THE HAWK IN THE RAIN: Ted Hughes
I wonder if you’d like to look at this? I must confess that the name of Ted Hughes was unknown to me until these poems arrived; but – as you’ll see from the correspondence – he’s a young Englishman whose poems have been published chiefly in America. This book, his first, has won the First Publication Award in a contest sponsored by the New York Poetry Centre and judged by Auden, Spender and Marianne Moore. The quality seems to me very uneven; but I think there’s some interesting poetry in the book. Though I don’t feel we’d want to take him on yet, he might perhaps have a letter of encouragement. Would it, I wonder, be worth while asking Spender informally for some more information about the Award; and about the judges’ assessment of Mr. Hughes’ work?
I’m inclined to think we ought to take this man now.
Let’s discuss him.