library during the festival, and available online after the festival.   Hebden Bridge Picture House will be screeing ‘Sylvia’, 7.45 pm ,… Continue Reading

Polly Atkin

Polly Atkin is a poet and nonfiction writer, living in the English Lake District. Her first poetry collection Basic Nest Architecture (Seren: 2017) is followed by Much With Body (Seren, 2021), a PBS Winter 2021 recommendation. She has also published three pamphlets: ‘bone song’ (Aussteiger, 2008), Shadow Dispatches (Seren, 2013) and With Invisible Rain (New Walk: 2018). Continue Reading

Andrew Neilson

Andrew Neilson is a Scottish poet and essayist. His poetry has appeared in magazines such as The Dark Horse, Modern Poetry in Translation, New Writing Scotland, Magma, and Poetry Birmingham. He co-edits the digital poetry journal, Bad Lilies, with Kathryn Gray, and is a trustee of The Poetry Society. Continue Reading

Kathryn Gray

Kathryn Gray’s The Never-Never was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize and the Forward Prize for Best First Collection. A pamphlet, Flowers, was published by Rack Press in 2017, and Voices and Visions: Interviews with the Contemporary English-Language Poets of Wales appeared from Peter Lang in 2019. Continue Reading

Jane Commane

Jane Commane is director/editor at Nine Arches Press, co-editor of Under the Radar magazine and co-author (with Jo Bell) of How to Be a Poet. Her debut poetry collection, Assembly Lines (Bloodaxe, 2018) was longlisted for the 2019 Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Continue Reading

Sarah Westcott

Sarah Westcott’s first pamphlet, Inklings, (Flipped Eye) was a Poetry Book Society pamphlet choice and Slant Light (Pavilion Poetry, 2016), was highly commended in the Forward Prize. Her second collection, Bloom, also with Pavilion Poetry, was published last year. Continue Reading

Katie Ailes

Katie Ailes is a poet, researcher, and educator focusing on performance poetry. She works as a producer with I Am Loud Productions and has co-devised and performed shows with them across the UK. Katie is also a classically trained dancer and choreographer interested in the intersection between speech and movement. Continue Reading

Claire Collison

Claire Collison is a writer and cross-disciplinary artist. She was an honouree of the inaugural Women Poets’ Prize (2018). Her first novel, Treading Water, was a finalist in the Dundee Book Prize (2007). She came second in the Resurgence Prize (2014), Hippocrates Prize (2017), and Winchester Prize (2020).  Continue Reading

Natalie Linh Bolderston

Natalie Linh Bolderston is a Vietnamese-Chinese-British poet. In 2020, she received an Eric Gregory Award and co-won the Rebecca Swift Women Poets’ Prize. Her poem ‘Middle Name with Diacritics’ came third in the 2019 National Poetry Competition and was shortlisted for the 2021 Forward Prize for Best Single Poem. Continue Reading

Jo Clement

Jo Clement is a writer, editor, and educator. She holds a practice-led PhD in Creative Writing from Newcastle University and was awarded an inaugural AHRC Northern Bridge scholarship. Jo is currently a Lecturer in Creative Writing at Northumbria University (Leverhulme 2021-2022). In 2012 she received a Northern Writers’ Award (New Writing North) selected by Paul Farley. Continue Reading

Rowena Thornton

Rowena Thornton is a classically-trained soprano. She was born in Leeds into a musical family and has been singing since the age of four. Over the years she has taken part in performances of a variety of styles and genres comprising opera, oratorio, Lieder, and contemporary music, including premières of new works. Rowena performs both as a soloist and in ensembles, and has also appeared in plays. Continue Reading

Stephen Shulman

Stephen Shulman was trained at the Royal Academy of music. He played full time as a first violin for the Netherlands Ballet and Opera North. He has composed an Opera The Water Palace which was performed at Tete a Tete opera festival in London. Continue Reading

Maureen Boyle

Maureen Boyle lives in Belfast. Her second full collection The Last Spring of the World was published by Arlen House in June. Her first collection, The Work of a Winter was shortlisted for the Strong Shine Award. A single poem Strabane, with photos by her husband Malachi O’Doherty, was published in 2020. She has won the Ireland Chair of Poetry Prize and Travel Bursary, the Strokestown International Poetry Prize and the Fish Short Memoir Prize. Continue Reading

Alycia Pirmohamed

Alycia is the author of Another Way to Split Water, forthcoming with YesYes Books and Polygon Books in 2022. Her pamphlets include Hinge (ignitionpress), Faces that Fled the Wind (BOAAT Press), and the collaborative essay Second Memory, co-authored by Pratyusha (Guillemot Press and Baseline Press). Continue Reading

Jessica Mookherjee

Jessica Mookherjee is a poet of Bengali origin. She grew up in Wales and now lives in Kent. She has been published in many print and online journals and anthologies including Agenda, The North, Rialto and Under the Radar, Poetry Wales, and Bloodaxe anthology “Staying Human”. Continue Reading

Moniza Alvi

Moniza Alvi was born in Pakistan and grew up in Hertfordshire. Her first collection The Country at My Shoulder (Oxford University Press, 1993) was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot and the Whitbread poetry prizes. Europa (Bloodaxe, 2008) and At the Time of Partition (Bloodaxe, 2013) were also shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. Continue Reading

Dorka Tamás

Dorka Tamás has completed her PhD at the University of Exeter. Her thesis explores the supernatural in Sylvia Plath’s poetry by employing the theoretical framework of the early modern witch-hunt. Her research interest includes literary representations of magic and witchcraft and the relationship between the natural environment and supernatural subthemes across literature and culture, particularly in the works of Sylvia Plath. Continue Reading

Iona Murphy

Iona Murphy is a third year PhD literature student at the University of Huddersfield. Her thesis is titled: “Patched, retreaded and approved for the road” Sylvia Plath and the recovery narrative: psychiatry, ableism and body dysmorphia in The Bell Jar, ‘Johnny Panic and the Bible of Dreams’, and ‘Tongues of Stone.’ Continue Reading

Julie Irigaray

Julie Irigaray is an English Literature PhD student at The University of Huddersfield. Her research focuses on Sylvia Plath’s complex relationship with England and her transnational identity as an American writer with strong European connections. Julie is also a creative writing tutor and a poet. Continue Reading

Tracy Brain

Tracy Brain is Professor of Creative Writing and English Literature at Bath Spa University, where she is Director of the PhD in Creative Writing programme. She is a novelist and literary scholar, and has published widely on Sylvia Plath. She is currently working on her fourth novel, as well as a study of pregnancy in the 18th- and 19th-century novel. Continue Reading

Sarah Corbett

Sarah Corbett has published 5 collections of poetry, most recently A Perfect Mirror (Pavilion Poetry/Liverpool University Press, 2018), and the verse-novel And She Was (Pavilion, 2015), both highly commended in the Forward Poetry Prizes. Her work has been shortlisted for the Forward and T.S. Eliot prizes, and widely translated and anthologised. Continue Reading

Ian Humphreys

Ian Humphreys lives in West Yorkshire. His debut collection Zebra (Nine Arches Press, 2019) was nominated for the Portico Prize. He is the editor of Why I Write Poetry (Nine Arches Press, 2021), and the producer and co-editor of After Sylvia (Nine Arches Press, 2022). Continue Reading

Sally Baker

Sally Baker works for The Reader organisation and teaches poetry in adult education. She likes growing flowers, especially tulips, and collects ships in bottles. Her poems have appeared in various poetry magazines and anthologies, and a pamphlet ‘The Sea and The Forest’ was published by The Poetry Business a long time ago. Continue Reading

Carola Luther

Carola Luther’s most recent collection On the Way to Jerusalem Farm was published by Carcanet Press in September 2021. Carcanet Press also published her two earlier collections, Walking the Animals (2004) and Arguing with Malarchy (2011). Continue Reading

Rosie Garland

Rosie Garland writes long & short fiction, poetry & hybrid works that fall between and outside definition. She’s also singer in post-punk band The March Violets. With a passion for language nurtured by public libraries, her award-winning work has been widely published. New poetry collection What Girls Do in the Dark (Nine Arches Press) is out now. Continue Reading

Betty Doyle

Betty Doyle is a disabled poet from Merseyside. Her work has appeared in publications such as Agenda, Butcher’s Dog, Poetry Wales, And Other Poems, and recently placed second in Brag magazine’s poetry prize. Continue Reading

Emily Van Duyne

Emily Van Duyne’s work on Sylvia Plath has appeared in Harvard Review, American Poetry Review, Literary Hub, and elsewhere. Her book LOVING SYLVIA PLATH is under contract with W.W. Norton & Co. In 2022, she received both a Fulbright Scholarship and a New Jersey Individual Artist Fellowship in prose-writing for her work on Sylvia Plath. Continue Reading

Gail Crowther

Gail Crowther is a freelance writer, researcher, and academic who specialises in Sylvia Plath studies, Anne Sexton, archives, place, and sociological hauntings. Her latest book, Three-Martini Afternoons at the Ritz, is a dual biography exploring the social rebellion of Sylvia Plath and Anne Sexton. She is currently working on her second book for Simon & Schuster due to be published in 2023. Continue Reading

Michael Crowley

Michael Crowley is a writer and dramatist. He is the author of two novels, two collections of poetry, and numerous plays as well as non-fiction. His second collection of poetry, ‘The Battle of Heptonstall’ (Smokestack Books), was published in 2021. Continue Reading

Amanda Dalton

Amanda Dalton is a poet and playwright and is currently a visiting lecturer at Manchester University and MMU’s Writing School. Her poetry collections ‘How To Disappear’ and ‘Stray’ are published by Bloodaxe and her recent pamphlets include an experimental poetry sketchbook, ’30 Poems In Thirty Days’ (Arc Publications 2021) and ‘Notes on Water’ (smith|doorstop 2022). Continue Reading

Eleanor Rees

Eleanor Rees is the author of five collections of poetry. Her most recent book is Tam Lin of the Winter Park (Guillemot, 2022). Eleanor is senior lecturer in creative writing at Liverpool Hope University and her research encompasses new-materialist and posthuman thought. Continue Reading

Heather Clark

Heather Clark is the author of three award-winning books about postwar poets, most recently Red Comet: The Short Life and Blazing Art of Sylvia Plath, which won the Slightly Foxed Prize and was a finalist for the Pulitzer Prize, the National Book Critics Circle Award, and a New York Times Top 10 Notable Book of 2021. Continue Reading

Brand new poetry festival to celebrate Sylvia Plath

A brand new festival is coming to Hebden Bridge this autumn, to celebrate the life of one of the area’s most famous poets. The Sylvia Plath Literary Festival will mark the 90th birthday of the legendary poet, and coincide with the publication of After Sylvia, an inspiring anthology of new poems and essays in celebration… Continue Reading

Full price £8-£10 | Local ticket £5-£8

Digital ticket: £10-£20 | Workshops £12/8/5

View more ticket options below.