'Eagle' by Ted Hughes, printed by the Morrigu Press


This is a signed edition of ‘Eagle’, a poem by Ted Hughes, printed by the Morrigu Press in 1980.

The Morrigu Press was founded by Nicholas Hughes, Ted’s son, when he was 18 years old. He had received the gift of an Albion handpress from his aunt, Olwyn Hughes, and between 1979 and 1983 printed and bound over 20 poems by hand in limited editions. Except for one poem by Charles Causley, Nicholas exclusively printed Hughes’s poems. Hughes would complete a poem, and pass it on to Nicholas to be set up in type. The early publications appear as broadsides, and from 1982 Nicholas moved to printing booklets. They achieve a harmonious relationship between the poem and the page through simple yet elegant designs, created with high quality materials such as handmade paper.

Like ‘Eagle’, many of the poems are accompanied by an illustration drawn by Hughes. One poem, ‘Pan’, features an illustration by Nicholas’s sister, Frieda Hughes. Leonard Baskin, a close friend of Hughes, designed a logo for the press featuring a three-legged crow (‘Morrigu’ is an Irish goddess who sometimes took the form of this bird).

Hughes’s enthusiasm for working with small presses is longstanding. He collaborated with Baskin at the Gehenna Press, and in 1971 Hughes and his sister Olwyn began their own printing venture, the Rainbow Press. Over the next decade the Rainbow Press produced fine editions of poetry. Small press publication allowed total creative freedom, and both Hughes and Olwyn enjoyed the very art of making books – working closely with text and image, carefully choosing the right typeface, binding, and paper, to produce beautiful books of poetry.

Full title:
1980, North Tawton, Devon
Morrigu Press
27 July 1980
Broadside / Illustration / Image / Manuscript annotation
Ted Hughes
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© The Ted Hughes Estate. No copying, republication or modification is allowed for material © The Ted Hughes Estate. For further use of this material please seek formal permission from the copyright holder.

Held by
British Library

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