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The English Book Club – Ted Hughes: Birthday Letters

The collection of intimate poems Birthday Letters by Ted Hughes was published ten months before his death in 1998. The poems are addressed to his wife, Sylvia Plath, who committed suicide in 1963, and were written over a period of more than twenty-five years. They “reveal the heart of a poet some had judged heartless, and bring to life the spirit of a great love that had existed between two great artists” (Erica Wagner). The novel Your Story, My Story by Connie Palmen, discussed in the book club in October 2022, is based primarily on the eighty-eight poems in Birthday Letters.