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Glyn Hughes (writer)

Glyn Hughes (25 May 1935 – 24 May 2011) was an English poet, novelist and artist.

Early life and education

Glyn Hughes was born on 25 May 1935 in Altrincham. His father was a bus conductor, who had been unemployed in the 1920's. His mother "cleaned other people's houses."[1]: 21  He grew up up in a council house estate, introduced to literature by his father, who was a voracious reader.[1]: 21–22 

Hughes attended Altrincham Grammar School for Boys.[2] He has stated that "literature at school was nothing... had nothing to do with my life... A mess of words. "[1]: 22  At the age of 13, he discovered Richard Jefferies on his own on the shelves of the public library.[1]: 22–23 

After grammar school he attended a local art college and later trained to be a teacher.[2]


Hughes worked as a teacher for 10 years before becoming a full-time writer in 1968.[2] In 1970, he bought a derelict cottage in Millbank, Sowerby Bridge for 50GBP.[1]: 30–31  In 1975, he published Millstone Grit, a journey through the West Riding of Yorkshire and East Lancashire. In it, he devotes an entire chapter describing how he interviewed William Holt.[1]: 43–54 

His 1982 novel Where I Used to Play on the Green won the Guardian Fiction Prize[3][2] and David Higham Prize for Fiction.[4]

Personal life and death

Hughes was married three times and had one son. He died from cancer on 24 May 2011, at the age of 75.[2][5]


Millstone Grit was included in "William Atkins's top 10 books of the moor" in 2014,[6] and was republished by Little Toller Books in 2022 with an introduction by Ben Myers.[7]

Selected publications

  • Towards the Sun: poems & photographs (1971, Harry Chambers, Phoenix Pamphlet Poets, Manchester)
  • Millstone Grit (1975, Readers Union: ISBN 978-0575017436)
  • Where I Used to Play on the Green (1982, Gollancz: ISBN 978-0575029972)
  • Life Class (2009, Shoestring: ISBN 9781904886983)
  • A Year in the Bull-box (2011, Arc: ISBN 9781906570798)


  1. ^ a b c d e f Hughes, Glyn (1975). Millstone Grit. Readers Union. ISBN 978-0575017436.)
  2. ^ a b c d e Pownall, David (2 June 2011). "Glyn Hughes obituary". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  3. ^ "Guardian Fiction Prize - britishliteraryprizes". University of North Carolina. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  4. ^ "Book awards: David Higham Prize for Fiction". Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  5. ^ "HebWeb: Lives remembered - Glyn Hughes". Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  6. ^ Atkins, William (4 June 2014). "William Atkins's top 10 books of the moor". The Guardian. Retrieved 12 September 2022.
  7. ^ Myers, Ben. "Millstone Grit". Retrieved 12 September 2022. Text of introduction to new edition
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Glyn Hughes (writer)
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