Melvyn Bragg guest edits New Statesman - lost Ted Hughes poem on Sylvia Plath's death published

Veteran broadcaster Melvyn Bragg guest edited this week’s New Statesman and he has cleared the front-page of its usual furniture for a specially-produced drawing by artist Tracey Emin.

A sketch of the grim reaper is accompanied by the intriguing ‘headline’ ART & CULTURE ARE DEAD LONG LIVE ART & CULTURE.

A press statement from the NS quotes Lord Bragg: “I first started reading the New Statesman over 50 years ago – and I’m sure I must have dreamed of editing it then. It’s been a long wait but it’s been worth it.”

3pm update: Inside Bragg has bagged a rare interview with Gore Vidal, and he has also tracked down a lost poem from Ted Hughes.  There’s also a short story by PD James and a new poem by Carol Ann Duffy.

The newly-discovered Hughes poem describes the events surrounding his wife Sylvia Plath’s suicide.

Entitled Last Letter, it begins with the line: “What happened that night? Your final night.” It describes the days leading up to Plath’s suicide in February 1963 and the aftermath.

The New Statesman says it discovered the poem in the British Library’s Ted Hughes archive after being led to it by the late poet laureate’s widow, Carol Hughes.

Press Gazette understands that the Hughes estate has stipulated that the lost poem can only appear in the print edition of the New Statesman, so it will not be going online.

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