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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.


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Please book events online through Eventbrite.

June 2018 events

Sunday 3 June

Templar poetry festival

Museum open 11am – 5pm

Keats House hosts the second Templar Summer Festival celebrating Templar collections, pamphlets and their poets.

All events can be booked via Eventbrite except for the Writer to Writer 1:1 sessions which are bookable via

Festival bookshop and pop-up readings

Open from 11am

The Templar Festival Book Shop is open all day in the Nightingale Room where there will be a series of short readings from visiting Templar Poets throughout the day.

Lunchtime poetry seminar: publishing and writing insights

1pm – 2pm

Alex McMillen, Managing Editor at Templar and Dawn Wood, poet and artist, reveal and debate their differing perspectives and offer advice and insights as publisher and writer respectively, in the poetry environment. Questions and discussion will follow. Pick up on some home truths and feel free to bring your own views and issues to the conversation.

£3, booking essential.

Writer to writer – 1:1 sessions

Templar poets Tom Weir, Dawn Wood and Michael Woods will be available throughout the festival for 30-minute advice sessions. Further information is available on the Templar Poetry website.

£15, booking essential.

Book online via

IOTA Shot Pamphlet Awards 2018 - launch readings

4pm – 5pm

Michael Woods introduces the two winners of the 2018 IOTA Shot Pamphlet Awards: the Irish poet Katherine Duffy with 'Talking the Owl Away' and the Cambridgeshire poet Jonathan Totman with 'Explosives License'.

£3, booking essential.

New collection launch and preview: Dawn Wood and Tom Weir

6pm – 7pm

'As Mind Imagines World' is Dawn Wood’s fourth collection and among its pages are bats, goblins, sparrows, a kingfisher and Flora McDonald, famous for helping Bonnie Prince Charlie escape the English in 1746, leaving North Carolina. Tom Weir, a former IOTA Shot Pamphleteer reads from his current collection, 'All That Falling', and previews work from his new collection that will appear in September 2018.

£3, booking essential.

Saturday 9 – Sunday 10 June

Open garden squares weekend

Explore the inspiration behind our tranquil garden and walk in the steps of one of the most well-loved Romantic Poets.

Meet the gardeners

Both days, 11am – 2pm

Learn about the hard work carried out by the gardeners and garden volunteers who help tend Keats House garden, pick up tips from these skilled horticulturists and imagine what the garden would have been like in Keats’s day.

Free, drop in.

Garden tours

Both days, 12noon and 2pm (tours last approximately 30 minutes)

Join a garden volunteer for a guided tour of the Keats House garden and find out more about the plants and trees in this beautiful space, as well as the work carried out by the gardeners and garden volunteers.

Free, sign up on the day.

Sunday 10 June

Afternoon poems: a garden of verses

2pm – 3pm

Visit John Keats's own ‘melodious plot’ and listen to an afternoon of poetry about gardens, presented by the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors.

Free, booking recommended.

Sunday 17 June

Windrush day with Hannah Lowe

2pm – 6pm

Join us at Keats House on 17 June as we celebrate the poetic legacies of the arrival of the Empire Windrush 70 years ago.

Free, booking recommended.

I Have Crossed An Ocean: Grace Nichols and Karen McCarthy Woolf

2pm – 3pm

Two distinguished poets will be reading work that explores border crossings and women’s lives. Grace Nichols is an award-winning Guyanese poet and children’s writer, who arrived in Britain in 1977. Karen McCarthy Wolf has born in London to British and Jamaican parents. Her two poetry collections from Carcanet have been much acclaimed.

Mixtape – Nick Makoha and Roger Robison

3.30pm – 4.30pm

Rising stars of poetry, Uganda’s Nick Makoha and Trinidad’s Roger Robinson, present a unique new show of poetry and music mosaics, 'Mixtape'. With enduring friendship at its centre, their poems give voice to the universal struggle to carve out personal and political identities. Hear poems about music and love, of protest, and of exile… connecting people across continents and through times.

Kitch! with Anthony Joseph

5pm – 6pm

Arriving in London on 22 June 1948, Trinidad’s famous calypsonian Lord Kitchener would go on to become an icon in a time when the face of Britain changed forever. Poet, musician and writer Anthony Joseph weaves Kitch’s life story into a lyrical narrative in his new novel, drawing on the colourful politics and people captured in Lord Kitchener calypsos. Come and hear the music of Windrush and the words of a consummate storyteller in this special event, where poetry and prose collide.

Sunday 17 June

Family day: travel the world

2pm – 4pm

From sailing ships to jet planes… Read stories and poems about discovery and exploration, and create your own artistic journey with artist Orly Orbach.

Free, drop in.

Wednesday 20 June

Underwater love: Romantic poets and sacred founts

6.30pm – 8pm

The writings of the Romantic poets were shaped by their reading of the classics. Keats, Wordsworth, and Byron were all attracted to the tales from Ovid’s 'Metamorphoses'. This talk by Professor Philip Shaw explores how these authors responded to Ovid’s retelling of the legend of the nymph Arethusa and the river god Alpheus. The evening will include a discussion of Keats’s 'Endymion', first published 200 years ago in 1818. In partnership with the Byron Society.

£5, booking essential.

Thursday 21 June

Revolution and discovery

7pm – 8.30pm

Keats and his contemporaries wrote at a time of huge social change, when established ideas were being challenged in art, philosophy and the sciences. Keats House poetry teacher Linda Carey looks at a range of poems from Wordsworth to Byron, to highlight some of the ways in which the Romantics were influenced by the upheavals taking place around them.

Free, booking recommended.

Saturday 23 June

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.

Sunday 24 June

Keats House Poets: Stephanie Turner

2pm – 4pm

Stephanie Turner will be reading new poems and extracts from her memoir, 'We Are One Family'. The afternoon will explore themes around family, ancestry, Britishness, mixed heritage, and historical and cultural experience of the African diaspora. Supported by the Keats Foundation.

Free, booking recommended.

July 2018 events

Sunday 1 July

A Joy Forever: cake with Keats

2pm – 3.30pm

Objects provided frequent inspiration to Keats, from his bust of Shakespeare to a curious shell and Fanny Brawne’s engagement ring. Join poets Julia Bird and Mike Sims as they build an imaginary Cabinet of Curiosities for John Keats, a capsule collection of objects representing his experiences and hopes. With readings of the poems and letters, games, gifts and cake.

£10 (includes a drink and cake), booking recommended.

Thursday 5 July

Three Bloodaxe Women

7pm – 8.30pm

We are delighted to welcome to Keats House the Indian poet and dancer Tishani Doshi, reading from her new collection 'Girls are Coming out of the Woods'. Doshi is joined by London based poets, Amy Key, sharing poems from her second book, 'Isn't Forever', and Abby Parry, reading from her much anticipated debut, 'Jinx'.

Free, booking recommended.

Saturday 7 July

Architectural Tour of Keats House

11.30am – 12.15pm

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

£6.50 (includes house admission), booking recommended.

This tour visits the basement and first floor, accessed by steep steps. There is no lift access.

Sunday 8 July

Afternoon poems: Shelley’s fateful year

2pm – 3pm

In 1818, Percy Bysshe Shelley and his wife Mary Shelley would leave England for Italy. Percy was never to return, drowning off the Italian coast in 1822 aged just 29. Join the Keats House Poetry Ambassadors for a reading celebrating the work of Shelley and his circle.

Free, booking recommended.

Wednesday 11 July

Frankenstein’s Monster’s looks from 1818 to 2018

7pm – 8.30pm

In this talk, Dr Elizabeth Denlinger (New York Public Library) will trace the history of the creature’s appearance, from Mary Shelley’s ‘demoniacal corpse’ to Boris Karloff’s leaden-eyed portrayal, to the theatrical, cinematic, and artistic avatars that continue to proliferate. Join us as we consider the monster’s various incarnations and irresistible appeal.

£5, booking essential.

Sunday 15 July

Family day: make a monster

2pm – 4pm

Create your own summer monster movie. We’ll use poems, art and junk-modelling to tell stories of creatures both fearsome and friendly. Draw or model a monster of your own invention, or dress up as one yourself.

Free, drop in.

Friday 20 – Sunday 22 July

Conference: Keats' reading / reading Keats

(At Keats House on Friday 20, and Notre Dame Global Gateway on Saturday 21 and Sunday 22 July)

In collaboration with the University of Notre Dame, Keats House is co-hosting a conference on Keats's reading of other writers, and other writers' reading of Keats. It will feature the launch of a digital edition of Keats’s richly annotated copy of Paradise Lost.

For more information and registration, visit

Saturday 21 July

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. 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 22 July

Keats House Poets: Stephanie Turner’s workshop

2pm – 4pm

Stephanie Turner brings you a poetry workshop exploring family history. Everything about who we are, both our nature and nurture, come from our family. In this workshop we will write our roots, exploring the age-old questions of who am I? Why am I here? Where am I from? Where am I going?

Supported by the Keats Foundation.

Free, booking recommended

August 2018 events

Friday 3 August

Summer poetry and jazz

7pm – 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. Take in some sumptuous verse and music. Heady summer evenings were meant for this.

£8.50, booking essential.

Saturday 11 August

Poetry masterclass at Keats House

11am – 4.30pm

Join City Lit tutor and 2015 Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry winner Paul McMahon at this workshop looking at poetic technique, content and form. Students will be introduced to methods of generating raw material and ideas for poems, and explore craft and content through reading and writing exercises and constructive feedback.

£59. Book via Course code HW440.

Sunday 12 August

Afternoon poems: the creepy crawley muse

2pm – 3pm

Meet a wriggling and writhing mass of poems starring Keats’ ‘On a Grasshopper and a Cricket.’ Poets across the ages have been moved by insects and have shown they are so much more than unwanted pests. Emily Dickinson heard a fly buzz, Andrew Marvell spoke to glow worms, and John Donne was fascinated by a flea. No spray allowed!

Free, booking recommended.

Sunday 19 August

Family day: inspiration from nature

2pm – 4pm

Nature has provided a frequent source of inspiration for poets including Keats and other Romantic poets such as Wordsworth and Coleridge. Join us for a creative workshop and learn how to make colours, pigments and paints using natural materials to create your own masterpiece.

Free, drop in.

Saturday 25 August

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.

Sunday 26 August

Keats House poets: Raymond Antrobus

2pm – 4pm

Raymond Antrobus will be reading new poems from his debut poetry collection, 'The Perseverance', exploring the inner, outer, personal, historical, and cultural life of deafness. Supported by the Keats Foundation.

Free, booking recommended.