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Reflections of a working writer and reader



Frieda Hughes Interview

My mother, head in oven, died
And me, already dead inside
I was an empty tin
Where nothing rattled in.

Time magazine has an interview with Frieda Hughes, the daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, on the occasion of the publication of 45, a new collection of poems. The title refers to Frieda Hughes’ age and the volume contains one poem for each year of her life.


45 was originally published by Harper Collins, the paperback from
Bloodaxe Books is due for release on the 11th April 2007

8 Responses to “Frieda Hughes Interview”

  1. Thank you very much for this, John.
    The first thing that came to mind when I looked at the photograph of Frieda was, of how much she resembled her mother…with that same easy grace and elegance.
    Uncannily, that very question popped up later on.
    I am one of those readers who has stayed dutifully haunted by Plath’s life & with the exception of Ariel, the rest of her dark poetry, her autobiographical novella in The Bell Jar, her many photographs and also her ill-fated affair with Ted Hughes.
    And there’s another book too which her mother had compiled soon after her death. It bears a protective maternal affection and is called Letters Home.
    Just one of the few times where poetry totally immersed me. I suppose that kind of passion never leaves. Tears started when I saw Frieda. And by God, doesn’t she have sad eyes.

    jb says: Thanks for the link to Letters Home, Susan. I have, similarly, carried Sylvia Plath’s poetry with me throughout my life, and know exactly where you’re coming from.

  2. Jerry Prager says:

    yes, thanks for posting this, I ignore most media these days, except when I don’t. I don’t know a lot about Plath, I saw the movie, I’ve read a few poems, but Freida’s interview was visceral to me, it reminded me of my own life, which was nothing like hers, and yet there it is, there’s a well of sorrow, and a well of love and I drink from both.

    jb says: Glad to hear it hit the spot, Jerry. As they say, there’s more that connects us than holds us apart.

  3. I have translated Birthday Letters and a collection of Sylvia Plath’s poems into Farsi. I have also translated some poems of Frieda Hughes and one of the best Foxes. Frieda resembles her mother and courage of her father.
    I will try to find the book soon. I mean 45.

    jb says: Welcome Asadollah. Sounds like quite a nice, if demanding, job you’ve got. Any particular problems in translating Plath senior?

  4. pamela robertson-pearce says:

    Dear John,
    Today is Frieda Hughes’ birthday 1 April 1960. I honour her in my blog. Unfortunatly the publishing of her book 45 by Bloodaxe has been blocked, at least we hope only for the time being, by her stepmother Carol. Endless funds to pay lawyers with means that she has threatened to take anyone concerned to court for libel. So Frieda’s voice has been silenced in the UK but 45 was published in the USA, as you know, and so can be had, thank goodness.
    I want to honour all artists compelled to speak their truth, write, paint, sing, dance, tell their truth and the right to be heard and seen. Pamela

    jb says: Hi Pamela. You mention your blog but don’t give us a link. I can’t find any news about the British publication of 45. Can you keep us up-to-date?

  5. Mark Ryan says:


    Nice site. Earlier this year you mentioned an interview that Frieda Hughes, daughter of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath, gave to “Time” magazine, also this year. I haven’t been able to find this interview and was wondering if you might know where it is accessible.


    Mark Ryan

    jb says: Hi Mark, just follow the link to Time, above. It still works, I just checked it.

  6. Matt says:

    can you help me contact Frieda? I have some letters I found in Alaska concerning her brother I thought she might like to have. -Matt.

    This is not a joke or scam. I live in Alaska and happen to find these last week.

  7. Brittany says:

    Is there any way I would be able to contact Frieda? I’m doing a research paper over her mother, and I’m wondering if she could maybe give me some insight about her poetry.

  8. Maria Grazia Nicolosi says:

    How I can contact Frieda Hughes?I’m a student of the University of Turin and I would debate my theses about her.