Performances, conferences, readings and other events relating to TS Eliot.

Please check events before making arrangements. No endorsement or recommendation is implied by inclusion.


T.S. Eliot Festival 2024 at Little Gidding, June 2024

The line-up for this year’s annual T.S. Eliot Festival, at Little Gidding on Sunday 7th July, has now been confirmed, and tickets are on sale.

Featuring talks and poetry, conversation and debate, and delicious food and wine, the Festival is a celebration of Eliot and of Little Gidding, and a chance to meet other Eliot scholars and enthusiasts. It takes place in the garden of Ferrar House at Little Gidding, Cambridgeshire, PE28 5RJ. and is an opportunity to visit the church of Little Gidding which inspired Eliot’s poem.

This year’s line-up is:

Dante and Eliot
The celebrated writer, journalist and historian A.N. Wilson wrote and presented the BBC documentary Return to TS Eliotland – and also wrote the acclaimed book Dante in Love. The two subjects will come together in his opening talk on Dante and Eliot. 



Eliot and George Herbert
In his last work of major criticism, published in 1962, Eliot found in George Herbert “native genius, hard work and a passion for perfection”. Charles Wide will talk on Eliot and Herbert.

My Favourite Eliot
An opportunity for audience members to read their favourite lines from Eliot. Conducted by the Fantastic Beasts actress Katherine Waterston.


‘Little Gidding’: The Disfigured Street
Professor Emeritus at the University of Chicago, Maud Ellmann has written on modernism and literary theory in books including The Poetics of Impersonality: T.S. Eliot and Ezra Pound. She will deliver this year’s Little Gidding Lecture.

Little Gidding
A traditional reading of ‘Little Gidding’, this year by Katherine Waterston, weather permitting from the steps of the church immortalised by Eliot.



The Society has a Festival stall, which will be selling Eliot First Editions and out-of-print publications, along with tote bags, pens, bookmarks and other Eliot items. Print copies of the new edition of our Journal can be collected by members who have not claimed their copy, and back issues will be on sale, and you can chat to Committee members about Society activities and events.

In addition to the programme of Eliot-related events, morning coffee, a buffet lunch, and afternoon tea will be served. The programme begins at 11:30, and the Festival concludes with afternoon tea after the reading of ‘Little Gidding’ at around 5:00.

Day admission, including all refreshments and lunch, is £50 – remaining tickets are available here.

Members of the TS Eliot Society UK can purchase Festival tickets at a special discounted price. Simply apply the current Members Password as promo code on the ticket purchase page.


The Waste Land – whispered, under traffic lights, June 2024

One of the most unusual readings of The Waste Land has been scheduled on 2nd July as part of the Ruthin International Arts Festival.

In Whispering: The Waste Land, “Performing under traffic lights, the artist recites Eliot’s The Waste Land  to the rhythm of the lights. The poetic lines, fragmented by the mechanical rhythm of the traffic signals, transform the poetry into mechanical stereotypes, highlighting its drama and absurdity.

“At the United Kingdom Ruthin Festival, the artist will continue to explore the theme of The Waste Land. Five to ten volunteers, each holding a copy of The Waste Land, will stand under traffic lights and whisper the poem (since the traffic lights in Ruthin town are silent). Though it seems like a whisper, the collective sound will be amplified, creating a blend of whispers that become an ensemble and a roar. This setup will fully realise the sense of the scene and the image for the later video documentation.”

Details and booking are here.


Open Canterbury reading of Murder in the Cathedral, May 2024

A public reading of Murder in the Cathedral  is to be held in Canterbury.

Participation is open to all, and no previous experience is necessary, although registration is required so that parts can be allocated.

The reading will be held in St Peter’s Anglican Church, Canterbury, on 26th June at 7pm, and details are here.



Four Quartets and ‘vision’, May 2024

In Seeing Clearly: How do we cultivate vision in cynical and challenging times?,  Dr Alicia Smith (right), Fellow at Corpus Christi College, Cambridge, specialist in medieval literature and culture, will share her research on vision and the work of T S Eliot.

“Through an exploration of Four Quartets,written as WWII loomed and peaked, we’ll consider how we might cultivate clear sight – both of where we stand and where we might go.” Postgraduates and Early Career Researchers in all relevant disciplines are invited to join her in a roundtable discussion on the theme of vision.

The event is part of the Oxford Pastorate’s Stella Aldwinckle Series, which honours the life and example of Stella Aldwinckle, Oxford Pastorate Women’s Chaplain from 1941- 1966. Encouraged by Somerville students, Adwinckle set up the University’s hugely successful Socratic Club in 1942.

Hosted at Somerville College, Oxford on Friday 14th June, from 10:00 to 12:00, the event is free and includes a light brunch. Full details and registration are here.


Reflections in Glasgow on Four Quartets, May 2024

An event titled “‘Four Quartets’: reflections on TS Eliot’s poem and what Freud called the second stage of life” will be hosted in the Synod Hall of St Mary’s Cathedral, Glasgow on the evening of 19th June.

The evening is one in a four-part series entitled “Glimpses of Heaven: the things that speak to us of God, here and now”, beginning on 5th June and led by group convenor Robert Mawditt, a member of the Cathedral congregation. Each evening features three sections; a presentation by an individual sharing thoughts on God and life that inspire them currently; facilitated questions and discussions; and a space for reflection

The events commence with tea and coffee at 7:30 pm and conclude between 8:40 and 9:00 pm; details and RSVP for attendance are here.


‘The Waste Land’ film screening, May 2024

A documentary inspired by ‘The Waste Land’ has been scheduled for a London screening and Q&A.

“Filmmaker Chris Teerink offers no analysis of the poem, but instead seeks parallels. Using photographs and stills instead of moving images, he creates a slideshow that mirrors the fragmentary core of Eliot’s language.”

First shown as an Official Selection at the International Film Festival Rotterdam (IFFR) earlier this year, the Festival’s programme described how “the poem itself is a tapestry that draws on material from Dante Alighieri, Buddhism and Hinduism. In this documentary, Teerink shows how these threads course through our present.

“As we listen to writers, literary scholars and other thinkers ruminate on Eliot’s poetry, powerful imagery illustrates how the faith in progress literally falters at the boundaries of our society.” Speakers who discuss Eliot’s poem from their own perspectives range from economist Guy Standing to sociologist/urbanist Richard Sennett, from critic and poet Roz Kaveney to opera director Tatjana Gürbaca.

“Stretching out from the cityscapes of London to the no man’s land of the Mojave Desert, and from writer Ilja Leonard Pfeijffer’s Italy to the borders of Poland, ‘The Waste Land’ is everywhere.” An interview with the director is here.

The film will be screened on Sunday 2nd June at 3:30, followed by a filmmaker Q&A, at the Bertha DocHouse, a 55-seat dedicated documentary cinema housed in the Curzon Bloomsbury, London. Tickets are £12.50 (£10 concessions), and details including a trailer are here.


Two lectures on T.S. Eliot, May 2024

Two lectures in Paris, hosted by the Modernisms group within the University’s Centre de Recherches Anglophones (CREA), will address aspects of T.S. Eliot’s work. They are part of the agrégation course, but are open to the public.

Rachel Murray, Lecturer in Literature and the Environment at the University of Bristol, will talk on ‘T.S. Eliot on the Beach’. “I’ll reflect on the error Eliot made concerning a horseshoe crab,” she says, “before reflecting on the beach more widely in Eliot’s writing as an environment that gives rise to productive moments of mental arrest, lapses of understanding, and failures of identification. Such instances of forgetfulness…seem to have creative potential for Eliot, who represents the beach in his writing as a space where the mind, to recall The Waste Land, ‘can connect nothing with nothing’.”

Gabrielle McIntire, Professor of English Literature at Queen’s University in Kingston, Ontario, Canada, will give ‘T.S. Eliot’s The Waste Land  and Anthropocenic Méconnaissance’. “This paper argues that in The Waste Land  Eliot was simultaneously a) heralding the complexities of climate change and environmental pollution, b) proposing that failures to grasp the scale of our anthropocenic destructiveness are central to modern (and modernist) subjectivities, and, c) signalling a warning and a hope that poetry might be an essential vehicle for witnessing and change in the face of these catastrophic global shifts.”

The lectures are both on the afternoon of 15th May in Nanterre, Paris and full details are here.


Dancing Ash Wednesday, April 2024

“Movement interacts with the speaker” in Dancing Ash Wednesday, “an opportunity to experience the spiritual exchange between the arts of language and movement.”

Dancer/priest Paul Burrows has created a dance piece that interacts with the speaker in Eliot’s poem (narrated by George Ormerod). “The images in the poem are full of movement and this fact makes it highly suggestive for choreography and the art of dance.” An Episcopal priest ordained in 1980, Burrows started to study ballet in San Francisco with Richard Gibson, and has since studied with Zory Karah, Christopher Hird, and Dorit Koppel.

Part of the Edinburgh Sacred Arts Festival, the performance will take place at Old Saint Paul’s Church, Jeffrey Street, Edinburgh, on Tuesday 13th August from 1:15 to 2:00. Tickets are £10 (£8 concessions). Details of the Sacred Arts Festival, including this performance, are here, and booking for Dancing Ash Wednesday is here.


One-day course on TS Eliot’s life and work, April 2024

Do I Dare to Eat a Peach? A Date with TS Eliot  is a one-day, classroom-based course hosted by the Centre for Lifelong Learning at the campus of the University of York.

“In this course we will examine the life and work of one of the 20th century’s pioneering literary icons, revealing how a fusion of American sensibility, classical scholarship and English culture produced poetry and literary criticism of such sophistication and lasting influence.”

The course will be run by Dr Martin Fletcher, a lecturer at the University of York who has taught English, Journalism and Literature in Brazil, Spain and the UK. His research interests include English poetry, the aesthetics of Modernism and the academic discipline of English Studies. His doctoral thesis was on T. S. Eliot’s The Waste Land and the poetry of the Great War.

Taking place on Saturday 25 May, from 10:00 to 4:30, the full fee for the course is £52 and details are here.


The Dry Salvages Festival 2024, April 2024

The Dry Salvages Festival is being held again in Gloucester, Massachusetts on 22nd and 23rd September 2024.

This bi-annual event was inaugurated in 2022. On that occasion, the programme included bird-watching tours on a walk through Eastern Point looking for birds referenced in Eliot’s poems; an art exhibition and live performances; tours of Eliot’s family summer home; and boat tours to the Dry Salvages.

Few details of this year’s event have been posted, but anyone interested can find some further information and contact details here.


Guided tour of Burnt Norton, March 2024

As part of the Broadway Arts Festival, there is a rare opportunity to visit the gardens at Burnt Norton.

“Owner Lady Harrowby will lead a guided tour of the gardens and explain the extraordinary history of the estate, renamed Burnt Norton after a disastrous fire in 1741 where the owner, Sir William Keyt, perished in the flames which he himself had started.”

The tour will take place on Tuesday 2nd July from 2:30 to 4:00pm. Tickets are £20, and full details and a booking link are here.

As Caroline Montague, Lady Harrowby is a well-known author, and will sign copies of her latest book The Pieces of Us at the end of the event.


One-day course on Eliot’s ‘Middle Years’, March 2024

Hoping to Turn Again: T.S. Eliot’s Middle Years  is a one-day course to be held at Sarum College, in the Cathedral Close, Salisbury on 16th May, from 10am until 4pm.

“This day course will introduce the poems of Eliot’s middle period from ‘The Hollow Men’ to ‘Burnt Norton’. We shall listen together for the emotional and spiritual charge of the poems, and relate them to new insights into Eliot’s biography, especially from the recently published letters to Emily Hale. This exploration will open up themes of longing, regret, penitence, and faith.

“Participants will have an opportunity to encounter Eliot in new ways, to write their own responses to his story or his work, and to think about their own faith journeys.”

The course tutor is Christopher Southgate, currently Professor of Christian Theodicy at the University of Exeter, and editor of the Journal of the TS Eliot Society (UK). He has published both poetry and theological works, and is an experienced leader of workshops and retreats.

Tickets for the day cost £70, including lunch and refreshments, with a ticket including accommodation and breakfast on the morning of the course for £128. Full details and a link to booking are here.


AE Stallings, Mr Eugenides and George Seferis, February 2024

The next Oxford Professor of Poetry Lecture will be given by AE Stallings on ‘Mr Eugenides after the Burning of Smyrna: George Seferis and The Waste Land’.

The talk will take place at Examination Schools, 75-81 High St, Oxford, on 15th February at 5:30pm. All are welcome; no booking is required. Seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis. Full details are here.


Matthew Hollis on The Waste Land, January 2024

The author of The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem, is to give an audio-visual talk and signing of his book.

The event takes place at Books on the Rise, a new independent bookshop in Richmond Upon Thames, on Thursday 29th of February at 7pm, where former Faber poetry editor and local author Matthew Hollis will “tease out the origins of the poem”.

Tickets are £4.99, or £9.99 including a copy of the book, and are available here.


Lunar Incantations: An Evening with Jules Laforgue, November 2023

An evening at the Music Room, Great Ormond Street, London, on Friday 8th December at 7:30pm,  will explore “the mercurial verse and tragically foreshortened life” of the French poet Jules Laforgue, “principally known to anglophone readers as the dominant influence on the early work of T.S. Eliot, particularly on poems such as ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’ and ‘Rhapsody on a Windy Night’.”

This year has seen the publication of two collections of English versions of the poetry of Jules Laforgue: All Keyboards Are Legitimate, edited by Suzannah V. Evans, includes translations by such as Hannah Sullivan, Vidyan Ravinthiran, Douglas Dunn, Christopher Reid, and by Evans herself; while Lunar Solo is a parallel-text edition of twenty-five poems by Laforgue with facing versions by Mark Ford.

Suzannah Evans, Mark Ford, Alan Jenkins, Neil Rennie, and Hannah Sullivan will read from the English versions of the poetry, explore Laforgue’s verse and life, and discuss his influence on T.S. Eliot and the innovations of Modernism. Admission is free but reservation is required; details and booking are here.


Jeanette Winterson to deliver Abbey Theatre’s TS Eliot Lecture, October 2023

The Abbey Theatre in Dublin is once again staging its TS Eliot Lecture.

This year’s lecture, Journey of the Magi, is named for T. S. Eliot’s 1927 poem of the same name and will be delivered by the writer Jeanette Winterson, followed by a conversation with Mark O’Connell.

Eliot’s poem “tells the story of the journey of the Wise Men to the Christ Child. Beginnings and endings are hinged in the poem. Nearly 100 years later, many of us are wondering about what is ending – and hoping it is not the world. Many of us are wondering – what comes next?”

The lecture will take place on 17th December at 6pm. Tickets range from £15-£45, and details and booking are here


Ben Okri to perform The Waste Land, September 2023

As part of the Wimbledon Book Fest, the poet and novelist Ben Okri is to give “a stirring, one-man performance” of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land.

Accompanied by live dance performed by Charlotte Jarvis, with a musical underscoring, Ben will give a solo, on-book rendition of the poem, at the Rutherford Theatre (Wimbledon High School) on Sunday 15th October at 8pm. Tickets are £20.

“In these times when so much is collapsing around us,” says Okri, “this is just the poetic medicine we need, one that speaks the truths we need to hear.”

Full details and booking are here.


The Waste Land in Winchester, August 2023

Winchester is hosting three performances, three Q&A sessions and a lecture, all relating to The Waste Land.

Performed by Arthur L Wood, directed by Rachel O’Neill, and in association with 2TimeTheatre, The Waste Land will be staged for three nights, 11th, 12th and 13th October, in St Lawrence’s Church, The Square, Winchester.

“The production will be presented very simply, allowing the intimacy and beauty of the 12th Century church to become the backdrop. Cellist Katherine Hodgkinson will add to the emotional resonance with moments from Gabriel Fauré, Kenneth Jones, and others.” Performances are at 7.30pm each evening; tickets are £10; details and booking are here.

Each Winchester performance is to be followed by a Q&A session with guest speakers. On Wednesday 11th the guests will be Dr Julian Stannard, reader in creative writing at Winchester University, joined by Hampshire poet Joan McGavin.

The performance on Thursday 12th will see the director and actor joined by Professor Will May from Southampton University, and Revd. Dr. John Caperon, the editor of Exchanges, our TS Eliot Society UK quarterly newsletter.

Friday 13th October is the last performance and the Q&A will welcome poet, writer, educator and facilitator Matthew West from Artful Scribe as a speaker.

Then, on Saturday 14th October at 4.30pm, at the ARC – Performance Hall, as part of the Winchester Poetry Festival, poet Matthew Hollis, author of The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem, will give a lecture on the poem, followed by a conversation with the Festival’s artistic director Clare Pollard. Tickets are £12; details and booking are here.



Shoreham talk on The Waste Land, August 2023

As part of the Shoreham Wordfest 2023, Pamela Thurschwell, Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature at the University of Sussex, is to give a talk on The Waste Land.

“Professor Thurschwell hopes to convince you that it is possible to read The Waste Land without a classical education. She will argue that the poem is really about what the title says it is about – waste – the waste products that Eliot sees engulfing the society of the early twentieth century, and waste in terms of history, including what gets left behind and forgotten.”

“In the course of the lecture Pamela will also touch on the place of footnotes, typists, and bad relationships in one of the twentieth century’s most enduring and frustrating Modernist masterpieces.”

The talk, at the Shoreham Centre, is on October 12th at 7:30pm; tickets are £10, and full details are here.


TS Eliot and Kathleen Raine: Two Contemplative Poets, July 2023

A day event is being held in London addressing the spiritual quests of TS Eliot and Kathleen Raine.

“Amid the chaos of the twentieth century, two poets found their own spiritual paths. T.S. Eliot’s quest led him through the ‘Waste Land’ left by the First World War to the timeless, meditative calm of ‘Four Quartets’. Kathleen Raine found insight and tranquility in contemplating nature: both science and Eastern philosophy enriched her journey. Their poems allow us to share two very modern spiritual quests.”

The day is being run by Grevel Lindop, a poet, critic, biographer and travel writer. He taught courses on Blake for many years at Manchester University, and has also taught Buddhist meditation for more than thirty years.

The event is being held at the Meditatio Centre, part of the World Community for Christian Meditation, at St Marks Church, Myddelton Square in London. Running from 10.30am to 4pm on Saturday 9th September, tickets for the day are £40 (£20 online and concessions) and details and booking are here.


TS Eliot Festival 2023 at Little Gidding – tickets now on sale

Tickets are now on sale for the sixteenth Annual TS Eliot Festival, to be held at Little Gidding on Sunday 9th July.

Featuring talks and poetry, conversation and debate, and delicious food and wine, the Festival is a celebration of Eliot and of Little Gidding, and a chance to meet other Eliot scholars and enthusiasts. It takes place in the garden of Ferrar House at Little Gidding in rural Cambridgeshire, and is an opportunity to visit the church of Little Gidding which inspired Eliot’s poem.

Distinguished poet Ruth Padel will open this year’s Festival with a reading of ‘The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock’. The Festival will also feature the eminent Eliot scholars Seamus Perry and David Trotter, and much-loved poet George Szirtes, winner of the 2004 T S Eliot Prize for Poetry.

The Society has a Festival stall, selling Eliot First Editions and out-of-print publications, along with tote bags, pens, bookmarks and other Eliot items. The new edition of our Journal can be collected by members who have not claimed their copy, and back issues will be on sale, and you can chat to Committee members about Society activities and events.

The Festival ends with a traditional reading of ‘Little Gidding’, which, weather-permitting, will be read on the steps of the church immortalised by Eliot.

In addition to the programme of Eliot-related events, morning coffee, a two-course buffet lunch, and afternoon tea will be served. Doors open at 10:00, the programme begins at 10:30, and the Festival concludes at 4:30.

Further details of the Festival and of the site are available on the website of the Friends of Little Gidding. Tickets for the day, including all meals and refreshments, are £45 (Students £25), and are available here.

Members of the TS Eliot Society UK can purchase Festival tickets at the special discounted price of just £35. Simply apply the current Members Password as promo code on the ticket purchase page.


Theatre production explores life of Vivien Eliot, June 2023

As part of Hastings Fringe 2023, the Stables Theatre & Art Centre is staging a performance of Vivienne Sometimes, a multi-media theatre production about Vivien Haigh-Wood Eliot.

“The live show explores Vivien’s well-documented struggle with physical and mental ill-health, her marriage to Eliot, and her final years at Northumberland House Private Mental Hospital,” say the producers.

An article on a previous performance in the Hastings Online Times, which provides more details, says that “The script uses a postmodern montage style, drawing on snippets from Vivien’s diaries, letters and short stories, as well as lines from The Waste Land.”

The performance is on Monday 24th July at 7:30pm. Tickets are £13.50 (concessions £8.50) and are available here.


Deal Festival to feature Four Quartets,, June 2023

There will be a live reading of Four Quartets as part of the Deal Music & Arts Festival 2023.

Lord Gawain Douglas will read the work on Thursday 13th July, at St George’s Church, Deal, with piano interludes played by his wife Niki. The event begins at 5.30pm, and tickets are £10, available here.



The Waste Land in conversation, May 2023

A discussion of ‘The Waste Land’ is one of the events at a Norfolk literary festival.

Matthew Hollis, author of The Waste Land: A Biography of a Poem, and Jon Cook, Professor of Literature at the University of East Anglia, will “investigate the life and times of Eliot’s ‘masterpiece’ to explore how the poem was made and what it should mean to us today”.

The event, on Saturday 17th June at 6.30,  forms part of the Sea Fever Literary Festival, held at Wells Maltings, Wells-Next-the-Sea, Norfolk. Tickets are £10, and details and booking are here.


TS Eliot and the Language of Liturgy, May 2023

Cécile Varry is to deliver a lecture on TS Eliot and the Language of Liturgy, in the Pusey House, Oxford series of Recollection Lectures, recalling the major themes and thinkers of Christian history.

“This lecture explores Eliot’s attachment to the language of liturgy,” she says, “and examines the use he makes of words and rhythms from the Book of Common Prayer in three poems written around the time of his conversion to Anglo-Catholicism. Looking at the intersections of poetry with prayer and blasphemy, this lecture asks what happens when the language of liturgy meets the anxieties of modernist poetics.” Her academic page is here

The lecture will take place in the Ursell Room at Pusey House, Oxford on Wednesday 17th May at 4pm (with tea and coffee served beforehand in the Hood Room  3:15 – 3:45).

UPDATE: This lecture is now to be livestreamed here.


Murder In The Cathedral – RSS production in Twickenham, May 2023

Booking is now open for the production of TS Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral  by the Richmond Shakespeare Society.

Directed by John Buckingham, the drama is being staged in St Mary’s Church, Church Street, Twickenham TW1 3NJ. There are three performances, on Thursday 1st, Friday 2nd and Saturday 3rd June, at 7.45.  Tickets are £17, and details and booking are here.


Jeremy Irons and Claire Gilbert to discuss Julian of Norwich, April 2023

The Dean of Norwich is to chair a unique conversation about Julian of Norwich, between the Eliot aficionado Jeremy Irons, and Claire Gilbert, author of I, Julian, a fictional autobiography of the visionary.

Julian is the subject of Claire Gilbert’s academic research, but when she was diagnosed with cancer, Julian became Claire’s spiritual companion through two and half years of treatment. She tells Julian’s story in the first person, in homage to her, published with unexpectedly appropriate timing at the 650th anniversary of Julian’s May 1373 visions.

The conversation between Claire and Jeremy will explore Claire’s ‘vision’ of Julian’s life, and will include readings both from I, Julian and from Eliot’s Four Quartets.

Julian of Norwich: mother, mystic, radicala conversation between Claire Gilbert and Jeremy Irons, chaired by the Dean of Norwich – will take place in Norwich Cathedral’s Weston Room on Sunday 14 May at 2pm. Tickets cost £8 plus booking fee – full details are here.


Campion Lecture on TS Eliot, Terrible Celibate, April 2023

Dr Jayme Stayer, SJ, Professor of English at Loyola University Chicago and Visiting Fellow of Campion Hall, Oxford will deliver the second Campion Lecture of 2023 on the topic: T. S. Eliot, Terrible Celibate: Suffering and Sexuality in the Letters to Emily Hale.

The lecture will be given at Campion Hall, Oxford on 4th May at 5.30pm; it will also be livestreamed. Both are free of charge.

“Prof Stayer’s talk will draw on the letters to Emily Hale, as well as on his own archival work in the Bodleian and the Eliot Foundation, to illuminate the poet’s evolving ideas about suffering, sexuality, divorce—all of it informed by his conversion to the Church of England and his fierce commitment to Christian principles.”

Further details, and registration for both the event and the livestream, are here.


Lyndall Gordon to deliver The Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2023, April 2023

The Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2023 will be given by Lyndall Gordon, the celebrated Eliot scholar and author, in Oxford on 27th April.

Based on the letters from Eliot to Emily Hale, her subject will be TS Eliot’s Secrecy: Disguise and the Hidden Drama of Emily Hale.

The Lecture has been brought forward this year, and this will be the first time that Lyndall Gordon has lectured on the Emily Hale letters since they were made publicly available.

Lyndall Gordon’s lifetime of work on TS Eliot, and her earlier biography TS Eliot: An Imperfect Life, have been rightly praised – but her recent book, The Hyacinth Girl, based on the Emily Hale letters, received particular acclaim. “Emily, who features in The Waste Land as the ‘Hyacinth Girl’, was deliberately cast by Eliot as his inspiration, and then as deliberately rejected by him,” wrote Margaret Drabble in The New Statesman. “It is a tale of betrayal on a grand scale, and it is very well told.”

The Lecture will be given on Thursday 27th April, at 5.30pm, in the TS Eliot Theatre at Merton College, Oxford. Merton was the College where Eliot spent his postgraduate year in 1914.

Before the lecture, Society publications, rare Eliot books and other Eliot items will be available from our stand in the lobby. And after the Lecture, Merton College are generously hosting a drinks reception, where you can chat with the speakers, other Society members, and Eliot authorities and enthusiasts.

Admission to the Lecture is free, but places must be reserved, via


The Waste Land – a double bill at The London Library, April 2023

On Friday 28th April, The London Library is hosting The Waste Land; A Double Bill – The Poem & The City. Taking place both in-person at the Library, and online, the event promises “An evening of poetry, performance, dance and music celebrating Eliot’s poem and the city it inhabits.”

The evening will begin in the ‘violet hour’, with a performance of the poem by award-winning poet and novelist Ben Okri, accompanied by contemporary dancer Charlotte Jarvis.

The second half of the evening will then explore The Waste Land  as a polyphonic, London poem, via the words and voices of some of the best contemporary poets writing about London today. Jay Bernard, Will Harris, Daljit Nagra, Richard Scott, Hannah Sullivan and compere Sophie Herxheimer will perform their own odes to the city and their favourites by other poets, with music from Polly Paulusma and featuring tarot cards created by Sophie Herxheimer.

The event will take place in person at The London Library, and will be livestreamed. Doors (and the bar) open at 6.30pm for a 7pm start. The livestream will begin on YouTube from 7pm.

Standard in-person tickets are £22 (+ £2.51 fee), with concessions for those under 30, unwaged, and London Library members. Online tickets are £5 (+£1.49 fee) and will be available to watch live or at any time after the event, using the same link.

Full details of the event and a link to booking are here.


The Waste Land in China, an online conversation, April 2023

An online event, open to all, will discuss The Waste Land in China, in conversation with poet, novelist and translator Qiu Xiaolong.

In addition to his novels, featuring the character Inspector Chen Cao, Qiu Xialong has translated many of Eliot’s poems into Chinese. “Eliot’s one of the most popular western modernist poets in China,” he told the Shanghai Book Review. “It was a surprise to myself that in the mid-eighties some young people actually put a copy of the Chinese translation of Four Quartets on top of their dowry in the delivery tricycle parading through the streets.”

The detective character in his novels “frequently quotes or paraphrases Eliot’s lines, which help to give him an alternative, humane perspective in spite of that suffocating system.”

The focus of the conversation will be Qiu’s experience with Eliot’s poetry, which he first discovered during the Cultural Revolution. “We’ll be asking why Eliot’s poetry remains so popular in China,” say the organisers, “and how this fact can help us understand China today.”

The Zoom event is on 12th April, at 10am US Eastern Time; details of the event are here  and registration is here.


Production of Murder In The Cathedral seeks performers, February 2023

The Richmond Shakespeare Society are to stage a production of Murder In The Cathedral, with auditions for roles in the performances open to all.

The performances will be staged in St Mary’s Church, Twickenham between Thursday 1st and Saturday 3rd June.

There will be an informal reading on Monday 13th February, while auditions for the parts will be held on Monday 27th February, both at the Mary Wallace Theatre in Twickenham. “We make sure to offer opportunities for everyone,” say the RSS.

The production’s audition notes provide an indication of the approach which the production will take, including diverse casting, and beginning the play in the present day with contemporary characters before shifting to 1170. The audition notes can be downloaded here and details of the show itself are here


Half-day course on Eliot’s Four Quartets, January 2023

The Lifelong Learning Department at the University of York is hosting a half-day Saturday course on TS Eliot’s Four Quartets.

The course is hosted by poet and academic Martin Potter PhD, an associate of the University of York, whose academic research is on aesthetics, and the frontier areas between poetry, philosophy and theology.

“TS Eliot’s Four Quartets are mysterious and difficult, like his earlier work, The Waste Land, but, despite similarities, have a different emphasis, with, in particular, a stronger theological engagement,” explains the course outline.

“As the texts are too long for a complete reading during the three hour course, we will analyse extracts from each of the Quartets, but will aim to achieve an overview of the import of the work as a whole.”

The course takes place on the University of York campus from 2pm – 5pm on Saturday 25th February. Places cost £26, and details and registration are here.


Robert Crawford on Eliot and biography, January 2023

Robert Crawford, author of the two books Young Eliot and Eliot After ‘The Waste Land’, is to give a lecture in Oxford, open to all, on TS Eliot and biography.

The lecture is on 25th January 2023 at 5.15pm, in the TS Eliot Lecture Theatre at Merton College. There will be a drinks reception afterwards. All are welcome.




For earlier events see

Events Archive 2021-2022

Events Archive 2019-2020

Events Archive 2017-2018

Events Archive 2012-2016


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