In this series, a contemporary poet selects and introduces a poet of the past. By their choice of poems and by the personal and critical reactions they express in their prefaces, the editors offer insights into their own work as well as providing an accessible and passionate introduction to some of the greatest poets in our literature. Ted Hughes (1930-98) was born in Yorkshire. His first book, The Hawk in the Rain, was published in 1957. His last collection, Birthday Letters, was published in 1998 and won the Whitbread Book of the Year, the Forward Prize and the T. S. Eliot Prize. He was appointed Poet Laureate in 1984 and appointed to the Order of Merit in 1998.