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Event at Keats House

Help us keep Keats's legacy alive by joining in our programme of poetry performances, workshops, guided walks, late events and family fun days. Many events are FREE.

E-newsletter

Sign up for our e-newsletter to find out about events and news. Email keatshouse@cityoflondon.gov.uk to join.

Please book events online through Eventbrite.

July 2017 events

Sunday 9 July
Afternoon Poems: La Bella Italia
2–3pm

Join us for an afternoon inspired by Italy, including Roman and Italian poets (in translation) and the many British and American writers who have over the centuries been drawn to La Bella Italia.

Free, booking recommended

Sunday 16 July
Family Day: Plant Power
1–4pm

From beautiful to medicinal, Keats knew the power of plants and we’ll be discovering more about the wonder of the herbs and flowers. We’ll be giving you the chance to sow your own health-giving herb seed to nurture at home.

Free, drop–in

Saturday 29 July
Keats in Hampstead Walk
11am–1.30pm
(meet outside Hampstead tube station)

Follow the story of Keats’s life in this walk around Hampstead village, with readings from his poetry and letters. Explore locations that inspired Keats, including the Vale of Health, Well Walk and the Heath itself. We finish at Keats House, where entry is free to walkers. Please wear sturdy shoes.

£12, booking essential

Saturday 29 July
A Joy Forever: ‘I Almost Wish We Were Butterflies’
2–3.30pm

‘I almost wish we were butterflies and liv'd but three summer days – three such days with you I could fill with more delight than fifty common years could ever contain’ wrote John Keats to Fanny Brawne. Join poets Julia Bird and Mike Sims for afternoon tea – with readings, games, gifts, tea and cake – as they explore Keats’s summer days.

£12 (includes light refreshments), booking essential

Saturday 29 July
On a Summer Evening: Late Night Opening
6.30–8.30pm

To celebrate the longer evenings, we’re extending our opening hours on the last Saturday of June and July. Relax with a drink from our pop-up bar and enjoy the unique atmosphere of dusk falling over Keats House, with an exclusive late night tour.

£8.50, booking essential

Sunday 30 July
Guided Tour: The Architectural History of Keats House*
11–11.45am

Explore the architectural history of Keats House, originally known as Wentworth Place. Hear the stories of its residents John Keats and his good friend Charles Brown, and discover how it was transformed into the building we know today.

Free with admission

*The tour will include the basement and first floor. The route will include steep steps and please note, as we are a Grade 1 listed building, we do not have a lift.

August 2017 events

Friday 4 August
Summer Jazz and Poetry
7–8.30pm

Celebrate the lazy, hazy days of the season with the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors and musician Catherine Lima, who will be coming together to bring you a fusion of poetry and jazz. Enjoy a drink from our pop-up bar and take in some sumptuous verse and music – heady summer evenings were meant for this.

£8.50, booking essential

Sunday 13 August
Afternoon Poems: Railway Rhapsody – A Love Affair with Locomotion
2–3pm

Ever since its inception, the railway has cast a spell over our nation and beyond. Join the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for the rhymes and reasons why – from the days of steam through to the travails of travel in modern times – the enchantment lingers still.

Free, booking recommended

Sunday 20 August
Family Day: Bird Garlands in the Garden
1–4pm

Swallows, larks and doves swoop through the poetry of Keats and we’re celebrating our feathered friends by making bird-feeder garlands in the garden. Using ingredients you’ll easily find in your kitchens and cupboards, we’ll be cooking up a treat for you to take home for the birds in your gardens, parks and outdoor spaces.

Free, drop in

Saturday 26 August
Shelley: ‘The Trumpet of a Prophecy’ Guided Walk
11am–1.30pm
(meet outside King’s Cross Station by the Henry Moore statue, Euston Road entrance)

Experience the stirring life and poetry of a great radical Romantic poet. We’ll visit fascinating landmarks in the lives of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, from their first meeting to their notorious elopement and exile in Europe, where they created such ground-breaking masterpieces as 'Frankenstein' and 'The Mask of Anarchy'.

£12, booking essential

Sunday 27 August
Templar Poetry Festival
Museum open 11am–5pm

In a first event of its kind, Keats House will be hosting a festival to celebrate the publications and poets of Templar Poetry, an independent publisher championing high-quality, modern poetry. Listen to pop-up readings throughout the day at Keats House and browse beautifully-crafted titles in the festival bookshop.

The readings and bookshop are included in admission to the museum, workshops and talks are charged separately.

Festival Events

Writing and Editing Workshop: Preparing a Short Collection for Submission
10.30am–12.00pm

Oliver Comins will lead a workshop for poets seeking advice, guidance and practical approaches to assembling and presenting short, Pamphlet-length collections. The workshop will explore techniques and approaches to bringing a collection together and preparing it for submission. Additional 1:1 sessions of 30 minutes will also be available to discuss draft manuscripts.

Workshop: £25, booking essential

Workshop with 1:1 sessions: £35, please email info@templarpoetry.com for further details and booking

Reading Films/Reading Poems Seminar
1.30pm–3.00pm

Paul Maddern will use Jane Campion’s Bright Star as a basis for comparing and contrasting the process of reading a film with that of reading a poem – especially in relation to passive and active engagement with art forms by readers and observers . The workshop will read poems inspired by specific films and discuss the use of the moving image as the natural development of the Ekphractic  tradition – the graphic and often dramatic, verbal description of a visual work of art, either real or imagined.

£20, booking essential.

Walking the Block - Jane Weir
3.30pm–4.30pm

Jane Weir, poet, textile designer and editor reads and discusses her unique poetic biography of the Modernist handblock printers, Phyllis Barron and Dorothy Larcher. Their commercially successful work used natural dye stuffs, including indigo and madder and they counted Coco Chanel as one of their clients. Jane's poetry includes three collections and she has written on fashion, tailoring and couture.
*This event is part of the Templar Poetry Festival. In a first event of its kind, Keats House will be hosting a festival to celebrate the publications and poets of Templar Poetry, an independent publisher championing high-quality, modern poetry. Listen to pop-up readings throughout the day at Keats House and browse beautifully-crafted titles in the festival bookshop. The readings and bookshop are included in admission to the museum (open from 11am–5pm), workshops and talks are charged separately.

£5, booking essential

Paul Maddern and Oliver Comins
7.00–8.00pm

These two acclaimed Templar poets will be coming together to read from their catalogue of work, including Paul Maddern's first collection, ‘The Beachcomber's Report’, which was shortlisted in Ireland's  Best First Collection Award – the Strong Award sponsored by the Irish Times, and Oliver Comins' ‘Battling Against the Odds’ – a joyful, witty and stimulating collection about the game of golf and the sport of  life.
*This event is part of the Templar Poetry Festival. In a first event of its kind, Keats House will be hosting a festival to celebrate the publications and poets of Templar Poetry, an independent publisher championing high-quality, modern poetry. Listen to pop-up readings throughout the day at Keats House and browse beautifully-crafted titles in the festival bookshop. The readings and bookshop are included in admission to the museum (open from 11am–5pm), workshops and talks are charged separately.

£5, booking essential

September 2017 Events

Saturday 2 September
La Bella Italia at London’s Roman Amphitheatre
2.30 – 3.30pm

Keats House visits the City for an afternoon of Roman and Italian poetry. Hear Roman and Italian poets in translation, plus British and American writers who have been drawn to La Bella Italia over the centuries. Access to London’s Roman Amphitheatre is via Guildhall Art Gallery EC2V 5AE. Part of Londinium – the City’s Roman story (visitlondon.com/romans).

Free, booking recommended

Friday 8 September
Bangla Music Festival: Chandra Chakraborty
7 – 8.30pm

Experience hypnotic classical and semi-classical Bengali music performed by leading post-modern interpreter of Indian classical music and All India Radio gold medallist, Chandra Chakraborty. The performance will be interspersed with verses by Keats which resonate with the moods and emotions of the songs. Part of the Bangla Music Festival (www.saudha.org).

£10, booking recommended

Sunday 10 September
Afternoon Poems: John Keats in 1817
2 – 3pm

The year 1817 was highly significant for Keats. He moved to Hampstead from the City with his brothers, published his first book of poetry, and began work on his epic poem Endymion. 200 years on, the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors read poems and letters from this formative year.

Free, booking recommended

Saturday 16 and Sunday 17 September
Open House Weekend
11am – 4.30pm

As part of Open House, Keats House is offering a series of free guided tours throughout the day on a first come, first served basis. The tours are expected to be very popular so there may be queues at busy times.

Free, no advance bookings

Sunday 17 September
Family Day: Picture Perfect
1 – 4pm

Calling all budding artists. Be inspired by the artwork adorning the walls of Keats House and make fantastic frames for your pictures and portraits. Get creative with some collaging fun and make your very own masterpiece to take home.

Free, drop in

Thursday 21 September
Primrose Island: Keats and the Isle of Wight
7 – 8.30pm

Dr Jane Darcy delivers the Keats Foundation Annual Lecture. The Isle of Wight enchanted Keats. In April 1817 everything he saw there held endless promise – the sea, the ‘delightful wood-alleys,’ the ‘quick freshes’ and the primroses. Yet his relationship with the island and isolation was complex, and on this first visit loneliness overwhelmed him.

£5, booking recommended

Saturday 23 September
Guided Tour: The Architectural History of Keats House*
11.30am – 12.15pm

Explore the architectural history of Keats House, originally known as Wentworth Place. Hear stories of its residents John Keats and his good friend Charles Brown and discover how it was transformed into the building we know today. (*The tour visits the basement and first floor and includes steep steps. Please note there is no lift access.)

£6.50 (includes house admission), booking recommended

Tuesday 26 September
Templar Poetry Live: Elsa Fischer and Ian Harker
7 – 8.30pm

When Orpheus is pulled out of the canal and the Berlin Wall is transformed into an urban beach, it’s clear there is more to survival than simply staying alive. Rules of Survival is Ian Harker’s first full collection. In Elsa Fischer’s debut pamphlet, Palmistry in Karachi, we are drawn into a surreal life and an odyssey across continents, time and experience.

Free, booking recommended

Friday 29 September
John Hegley: Peace, Love and Potatoes
7 – 8.30pm

The former Keats House resident poet performs from his new paperback edition, Peace, Love and Potatoes, published on this day. John and his accomplices will be singing and speaking verses which centre upon his family life and heroes; two of the pieces are about John Keats.

£6, booking recommended

Saturday 30 September
The Poetry of Keats: A Literary Workshop
11am – 4pm

Read and discuss some of Keats’s poetry in the location in which many of them were written. Explore
Keats’s odes and ‘The Eve of St. Agnes’ with City Lit tutor Jenny Baynes.

£39, to book contact infoline@citylit.ac.uk or 020 7831 7831

Saturday 30 September
Keats in the City Guided Walk
11am – 1.30pm (meet outside Moorgate tube station)

Follow in the footsteps of John Keats, the radical medical student, and discover the London haunts of this ‘Cockney Poet’. From Keats’s birthplace we explore where he lived and studied, including Cheapside, Apothecaries’ Hall and Guy’s Hospital. Enjoy readings from Keats’s poems and letters along the way.

£12, booking essential

October 2017 Events

​Wednesday 4 October
Jazz and Poetry
7 – 8.30pm

Join singer Catherine Lima and the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for an autumnal evening of music and poetry. Relax with a glass of wine from our pop-up bar and enjoy jazz standards alongside readings of some of our favourite poems.

£6, booking recommended

Sunday 8 October
Afternoon Poems: From Russia in Verse
2 – 3pm

In the centenary month of the Russian Revolution, join the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for a celebration of Russian poetry in translation. Some of Russia’s poets have suffered imprisonment or death for opposing oppression while  others have been celebrated and revered, but in both groups we find poets at the forefront of world poetry.

Free, booking recommended

Thursday 12 October
Rommi Smith
7 – 8.30pm

Former Keats House poet in residence, Rommi Smith , performs from her forthcoming sequence of poems in celebration of Jazz and Blues, developed whilst a visiting scholar at City University New York. ‘There is a place where the musical, the political, the spiritual and the beautiful come together and it is here’ – Benjamin Zephaniah.

£6, booking recommended

Sunday 15 October
Family Day: Big Draw
1 – 4pm

The Big Draw Festival runs throughout October and celebrates the power of drawing. We’ll be joining in the fun with a workshop led by artist Zoe Bates exploring this year’s theme ‘Living Lines’.

Free, drop in

Tuesday 17 October
Jeremy Reed and The Ginger Light
7 – 8.30pm

Visionary writer Jeremy Reed returns with sound artist Itchy Ear for a performance which blurs the boundaries between spoken word, music, sound design and song. Jeremy describes his work as encompassing ‘glamour, pop, rock, sci-fi, cyber, mutant, gay, drugs, the disaffected and outlawed, and the fizzy big city chemistry of London’. In partnership with Keats Community Library.

£6, booking recommended

Tuesday 24 October
Templar Poetry Live: Paul Maddern and Lauren Pope
7 – 8.30pm

From the letters of artist Paul Nash to reminiscences of life on Castro Street, San Francisco, the historical and contemporary loss of family and friends is at the heart of Paul Maddern’s pamphlet, Pilgrimage. Lauren Pope's debut pamphlet, Announce This, explores identity, travel and relocation; the processes of learning as explored through memory; and the female voice retrieved from the silence of history.

Free, booking recommended

Friday 27 October
Late Night Keats: Regency Gothic
6.30 – 8.30pm

Death, romance and the supernatural are key aspects of Gothic fiction and were popular themes for Keats and the Romantic poets. Join us for a special late-night opening to find out more, with activities and poetry to make your Hallowe’en truly Gothic. Adults only – part of Museums at Night.

£15, with a complimentary Gothic cocktail

Saturday 28 October
Keats in Hampstead Guided Walk
11am – 1.30pm (meet outside Hampstead tube station)

Follow the story of Keats’s life in this walk around Hampstead village, with readings from his poetry and letters. Explore locations that inspired Keats, including the Vale of Health, Well Walk and the Heath itself. We finish at Keats House, where entry is free to walkers. Please wear sturdy shoes.

£12, booking essential

November 2017 Events

​Sunday 12 November
Afternoon Poems: ‘It’s Alive!’ – Byron, the Shelleys and Frankenstein
2 – 3 pm

In 1816 a ghost story challenge between Lord Byron, Percy Shelley and his wife Mary gave birth to Frankenstein and the modern vampire novel. Join the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for a selection of poetry and prose exploring the darker side of Romanticism and its fascination with the Gothic and the macabre.

Free, booking recommended

Sunday 19 November
Family Day: Autumn Garden Art
1 – 4pm

Create leaf rubbing to celebrate the beautiful natural shapes and shades found in the Keats House garden this autumn. Gather foliage, ferns and beautiful beech leaves – then use them to create autumn art to brighten up those grey November days.

Free, drop in

Tuesday 21 November
Jo Shapcott
7 – 8.30pm

Former Keats House poet in residence Jo Shapcott performs her Dr Keats poems – inspired by Keats’s time as a medical student at Guy’s Hospital – alongside poems from her award-winning collections and new work in progress. Shapcott’s poetry draws on popular culture and the sciences, exploring the balances of sexual, political, human and animal power.

£6, booking recommended

Saturday 25 November
Guided Tour: The Architectural History of Keats House*
11.30am – 12.15pm

Explore the architectural history of Keats House, originally known as Wentworth Place. Hear stories of its residents, John Keats and his good friend Charles Brown, and discover how it was transformed into the building we know today. (*The tour visits the basement and first floor and includes steep steps. Please note there is no lift access.)

£6.50 (includes house admission), booking recommended

Saturday 25 November
Shelley: ‘The Trumpet of a Prophecy’ Guided Walk 
11am – 1.30pm (meet outside King’s Cross Station by the Henry Moore statue)

Experience the stirring life and poetry of a great radical Romantic poet. We’ll visit fascinating landmarks in the lives of Percy Bysshe Shelley and Mary Shelley, from their first meeting to their notorious elopement and exile in Europe, where they created such ground-breaking masterpieces as Frankenstein and The Mask of Anarchy.

£12, booking essential

Tuesday 28 November
Templar Poetry Live: Jean Bleakney and Jane Weir
7 – 8.30pm

In Man about the Place Jane Weir strikes at the heart of relationships between men and women, spurred on by ambiguities and fissures revealed by D.H. Lawrence in his story The Fox.  Jean Bleakney’s collection, No Remedy, with its playful linguistic delights in the natural world, is tempered by unflinching reflections on loss and identity set against her Northern Irish childhood. Join us to celebrate the launch of these two collections from Templar Poetry.

Free, booking recommended

Thursday 30 November
Keats House by Candlelight
First tour: 6.30 – 8pm
Second tour: 8 – 9.30pm

Join our knowledgeable guides for an evening tour and a magical opportunity to see Keats House dressed for the festive season and illuminated by candlelight. Finish the evening with a glass of wine and a mince pie in our majestic Chester Room.

£15, booking essential (includes a glass of wine and a mince pie)

December 2017 Events

​Thursday 7 December
Keats House by Candlelight
First tour: 6.30 – 8pm
Second tour: 8 – 9.30pm

Join our knowledgeable guides for an evening tour and a magical opportunity to see Keats House dressed for the festive season and illuminated by candlelight. Finish the evening with a glass of wine and a mince pie in our majestic Chester Room.

£15, booking essential (includes a glass of wine and a mince pie)

Sunday 10 December
Afternoon Poems: Joyful and Triumphant
2 – 3pm

Get in the mood for Christmas with our annual festive selection of poetry and prose read by the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors.

Free, booking recommended

Tuesday 12 December
Keats and Festivity
7 – 8.30pm

An evening exploring festive celebrations during the Romantic period – as enjoyed by Keats, Leigh Hunt and their friends. Join Professor Gregory Dart and actor Jon Rand for a relaxed and entertaining evening of poetry readings, riddles, quizzes and festive refreshments. In partnership with University College London.

Free, booking recommended

Sunday 17 December
Family Day: Christmas Printmaking
1 – 4pm

Join artist Orly Orbach for a hands-on printmaking workshop. Create your own Christmas cards and wrapping paper for the festive season. We’ll use lino cuts and plasticine to personalise your Christmas stationery, adding a special handmade touch to your gifts this year.

Free, drop in

Tuesday 19 December
Keats House by Candlelight
First tour: 6.30 – 8pm
Second tour: 8 – 9.30pm

Join our knowledgeable guides for an evening tour and a magical opportunity to see Keats House dressed for the festive season and illuminated by candlelight. Finish the evening with a glass of wine and a mince pie in our majestic Chester Room.

£15, booking essential (includes a glass of wine and a mince pie)

Saturday 30 December
Keats in Hampstead Guided Walk
11am-1.30pm (meet outside Hampstead tube station)

Follow the story of Keats’s life in this walk around Hampstead village, with readings from his poetry and letters. Explore locations that inspired Keats, including the Vale of Health, Well Walk and the Heath itself. We finish at Keats House, where entry is free to walkers. Please wear sturdy shoes.

£12, booking essential


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