Performances, conferences, readings and other events relating to TS Eliot.
Please check events before making arrangements. No endorsement or recommendation is implied by inclusion.
In Place and Time: Benjamin Britten and TS Eliot, August 2019
With the music performed by the City of London Sinfonia, the event, In Place and Time: Benjamin Britten and TS Eliot, on Wednesday 20th November, is another marking the ninetieth anniversary of Faber & Faber, the publisher with whom both Britten and Eliot were profoundly linked.
Readings from Eliot will be Ash Wednesday and Little Gidding, while the works by Britten include his Canticle V (The Death of Saint Narcissus) and his popular Variations on a Theme of Frank Bridge.
Tickets are £28 for reserved seating, or £20 for roaming (“cushions, wandering and other seating”). Full details and booking are here.
Modernist event in Virginia Woolf’s garden with TS Eliot keynote address, August 2019
2019 celebrates the 100th anniversary of Virginia and Leonard Woolf purchasing Monk’s House and its celebrated garden. This evening symposium, held in the garden itself, will consider the significance of the garden to Woolf, the Bloomsbury group and other modernist writers and artists alike.
The keynote address will be given by Dr Jeremy Diaper of Durham University. He has published numerous chapters and articles on TS Eliot’s agrarianism and the history of the organic husbandry movement, including in our own Journal of the TS Eliot Society. His book, T S Eliot and Organicism, was published in 2018.
Quartets by TS Eliot and Beethoven at St Alban’s Cathedral, July 2019
This will be interspersed with a performance of Beethoven’s late quartet in A minor, Op 132; Eliot wrote to a reviewer of the poems, “You are quite right in supposing that the Beethoven late quartets were present in the background.”
Tickets are £20, and full details are here.
Annual TS Eliot Festival at Little Gidding – full details, June 2019
This year’s Festival features a reading of Little Gidding by award-winning author Ali Smith, pictured here inside the church which inspired Eliot’s poem, and which is open to visitors as part of the Festival.
There are talks by Eliot authorities from both the US and the UK; scarce and First Edition TS Eliot books for sale, along with journals and other publications; and a chance to read Eliot to the audience yourself.
And in addition to the programme of Eliot-related events, morning coffee, a two-course buffet lunch, and afternoon tea are all included in the all-day ticket price of £40 (concessions available)..
It’s a great day for Eliot enthusiasts, a true celebration of TS Eliot and of Little Gidding. For full details, the day’s timetable and a link to booking, visit the TS Eliot Festival page via the menu above.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) receive a special 25% discount on the ticket price – details upon booking.
Members can also enjoy an exclusive discount on the lithograph of Little Gidding by Carry Akroyd which adorns the Festival poster – and trigger a donation to the Festival itself. See the Members Area for details.
TS Eliot and A Life of Prayer at St Stephen’s, Gloucester Road, May 2019
“More than just an order of words” – TS Eliot and A Life of Prayer is being hosted at St Stephen’s, Gloucester Road by The Rt Revd Jonathan Baker, Bishop of Fulham, on Sunday 16 June at 4.30pm.
“Drawing on his own academic interest in twentieth-century English literature, and his enthusiasm for the poetry of Eliot, Bishop Jonathan Baker will demonstrate in his talk the depth and insightfulness of this remarkable writer, and will help us make connections to our own spiritual development.” Afternoon tea is served afterwards, and Choral Evensong and Benediction follows at 6pm. For more details click here.
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats at The Fitzrovia Chapel, May 2019
The Fitzrovia Chapel, in Pearson Square, London, is hosting an Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats lunchtime event, at 1pm on Friday 24th May
Kate Thorogood, Programme Curator for the chapel, will give an audio presentation of the work, with an introduction to the life and work of TS Eliot and his association with the neighbourhood of Fitzrovia. It is also an opportunity to enjoy the relaxing atmosphere of the beautiful building and hear about its Byzantine-inspired interior. Event details are here; admission is free, and tickets are not required.
The Waste Land in Sea Fever Festival, April 2019
Firstly with a sound and vision talk; then secondly as a two-voiced dramatic reading of the poem with fellow poet Richard Scott.
A new TS Eliot Guided Walk – in Bloomsbury and Marylebone, April 2019
Tina Baxter, who has led the guided walk around City of London sites from The Waste Land, has announced a new guided walk incorporating some of TS Eliot’s personal and professional locations in London.
The walk begins in Bloomsbury, home to Eliot’s offices at Faber & Faber, to his acquaintances in the Bloomsbury Group, and to his early publishers, The Hogarth Press. It travels across to Marylebone, to the apartments where Eliot lived during his first marriage, and the nearby Larrick pub.
The walks will take place on Sundays April 28, May 26 and July 21st. Further details and booking are here.
Members of the TS Eliot Society UK can book at the concession rate for these walks.
Interpretation of Four Quartets prepares for London premiere, April 2019
Previously acclaimed in New York, Alastair Macaulay called the work “the greatest creation of dance theatre so far this century”.
In The Guardian, Tanowitz herself talks about the work, for which she visited each of the Quartets’ locations. “The things I thought were abstract were literal,” she says. “We read the poem in each place and tried to map out how Eliot would have entered the garden, where he took a right or a left.”
Performances are from 22nd-25th May, and tickets are available here. Scroll down to October 2018 for further details of the work.
On BBC Radio 3’s Music Matters, (24.39 to 35.53) Tom Service talks to the composer Kaija Saariaho about how Eliot’s poetry inspired her, with extracts of the work’s music and reading from Four Quartets.
The Guardian, Lyndsey Winship: “Tanowitz’s dance seems to have absorbed the marrow of Eliot’s words, the sense of time stretching and contracting and existing all at once. This is a work of masterly craftsmanship”
The Telegraph, Tristram Fane Saunders: “Tanowitz’s Four Quartets attains a stark purity that captures the spirit of Eliot’s work, by avoiding every obvious choice. Her stripped-back approach feels at once distant and intimate. Rather than represent the poetry through music, here the poetry is the music. ”
Evening Standard, Emma Byrne: “Setting dance to words can be a risky business but Tanowitz resists any attempt to act out Eliot’s abstract verse. Instead she uses the four poems…as though they were a score, responding to changes in their rhythm and rhyme, focusing as much on their innate musicality as their content.”
The Times, Donald Hutera: “Eliot’s searching, quietly aching (and occasionally opaque) words — delivered, flawlessly, by the gently expressive [Kathleen] Chalfant — become a sounding board for dance.”
The Stage, Neil Norman: “Brice Marden’s painted screens range from sun-bleached Ordnance Survey maps to water-stained architects’ drawings. Grounded in classical movement, Tanowitz’s choreography is airily kinetic, but rarely innovative. The pleasure is in the detail…”
The Arts Desk, Jenny Gilbert: “Rarely in my experience has abstract contemporary dance – almost an hour and a half of it, without a break – been so varied or compelling.”
The Observer, Sarah Crompton: “The work’s achievement is to embody the tone and impulse of the poem without ever becoming literal. It is richly allusive, yielding its secrets slowly”
The Spectator, Laura Freeman: “This inspired translation from page to the Barbican stage is electrifying”
The London Magazine, Suzannah V. Evans: “Rather than offering the sort of emotive explanation that Eliot feared, the production is pared-back, its moments of movement and stillness cutting to the quick of Eliot’s poem”
TS Eliot ‘In Different Voices’ to feature readings and music, March 2019
TS Eliot ‘In Different Voices’ will include readings from East Coker, The Waste Land and Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, and the staging of a piece from The Elder Statesman. Click on the poster (left) for full details.
The event will take place in the Colyer-Fergusson Hall, Gulbenkian, University of Kent, Canterbury CT2 7NB. Tickets are £6 including drinks and canapes afterwards, and are available here.
Cambridge production of TS Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral, February 2019
The production, by the Bawds company, is directed by Madeleine Forrester and Helen McCallum. “The production aims to involve you – the audience – as witness, judge and jury.” Full details of the production are here, and times and booking are here.
Linked to the production is a commentary session at St Andrews Street Baptist Church, Cambridge on Thursday 21st March from 1–4pm. Lindsay Fursland, a tutor for the Institute of Continuing Education, University of Cambridge, will analyse key speeches in the play, examine the historical background and Eliot’s biography, explore how Eliot used ideas from Aeschylus, and compare Eliot’s own soul-searching with that of Thomas Becket. Booking details are here, or you can e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org to register then pay on the door.
Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats – A Celebration, January 2019
On Tuesday 15th January, Nicolette Jones chairs an evening of reading and discussion, celebrating the book in the 80th anniversary year of its publication.
Full details and booking are here. UPDATE: The event is now to be streamed live on the British Library YouTube channel, and to libraries in Huddersfield, Poole, Hull and Norwich – details on that same page.
TS Eliot Festival 2019 at Little Gidding takes shape, December 2018
Three speakers have been announced to date. Dr Michael Hrebeniak of Cambridge University will speak on ‘The Epoch of Space: The Waste Land as Collage’; Dr Mary Ann Lund, of the University of Leicester, will be ‘Meditating on Little Gidding part I’; and the Little Gidding lecture will be given by Professor Robert von Hallberg from the University of Chicago.
A confirmed line-up and booking details will be released in due course.
Christopher Ricks to give Annual TS Eliot Lecture, November 2018
His title is: ‘The Imperfections of Humanity: TS Eliot and a Shakespearean Hero’
WH Auden once described Christopher Ricks as “the kind of critic every poet dreams of finding”, while Professor John Carey has called him “our greatest living critic”. He has written extensively on TS Eliot, publishing his influential book TS Eliot and Prejudice in 1988, and editing Inventions of the March Hare in 1996, and he was co-editor of the two-volume annotated edition of The Poems of TS Eliot, hailed as “a monumental achievement”.
“Ricks has been described as holding in his head all of English poetry,” wrote The Guardian, “and to see him lecture is to see him repeatedly reach into this apparently infinite database for the most subtle and apposite comparisons, echoes and rebuttals. It is a dazzlingly impressive gift.”
The Lecture is open to the public, and will begin promptly at 7pm. Admission is free on a first-come, first served basis.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) are able to reserve seats for the Lecture; see the Members Area for details.
Celebrated dance adaptation of Four Quartets comes to London, October 2018
A setting of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, hailed in the US and described as “a ravishing union of dance, music and art”, is coming to the Barbican, London in May 2019.
The work, which premiered in the US in the summer, combines choreography by Pam Tanowitz; music by Kaija Saariaho played live; narration by Kathleen Chalfant; and a stage design which centres on paintings by the major US artist Brice Marden.
The New York Times reviewed the work as “dance theatre of the highest calibre”, and “the most sublime new dance” for almost two decades.
Performances run 22nd-25th May, and public booking opens on Friday 26th October.
On Margate Sands, paintings and drawings based on The Waste Land, October 2018
“The Waste Land and Hamilton’s associated body of work find much to lament in the dirty squalor of real life, the loneliness of existence in the contemporary world,” writes the critic Charlotte Mullins, “but they also express something of the essence of humanity, probing the depths of feeling and the ancient heart of the land itself.”
Original paintings and drawings from the book will be on display at the gallery and, on the evening of the launch (6-8pm), Susie Hamilton will be “in conversation” with Charlotte Mullins.
The London Library to host readings of TS Eliot, September 2018
The late Josephine Hart, a Mayfair resident, is known for originating the Poetry Hour tradition of evenings of ‘great poetry read by great actors’. And TS Eliot was a member from 1918, and President between 1952 and 1965, of The London Library in St James’s Square.
Readings are to include The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, Rhapsody on a Windy Night, Dedication to My Wife and The Hollow Men. An all-star cast will be announced shortly by director Shevaun Wilder, and will be updated here when available. However, tickets are already on sale here at £18 (or £12 for London Library members).
LATE UPDATE: Actor Adrian Dunbar has been added to the line-up of participants.
“A new take” on TS Eliot’s drowned Phoenician sailor, August 2018
Susannah Heffernan, a writer of literary speculative fiction, will read from her new work in the Great Hall, Lord Leycester Hospital, Warwick on 2nd October at 11am. The new novel, which takes inspiration from Eliot’s characters Madame Sosostris and the Phoenician Sailor, tells the little known history of American soldiers in Europe during the Great War.
Susannah will read from her work-in-progress, and there will be a Q&A session chaired by Professor Mike Tooby. Tickets are £7 and details are here.
Coventry hosts Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ exhibition, August 2018
Journeys with “The Waste Land”, the community project bringing together artworks that in some way are a response to TS Eliot’s poem, will culminate in September with an exhibition in Coventry at The Herbert Art Gallery & Museum.
As with its preceding exhibition in Margate, “the project introduces local people as expert advisers, exploring the meanings of the poem and its relationship to place. In Coventry, the poem’s imagery of journeys and fragmentation, of redemption through fire and rebirth, connects with the histories and myths of our city.”
The works selected for exhibition include historical and contemporary works, through which the exhibition explores themes within Eliot’s poem of journeys and fragmentation. The selection also makes reference to Coventry’s history as a city fragmented by, and rebuilt upon the ruins of war. The main exhibition will be at the Herbert Art Gallery & Museum, Coventry from Saturday 15th September to Sunday 18th November, and further details are here.
There are also a number of related local events, including a performed reading of The Waste Land in Coventry Cathedral on Friday 14th September at 6.30. Details of the local events are here.
Live performance of Four Quartets, July 2018
Peter Wilson previously ran the Theatre Royal, Norwich for 25 years. The sculptor Sir Antony Gormley said of a previous performance (see below, April 2018), “Peter’s recital of this quintessential modernist work was so moving, felt and internalised.”
Details and tickets are here.
TS Eliot Festival 2018 at Little Gidding, June 2018
Featuring talks and poetry, conversation and debate, lovely food and music, the TS Eliot Festival is a delightful celebration of Eliot and of Little Gidding, and a chance to meet other Eliot enthusiasts.
The Festival takes place in the garden of Ferrar House at Little Gidding, PE28 5RJ. In addition to the programme of Eliot-related events, morning coffee, a two-course buffet lunch, and afternoon tea will be served. And of course, the inspirational chapel itself is open to visitors on the day.
George Szirtes, winner of the 2005 TS Eliot Prize, will read and discuss a selection of Eliot‘s poems, and take questions from the audience.
Seamus Perry, Oxford Professor of English Literature, will deliver the Eliot Society lecture on Auden, Eliot, and the voices of Christianity.
The Reverend Richard Coles, priest, broadcaster and former pop star, in conversation with biographer Adam Begley, will discuss religion in Eliot‘s poetry, with specific reference to Little Gidding.
Ronald Schuchard, Goodrich C White Professor of English Emeritus at Emory University, will give an update on recent Eliot publications.
An annual tradition continues: “My Favourite Eliot” with contributions from the audience.
The programme concludes with a reading of Little Gidding by actor George Blagden, well-known for playing Louis XIV in Versailles.
All meals and refreshment are included in the ticket price of £40.
(For members of the TS Eliot Society and the Friends of Little Gidding, tickets are just £30; enter your member’s password as the promotional code on the Select Tickets page to obtain your discount. Student tickets are £20.)
Tickets are available online now from https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/t-s-eliot-festival-2018-tickets-46690163536
Exhibition of watercolours inspired by Four Quartets, June 2018
Watercolours by Janet Treloar, RWS, inspired by Four Quartets, are being exhibited at the Bankside Gallery, London as part of their Splash exhibition from 4th to 22nd July.
Her paintings were inspired by “my strong sense of Eliot and his strange, rather fractured identity, so 21st Century. and renewed every Sunday at Mass at St.Stephens Church, where I have been for over 20 years” (and where of course Eliot was Church Warden).
Pictured from the show above is And a time for the wind to break the loosened pane. Admission is free and the pictures are for sale.
Nicola Barker to discuss TS Eliot’s recordings, June 2018
The series invites contemporary authors to discuss the legendary voices that have meant the most to them. Each conversation features rare archival recordings. and is led by Bernard Schwartz, who produces the famed Reading Series at New York’s 92nd Street Y.
The Nicola Barker event is at the London Review Bookshop on 18th July at 7pm; tickets are £10, and full details are here.
Robert Crawford to lecture on Biography and Eliot, June 2018
Robert Crawford is a Scottish poet, scholar and critic, and currently Professor of English at the University of St Andrews.
The lecture is on Thursday 7th June at 17.30. Admission is free, and further details are here.
A Summer Evening with TS Eliot in Canterbury, May 2018
There are readings of his poetry by Sonia Bloom, Martin Schofield (whose father recorded an acclaimed reading of The Waste Land), and Malcolm Andrews, known for his readings of Dickens.
There will also be a performance of a scene from The Cocktail Party, a collaboration between two local theatre groups. And the evening also includes guitar music, drinks and canapes.
For full details, click to enlarge the poster on the right:
Rare London performance of sacred work with words from Little Gidding, May 2018
The anthem The Dove Descending, composed by Jonathan Harvey to words from Little Gidding, will be performed as part of an evening of sacred music by The Ionian Singers, at St Peter’s Eaton Square, London on 7th July.
The work, rarely heard in this country, was commissioned by the Dean and Chapter of Winchester for the Enthronement of a new Bishop in 1975. The Bishop-elect, John Taylor, had selected the words from Little Gidding. “A G major chord sounding through most of the anthem,” write the work’s publishers, “depicts the joyful love and irrepressible faith of a soul that clings to its Lord despite its suffering and anguish.”
Details of the 10 works to be performed on the evening are here.
Swindon Festival of Literature includes reading of Four Quartets, May 2018
Together, core-singer and choir leader Flora Pethybridge, and storyteller and speaker of poetry Ashley Ramsden, will read the poems on Monday 14th May at 8pm at the Arts Centre, Devizes Road, Swindon. Tickets are £9 and details are here.
Four Quartets reading in West Norfolk’s Lit Fest, April 2018
“Though I’ve loved the Four Quartets for many years, I still find that they swim in and out of focus,” said Peter Wilson, who previously ran the Theatre Royal, Norwich for 25 years. “When I knew I was leaving the Theatre Royal I decided to challenge myself to learn the Quartets, in order to get closer to their centre, to comprehend their narrative arc, and to understand the human pain that informs them.”
Peter has performed his reading once before, at Norwich Cathedral. Sir Antony Gormley, Patron of Westacre Theatre, said “Peter’s recital of this quintessential modernist work was so moving, felt and internalised. I am delighted that he is repeating his performance at Westacre Theatre.” Full details and booking are here.
World premiere of TS Eliot’s “tram ride” choral work, April 2018
On the Tram to Nayland Rock, an imagined soundscape of a Margate tram ride from TS Eliot’s hotel in Cliftonville to the shelter at Nayland Rock, will receive its world premiere at the Turner Contemporary, Margate on Sunday 29th April.
The Thanet Big Sing Choir, accompanied by members of the Canterbury Christ Church University Wind Ensemble, with Vikki Hall, will perform this choral work, composed and conducted by Music Director, Tony Castro. It paints an aural picture of the sound world Eliot might have experienced, remembered or imagined on his journey.
Performances are at 12pm and 2pm in the Foyle Room, Turner Contemporary, Margate; admission is free. Details are here.
Jeremy Irons reads Four Quartets in Southwark Cathedral, March 2018
Southwark Cathedral is the oldest Gothic church in London, the main structure of which was built between 1220 and 1420. Located on the south bank of the River Thames, the building has a grand cultural presence.
The event is to mark the release of The Poems of T. S. Eliot read by Jeremy Irons, the audio recording originally broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in five broadcasts over the course of New Year’s Day 2017.
The event is on Monday 9th April at 7.30pm; details and tickets are here. The audio recording is published on 5th April.
London performance of The Waste Land jazz soundscape, March 2018
The “jazz soundscape” The Waste Land is to have a rare performance in London on March 17th, as part of a celebration of new music from Ireland. Created with the permission of the TS Eliot Estate, the work is “an attempt to capture the extraordinary verve and daring of Eliot’s great work”.
“Directed by Adrian Dunbar, with a specially commissioned score by composer Nick Roth and period film footage, this rare performative setting breaks the Poem down across four voices, taking as inspiration the idea of Sibylline Fragments – throwing letters in the air and making sense of them as they fall.”
One-off performance of Vivienne, March 2018
The operatic song cycle, dramatically and intimately staged, is based on the life of Eliot’s first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. “This is Vivienne’s life told in a series of short scenes each containing a song. There are hints of cabaret or music hall (a favorite of both Eliots), perhaps something seedier or grander, full of Vivienne’s wit and intelligence”.
The work was premiered in 2013, and performed at the 2014 TS Eliot Festival; music is by Stephen McNeff, with a libretto by Andy Rashleigh whose references resonate with all Eliot enthusiasts.
Dance work inspired by TS Eliot’s Four Quartets to tour, February 2018
Richard Chappell Dance will tour their work At the end we begin to venues in Oxford, Doncaster, Exeter and Leeds from 8th March.
Taking inspiration from Eliot’s Four Quartets, the work consists of four quartets of dance, based on each poem. “Collectively, At the end we begin questions how time affects our understanding of ourselves as a point of departure, and inhabits the derelict and sometimes turbulent landscape of Eliot’s poetry.”
Paris, Eliot and Paris: A Poem, February 2018
The latest Dead Poets Live event in the Print Room at the Coronet, in Notting Hill, London, will tell the story of Paris the poem by Hope Mirrlees, by way of Paris the city as experienced by TS Eliot.
Paris was “acclaimed, dismissed and then forgotten; in the twenty-first century it has been rediscovered and reassessed as an early modernist masterpiece, anticipating… The Waste Land.” While Eliot’s “encounter with Paris and his encounter with French literature were essential to the style and atmosphere of his first two collections, the poetry that led up to The Waste Land.”
The event, featuring Charlotte Rampling and Lambert Wilson, is on Sunday 29th April at 7pm, and details are here.
TS Eliot events in Margate, February 2018
The primary exhibition, around whose presence the other events are scheduled, is Journeys with The Waste Land, to be held at Turner Contemporary, Margate from 3rd February to 7th May.
Taking The Waste Land and Eliot’s time in Margate as a starting point, Turner Contemporary has worked with a voluntary Research Group, made up of local people, to develop the exhibition, which consists of over 90 exhibits, including works by contemporary artists, such as Sir Peter Blake, Tacita Dean and Paula Rego, alongside past artists such as Jacob Epstein, Edward Hopper, Wyndham Lewis and JMW Turner, and a diverse range of ephemera, objects and documents.
The Turner Contemporary listing of the exhibition is here ; further details of the thinking behind the exhibition have been published in The Guardian; there is a video of the Research Group talking about their thinking; and Apollo Magazine have an overview together with images of some of the included works.
Reviews of the exhibition include:
The Telegraph: “Brave but doomed attempt to illuminate a bleak masterpiece”
The Observer: “His great poem echoes down the years in an evocative show”
The Guardian: “It ends up conveying – to use the words of Eliot – nothing with nothing.”
The Times: “You will find that what you are looking at feels a lot like Eliot’s ‘heap of broken images’.”
Financial Times: “Modernist work may look chaotic, accidental, close to collapse, but it is invariably controlled by a master — Eliot is the supreme example — of formal technique and conceptual rigour. And so it is with curating: anything goes doesn’t work.”
Coinciding with the Turner Contemporary exhibition, At The Violet Hour will “re-inhabit and re-animate the empty rooms, spaces and grounds of the Grade II listed Nayland Rock Hotel, Margate” from 3rd February to 11th March.
“In this exhibition, national and international artists riff off the ‘inviolable’ voices in TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, with a focus on myth, gender and facets of the self.” Details of this exhibition are here.
The Lombard Street Gallery hosts On Margate Sands, an exhibition featuring new artworks in response to The Waste Land and Eliot’s association with Margate by five of their resident artists: Anthony Giles, Claire Gill, Nick Kelly, Ruth McDonald and Chris Snow. Details are here.
And opening at the same time, but for four weeks only, the Lombard Street Gallery will also be showing works from the project, From Wasteland To Wasteland, in which a group of artists make connections between the power of a First World War site and the impact of the War
on Eliot’s poem. Details of that show are here.
There are a number of events as part of the Turner Contemporary’s Offsite Programme around Margate. For example, in Different Voices, at CRATE, in Bilton Square, Margate, staff and students from UCA Canterbury Kent will be using the artist book as a means of exploring themes located within The Waste Land, in a variety of different forms from books, zines, and pamphlets to sculptural objects. Details are here.
At The Pie Factory, seven artists exhibit paintings in A Current Under Sea – details here – in the first of a series of short exhibitions inspired by The Waste Land.
And there is an intimate exhibition of oil paintings and sketches in The Proper Coffee House titled The Deep Sea Swell – details here.
Video and photographic artist Sally Waterman is showing her short video work, In The Cage, at The Printworks, 1a Union Row, Margate, together with photographs from her work Sermon; both were part of a larger doctoral project Waste Land derived from the poem. A fragment of the video is here, and details of her Waste Land project here.
At Margate Museum, there is both Postcard from Margate, 1921, an exhibition giving a flavour of the town at the time (details here); and Prison, Palace, Sława Harasymowicz’s mixed-media artwork exploring the materiality of language in The Waste Land – details here.
For the fullest listing of their linked and Offsite Programme events, including guided walks, talks, live events and even card readings by “Madame Sosostris”, visit What’s On at the Turner Contemporary in February.
A good overview of events overall has been published in the local Isle of Thanet News. And scroll down this page for further details of the major events, and links to some related articles about TS Eliot and his time in Margate.
More TS Eliot exhibitions in Margate, January 2018
Details have been released of two further exhibitions in Margate of works related to TS Eliot, opening to coincide with the Turner Contemporary exhibition, Journeys With The Waste Land on 3rd February.
The Lombard Street Gallery will host On Margate Sands, an exhibition featuring new artworks in response to The Waste Land and Eliot’s association with Margate by five of their resident artists: Anthony Giles, Claire Gill, Nick Kelly, Ruth McDonald and Chris Snow. Details are here.
Opening at the same time, but for four weeks only, the Gallery will also be showing works from the project, From Wasteland To Wasteland, in which a group of artists make connections between the power of a First World War site and the impact of the War on Eliot’s poem. Details of that show are here.
Scroll down for details of both the Turner Contemporary show itself, and of a further coinciding exhibition, At The Violet Hour.
UPDATE: Visitors may be interested in an extract from David Seabrook’s book, All The Devils Are Here, which can be read here, exploring both contemporary Margate and the locations of Eliot’s visit.
Vivien Eliot and The Waste Land – a talk, January 2018
The literary scholar and translator Ann Pasternak Slater will give a talk on TS Eliot’s relationship with his first wife Vivien, and its impact on The Waste Land, at the Turner Contemporary Rendezvous, Margate on 11th March.
Pasternak Slater, who is currently editing Vivien Eliot’s literary archive for publication, will set Eliot’s poem in the context of the couple’s mental health.
The lecture is part of Turner Contemporary’s Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ (scroll down for more details), and the POW! Festival celebrating and exploring issues around Feminism, Women and Girls. Details of the talk and registration for free tickets are here.
Poole hosts exhibition of ‘Quartet’ paintings, January 2018
Inspired by TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, the paintings in her new exhibition evolved through a process of visual thinking. Ineke explains, “The words of TS Eliot slowly entered my work whilst the Old Master looked over my shoulder. Time present met with time past.”
Guided walk around TS Eliot’s Kensington, January 2018
“We will meet Eliot the church warden in his preferred Anglo-Catholic place of worship, Eliot the air-raid warden conducting fire drills in the streets, as well as Eliot the poet-publisher and practical joker.”
Poet, author and “urban explorer” McDevitt will be offering four opportunities to go on this walk; Saturday 20th, Sunday 21st, Saturday 27th and Sunday 28th January, meeting 1pm outside Gloucester Road tube station. The walk costs £10, will last two hours and finish close to Kensington High Street tube station. Full details are here.
There is a discounted price for members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) – log in to the Members Area for details.
Home By Another Way, an event inspired by The Journey Of The Magi, January 2018
The evening, on Tuesday 23rd January, will include an opportunity to respond creatively to the theme through writing and drawing, or simply to enjoy a time of quiet in the beautiful setting of the Cathedral.
The event will be led by two academics from the University of Leicester, Dr Mary Ann Lund, and Dr Scott Freer (Editor of the TS Eliot Society’s Journal). Admission is free, and further details are available on a PDF here.
Exhibition inspired by “the inviolable voices” in The Waste Land, December 2017
Coinciding with the Turner Contemporary exhibition in Margate (below), At The Violet Hour will “re-inhabit and re-animate the empty rooms, spaces and grounds of the Grade II listed Nayland Rock Hotel, Margate” from 3rd February to 11th March.
“In this exhibition, national and international artists riff off the ‘inviolable’ voices in TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, with a focus on myth, gender and facets of the self.
“Recalling Eliot’s own convalescence in Margate in 1921, some of the works in this exhibition will be created during short artist residencies held at the hotel, alongside a number of specially commissioned, site-specific works responding directly to the visual lexicon of The Waste Land against the backdrop of the hotel’s heritage; its faded grandeur, peeling wallpaper and artexed surfaces.” More details of the exhibition are here.
Further details released of Journeys with The Waste Land at Turner Contemporary, December 2017
The culmination of of a three year project designed to develop a pioneering approach to curating, the exhibition Journeys with The Waste Land will be held at Turner Contemporary, Margate from 3rd February to 7th May.
Taking The Waste Land and Eliot’s time in Margate as a starting point, Turner Contemporary has worked with a voluntary Research Group, made up of local people, to
develop the entire exhibition. “Its long term collaborative curatorial methodology involved a large number of people in a research group, through open workshops, a wide range of events, and ideas and work generated by groups and individual participants. It is designed to challenge the distinctions often made between ‘presentation’, ‘research’ and ‘engagement’. ”
The exhibition will consist of over 90 exhibits, including works by contemporary artists, such as Sir Peter Blake, Tacita Dean and Paula Rego, alongside past artists such as Jacob Epstein, Edward Hopper, Wyndham Lewis and JMW Turner, in addition to a diverse range of ephemera, objects and documents. The Turner Contemporary listing of the exhibition is here.
UPDATE: More details of the thinking behind the exhibition have been published in The Guardian.
The Waste Land to be presented in “performative setting”, November 2017
First performed in 2015 as part of the Beckett Festival, this setting remains true to all of the then contemporary rhythms and references. It has the permission of the TS Eliot Estate.
According to a review of its previous performance, which also gives more background and details of the work, its short musical passages “simultaneously surmise and anticipate the text, while conjuring radial points of reference to the poem as a whole” The Estate “stipulated that the music could not play simultaneously with the readings but only in the breaks between the various sections”
Booking is now open for the presentation, in the Pavilion Theatre, Dun Laoghaire, Co. Dublin on Saturday 24th March.
Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2017:
‘The man and woman who suffer in The Waste Land’ by Professor Ronald Schuchard, October 2017
UPDATE: An audio recording of this lecture is now available to members of the TS Eliot Society UK in the Members Area.
His subject is ‘The man and woman who suffer in The Waste Land’.
Ronald Schuchard is a world-renowned expert on TS Eliot’s life and works. He is the Goodrich C White Professor of English Emeritus, at Emory University, Atlanta, Georgia. He is the founder-director of the School of Advanced Study’s TS Eliot International Summer School. And following a career of books, publications and positions relating to Eliot studies, he is currently serving as General Editor of the multi-volume edition of The Complete Prose of TS Eliot.
The Lecture, presented by the TS Eliot Society (UK), is again hosted by Newnham College, Cambridge, recipients of the Valerie Eliot Fund for English, and will be given in:
Lucia Windsor Room, Newnham College, Cambridge CB3 9DF
The Lecture is open to the public, and public admission is free, on a first-come, first-served basis.
Members of the TS Eliot Society UK can register for reserved seating at the Lecture, and for a private drinks reception afterwards. Please see the Members Area for details of how to register, and also for details of the Society’s AGM, which precedes the Lecture.
Rare performances of TS Eliot’s Sweeney Agonistes, September 2017
Written in the mid-1920s, this was a first experiment with verse drama that explored the rhythms of jazz, music hall patter and the colloquial speech of 1920s London. This work-in-progress production by Lewes Live Literature “shows it has lost none of its power to surprise, amuse or disturb.” Tickets for each performance are £7 in advance, £9 on the door and details and tickets are here.
Second TS Eliot Lecture at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin announced, September 2017
The actress Fiona Shaw, known for her readings will read one of his best-known poems to open the evening of the second TS Eliot Lecture at the Abbey Theatre, Dublin, on 17th November.
This annual lecture, presented by the TS Eliot Estate, is inspired by Eliot’s impact on modern literature. It commemorates the occasion in June 1940, when The Friends of the Irish Academy invited T.S. Eliot to the Abbey Theatre to give the first annual lecture in memory of W.B. Yeats, who had died the year before. Eliot took the opportunity to talk particularly about Yeats’ verse drama and his gratitude for Yeats’ influence on his own plays.
The 2017 lecture will be delivered by Samantha Power, Pulitzer Prize winning Irish-American author and former American Ambassador to the United Nations under President Obama. She will be introduced by Bob Geldof, and interviewed afterwards by Fintan O’Toole. Details and tickets are here
Live readings of Four Quartets, September 2017
Two readings of Four Quartets have now been announced, as part of the Kitchen Table Tour by Flora Pethybridge, singer and storyteller, and Ashley Ramsden, the founder of International School of Storytelling UK
As part of the North Cornwall Book Festival, they will perform their “conversational telling” of the work in St Endellion (left), “one of Cornwall’s most haunting and evocative churches”, on Thursday 5th October at 7.30pm. Tickets are £6 and full details are here.
Then they will perform on 15th October at 7.00 pm in Pyecombe Church near Brighton, BN45 7FR. Tickets are £12 on the door, wine and refreshments included.
Walking with The Waste Land, Margate, July 2017
Starting at Margate Station at 10 am, and taking in the seafront, the walk will connect with well-known Margate locations that resonate with the poem, and with artworks chosen for an exhibition next year at Turner Contemporary, Margate. The event is free and open to all; details and registration are here and further details from the artist and architect leading the walk are here.
Charleston stages Four Quartets readings in Berwick Church, July 2017
Charleston, the Bloomsbury group house near Lewes, is staging readings of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets in nearby Berwick Church.
Eliot had a close association with the Bloomsbury set, who first published The Waste Land through their Hogarth Press. Berwick Church, near Charleston, has murals painted by Vanessa Bell and Duncan Grant.
Jeremy Irons added to TS Eliot Festival line-up, June 2017
The actor Jeremy Irons, known for his readings of TS Eliot’s poetry on stage and on BBC Radio 4, has been added to the line-up of the TS Eliot Festival 2017.
This will be a unique opportunity to hear Jeremy Irons reading Little Gidding at Little Gidding.
The TS Eliot Festival 2017 is being held at Little Gidding on Sunday July 9th from 11:00 to 18:00. Jeremy Irons is an exciting addition to a line-up that already features celebrated novelist Ali Smith reading The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock.
An inspirational day of talks, readings, and discussions, on the occasion of the centenary of TS Eliot’s first published collection, Prufrock and Other Observations, this year’s Festival will also feature lectures by two distinguished academics, Robert Crawford and Marjorie Perloff. In addition to the programme of Eliot-related events, morning coffee, a two-course buffet lunch, and afternoon tea will be served.
Full details and booking are here.
Production of Murder In The Cathedral, June 2017
A production of TS Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral is being staged by the Sutton Amateur Dramatic Society, in St Mary’s Church, Church Road, Wallington SM6 7NJ. Directed by David Page, performances are on 22nd-24th June, and full details and tickets are here.
Annual TS Eliot Festival 2017 – details released, May 2017
In the centenary year of TS Eliot’s first published collection, Prufrock and Other Observations, the 12th annual TS Eliot Festival, an inspirational day of talks, readings, and discussions, will take place at Little Gidding on Sunday, 9th July 2017.
The Festival takes place in the garden of Ferrar House at Little Gidding, the church which inspired the last of Eliot’s Four Quartets, and which is open to visitors on the day.
Full programme and booking details are now available on our dedicated Festival page.
Jeremy Irons and Professor Ron Schuchard in centenary event, May 2017
Professor Schuchard’s lecture, entitled ‘Eliot in the Classroom – 1916 to 1919’, will focus on Eliot’s early writing, much of which was shaped during his time as an extension tutor for the University of London.
Internationally acclaimed actor Jeremy Irons will follow the lecture with a reading of Eliot’s Four Quartets to an audience of world renowned academics, guests, students and staff from the University of London.
A number of public tickets are now available; full details of the event with a public booking link are here.
A celebration of the 90th anniversary of TS Eliot’s baptism, April 2017
St Cyprian’s Clarence Gate, where TS Eliot attended services while living in London’s Clarence Gate Gardens, is planning a celebration on Saturday 1st July, to mark the 90th anniversary of Eliot’s baptism (on 29 June 1927).
The day will include a talk by former Archbishop Rowan Williams on The Fire and the Rose: Eliot and the Incarnation, and by former Bishop of Oxford Richard Harries on Eliot’s Conversion, followed by a conversation between the two. Full details are here.
Holy Trinity Church, Finstock, where TS Eliot was baptised, is also planning an Eliot-themed Sunday Service at 10.30 on 25th June to mark the anniversary. For details, e-mail the Rev’d Sarah Jones on Sarahtandem@hotmail.com
Reading The Waste Land study course, March 2017
“Two expert lecturers will open our eyes to this poem, helping us to understand some of its interests and its literary techniques, and showing us why The Waste Land can be so rewarding to read.”
Sarah Cain (who spoke at the TS Eliot Festival in 2014) and Michael Hrebeniak will guide the group through the context and content of the poem. Stapleford Granary is at Bury Road, Stapleford, Cambridge CB22 5BP; tickets are £60 and details are here.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) can purchase tickets for this study course at a discounted rate; see the Members Area for details.
From wasteland to The Waste Land project, March 2017
Inspired by the dramatic site, the manmade landscape, and the stories behind it, the artists are to visit the battlefield site, draw connections with TS Eliot’s poem, and make new work as a response.
The project is being presented at an event at Marine Studios, Margate on Friday 2nd June (details are here) The plan is to continue to work together after an initial exploration, with a view to holding an exhibition in 2021, the centenary of Eliot’s time in Margate. More details of the project are here.
TS Eliot’s Non-Liberal Voice, April 2017
In one of the free Contemporary Art Talks at Goldsmith’s, University of London on 26th April, writer and artist Sam Robinson will speak on TS Eliot’s Non-Liberal Voice.
“In 1928, Eliot famously declared himself ‘classicist in literature, royalist in politics and Anglo-Catholic in religion.’ But he also described how ‘one wakes up astonished to find that one does not feel the same about something as one did yesterday.’ Working in the shadow of contemporary visual art, both of these statements might prove telling…
“If Eliot is often used to represent establishment conservatism, then in other hands he is a radical figure. Eliot’s case—and the discourses that surround it—illustrate how cultural elites have understood—and indeed misunderstood—who artists are, what they might think, and how they might behave.” Sam Robinson has written on the subject here, and full details of the talk are here.
Radio dramatisation of The Waste Land, March 2017
The UK-based internet broadcaster, Channel Radio, will be transmitting a dramatisation of The Waste Land on 30th April at 2pm.
A joint independent production by Old Dolly Productions and People Scope, the team behind the dramatisation are Lisa Nightingale (actor), Jim Newberry (actor & director), and Robbie Burgess (sound technician), plus supporting voices.
TS Eliot: Realism and Reality, lunchtime lecture at the National Portrait Gallery, March 2017
In a late change to a scheduled lecture, Jim McCue, one of the editors of the acclaimed critical edition of The Poems, will give the lunchtime lecture at the National Portrait Gallery, London tomorrow, Thursday 16th March.
McCue’s lecture is titled TS Eliot: Realism and Reality. The NPG’s outline says, “‘How unpleasant to meet Mr. Eliot’, wrote the poet himself. Fifty years after TS Eliot’s death, we can’t forget his poems, but we can’t be comfortable with them either.” Doors open 12.45, and the lecture begiuns at 13.15; full details are here.
Simon Russell Beale reads TS Eliot with Bach’s St John Passion, March 2017
The performances take place at Norwich’s St Andrew’s Hall on Thursday 13 April, at London’s Barbican on Friday 14 April and Cambridge’s King’s College Chapel on Saturday 15 April.
Mark Padmore, who sings the role of Evangelist and has curated the programme, said “Bach’s St John Passion is a profound meditation on suffering. It was written to disturb our consciences and provoke our compassion. By including biblical texts and poetry by TS Eliot we hope to focus attention on the message that this timeless masterpiece has for our own age.”
Professor Dame Marina Warner gives TS Eliot Memorial Lecture at Eliot College, March 2017
Under the title ‘What place is this, what land, what quarter of the globe?’ The compass of story in dislocated times, Professor Dame Marina Warner will look at migrating stories, from myths of Troy to Eliot’s uses of Christian legend, and trace the compass bearings they offer, against the background of the current refugee crisis.
Professor Dame Marina Sarah Warner, DBE, FRSL, FBA is a British novelist, short story writer, historian and mythographer. She is known for her many non-fiction books relating to feminism and myth.
The lecture is free and open to the public on a first-come, first-served basis. Full details are available by clicking on the image above, or when updated on the University of Kent website here.
Readings of The Waste Land and The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock, February 2017
“The Love Song will be performed as a monologue and then five actors will give voice to the many characters, ideas and sounds of The Waste Land. The performance will be followed by an informal discussion.”
The performances are at Farnham Library on Wednesday 8th March, and Basingstoke Discovery Centre on Thursday 6th April, and tickets include a glass of wine. Full details via Alton Fringe Theatre here.
The Waste Land in the City guided walks, February 2017
Tina Baxter has scheduled six of her popular guided walks around sites in the City of London related to The Waste Land. The walks take place on dates between March and June 2017, and details are here.
The walks take in churches such as Magnus Martyr and St Mary Woolnoth, streets including King William Street and Lower Thames Street, and the location of Eliot’s office at Lloyd’s Bank.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) are entitled to the Concession price when booking tickets.
TS Eliot & Decadence, January 2017
A live event is being staged on 21st February at 7.30, at King’s Place, London, “featuring a glittering line-up of speakers, poetry readings and live music, which will transport you back to Paris in 1910 and to the amazing cultural scene which so decisively influenced the work of TS Eliot.
“In 1910 Eliot spent a year living in Paris and studying philosophy at the Sorbonne. Arguably we owe much of his early work, including his first major poem The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock, to this exposure to French culture, and to the Decadent movement in particular, including the work of the poets Jules Laforgue, Arthur Rimbaud, and Paul Verlaine.” A short essay exploring the influence of the Decadent movement on Eliot is here.
“Featuring Simon Callow, the distinguished star of stage and screen, and Roy Howat, internationally acclaimed pianist and musicologist, Margaret Reynolds, the inspiring academic and broadcaster, and Matthew Creasy, a leading expert on the French Decadent movement, this special event will show how French cultural influences played a profound part in forging the mature work of TS Eliot as a poet, writer and critic.”
Tickets and full details are available via the King’s Place website here.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) can obtain a special discount on tickets for this event. See the Members Area for details
Richard Williams: artworks inspired by Eliot’s poetry, January 2017
The Poetry of Painting is an exhibition of artworks by Richard Williams that explores the poetry of TS Eliot. Four large paintings relate to Eliot’s Four Quartets; three other large paintings form a triptych which visualises themes from Eliot’s Selected Poems. The exhibition is at Rose Theatre, Kingston from 11th to 25th February, and admission is free.
Reading of Four Quartets in Michaelhouse, Cambridge, January 2017
Beginning on 7th February, and continuing on 14th, 21st and 28th February, each reading is at 1.00, and lasts approximately 30 minutes. The readers are Keith Brown, Pauline Davison, Susan and Peter Hilken. Admission is free. Full details in a PDF are here.
In Our Time, on BBC Radio 4, to discuss Four Quartets, December 2016
Hosted as usual by Melvyn Bragg, the participants will be Fran Brearton of Queens University, Belfast; David Moody of the University of York; and Mark Ford of University College, London, who gave the Annual TS Eliot Lecture in 2015. The programme will be available to listen online here after broadcast.
Jeremy Irons to read from complete Eliot canon on New Year’s Day, December 2016
Following his acclaimed recordings of The Waste Land, Four Quartets and other poems, and his broadcast of Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats last Christmas Day, Jeremy Irons has now recorded further Eliot poems, and all will be broadcast on BBC Radio 4 over five periods throughout Sunday 1st January.
“Each section will be presented by Martha Kearney and a special guest,” says the BBC, to “explore the excitement and the achievement of Eliot’s language”. The novelist Jeanette Winterson will be one of the guests “for this celebration of the enduring power of Eliot’s writing.”
UPDATE: The timings of the five broadcasts are:
13.30 Poems 1920
14.00 The Waste Land
19.15 Four Quartets
Shortly after the live broadcasts, the readings will be available on the BBC iPlayer via the links above.
The event has been entertainingly previewed by Antonia Quirke in the New Statesman.
Lecture on TS Eliot and Romanticism, December 2016
Dr Scott Freer will be giving a public lecture on TS Eliot and Romanticism on Friday 9th December, 12-1pm at the University of Leicester.
The lecture will outline Eliot’s critical views on Romantic poets, such as Blake and Shelley, and explain how some of his critical concepts (e.g. ‘impersonal poetics’, ‘historical sense’) shaped the legacy of Romanticism in the twentieth century. The lecture will also position Eliot’s anti-Romantic views in relation to TE Hulme’s theological reaction to the politics of Romanticism. For further details contact: email@example.com
Walk: The Waste Land in the City, December 2016
The walk takes in churches such as St Magnus Martyr and St Mary Woolnoth, along with other streets and sites including a glimpse of the former banking hall where Eliot worked.
Full details of the walk are here. Members of the TS Eliot Society are entitled to a discounted ticket porice; see the Members Area for details.
Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2016: ‘Eliot’s Ghost Women’ by Dr Sarah Kennedy, October 2016
Dr Kennedy is Fellow in English at Downing College, Cambridge and, among her writings on TS Eliot, recently contributed the chapter Let these words answer: Ash-Wednesday and the Ariel Poems to The New Cambridge Companion to T. S. Eliot.
The Lecture, presented by the TS Eliot Society (UK), is hosted this year by Newnham College, Cambridge, recipients of the Valerie Eliot Fund for English, and will be given in:
Lucia Windsor Room, Newnham College, Cambridge CB3 9DF
The Lecture is open to the public, and admission is free.
Members of the TS Eliot Society can register for reserved seating at the Lecture, and a private drinks reception on the evening; see the Members Area for details.
Roger Allam reads Four Quartets, highlighted by music of Bach and Messaien, October 2016
The Riverhouse Arts Centre, in Walton-on-Thames, Surrey is staging a unique programme in which award-winning actor Roger Allam gives an intimate reading of T.S. Eliot’s “Four Quartets”, highlighted by the music of Bach and Messiaen, performed by pianist Angela Hewitt.
Roger Allam’s roles in The Missing and Endeavour are the latest in a career encompassing stage, screen and television. Angela Hewitt is an internationally celebrated pianist.
The performance will take place on Wednesday 14th December at 8pm. Full details and tickets are available here.
TS Eliot Festival 2017, October 2016
The Twelfth Annual TS Eliot Festival has been scheduled for Sunday 9th July 2017. Make a note in your diaries; the one-day event will take place in the grounds of Little Gidding, and the line-up will be announced in due course.
The Waste Land City of London walks, October 2016
The two-hour walks begin at Monument, and take in sights including London Bridge; the key churches (St Magnus Martyr, St Mary Woolnoth); and the streets (Lower Thames Street, King William Street) specifically mentioned in The Waste Land. Other locations are visited to illuminate further passages from the poem. The walk also takes in the Lloyds Bank in Lombard Street where Eliot worked.
Current members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) can obtain a discount on ticket prices – see the Members Area for details.
Murder in the Cathedral at Portsmouth Cathedral, August 2016
The Southsea Shakespeare Actors will present TS Eliot’s Murder in the Cathedral, as part of Portsmouth Cathedral’s Patronal Festival. The production will be staged in the atmospheric surroundings of the cathedral nave on the 1st and 2nd of October 2016, and will be directed by Lauren Farnhill.
TS Eliot, Magic and Mysticism, August 2016
On 25th August 2016, at 7.30pm, Dr Allan Johnson, of the University of Surrey, will lecture on Eliot’s “lifelong interest in Eastern mysticism and also in Western esoteric traditions, and the power of myth”, at Treadwell’s Bookshop, 33 Store Street, Bloomsbury, London WC1E 7BS.
The outline suggests that “Eliot’s writing was influenced by a life-long intellectual interest in mystical thought, visible in his work from The Waste Land’s tarot sequence to the Four Quartets’ alchemical symbolism.
“In Eliot’s view, World War I had disrupted ancient cycles of fertility and renewal, and tonight’s speaker suggests that Eliot was attempting to renew the sacred through innovative poetic form.” Details and tickets are here.
Four Quartets at King’s Lynn Festival, July 2016
At the event, in St Nicholas’ Chapel, Eliot’s poetry will be interwoven with cellist Guy Johnston playing selections from Bach’s cello suites. And TS Eliot Society Patron Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. a poet and Eliot authority, will be discussing the texts. Full details and programme of the event are here.
The Waste Land City walk, July 2016
“Seeking out the streets and places that may have been an inspiration to the poet,” the two-hour walk visits City churches like St Mary Woolnoth (right) and other locations mentioned in the poem. Full details and booking are here.
Members of the TS Eliot Society (UK) are entitled to a discount on tickets; see the Members Area for details.
TS Eliot Festival 2016 moves to single-day event
Unfortunately, it has not been possible to stage the activities planned for the preceding day, Saturday 9th. However, the talks by Jim McCue and Matthew Geary have both been rescheduled for Sunday 10th, which now has an updated and enhanced line-up:
Sunday 10th July
11.00 Doors Open
11.30 Little Gidding: Such things as seem of least and most importance
A lecture by Jim McCue, one of the co-editors of the acclaimed critical edition of Eliot’s Poems
12.45 The Complete Prose of TS Eliot
A report by Jewel Spears Brooker from the award-winning international publishing project
2.00 An Investigation into Eliot and Motherhood
Matthew Geary talks on TS Eliot and the Mother
3.00 Eliot on Radio 4
BBC Commissioning Editor Jeremy Howe discusses their readings of Eliot’s poetry
4.00 A special reading of Little Gidding at Little Gidding by Adam Begley
“We’re very sorry that it’s not been possible to stage a two-day event as originally planned,” said the organisers, “but we can promise a fascinating and even fuller day on Sunday 10th, and look forward to welcoming Eliot enthusiasts then.”
The organisers apologise to those who have bought either Saturday or Weekend tickets, and purchasers are being contacted regarding refunds. Those holding Weekend tickets will be able to pick-up the appropriate refund on the Sunday, while anyone not attending will receive a refund by post. Any queries should be directed to the Box Office on 01832 274734
Full details of the Festival and all arrangements are on our dedicated page here.
The Waste Land lecture, discussion and workshop, April 2016
On Thursday 5th May, A Journey with The Waste Land is a lecture and discussion by Professor Mike Tooby, curator and Professor at Bath School of Art & Design, and Trish Scott, research curator for the project at Turner Contemporary Margate. This evening will explore how Eliot’s great poem generates responses in the visual arts, and how considering the visual arts offers “ways in” to the poem. More details and booking here.
And on Saturday 21st May, A heap of broken images? is an in-depth one-day workshop at the Warwick Arts Centre, including presentations, readings, and discussions, which will enable a small group of people of different backgrounds to contribute ideas and help test possibilities for how an exhibition would look in Coventry. Details and booking are here.
Professor Mike Tooby will also be hosting a workshop on The Waste Land at this year’s TS Eliot Festival.
TS Eliot’s Four Quartets as a Pattern for Christian Living, April 2016
Jay Parini, a poet and novelist, biographer and critic, is Axinn Professor of English and Creative Writing at Middlebury College.
Founded in 2003, the Heythrop Institute: Religion and Society (HIRS) “provides a place for research, reflection and action by means of projects related to the relationship of religion and society.”
The Waste Land readings by Alton Fringe Theatre, March 2016
In partnership with Hampshire Libraries, Alton Fringe Theatre are to present a series of readings of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land.
‘Five actors will give voice to the many characters, ideas and sounds of the poem drawing out its themes of life and death; hope and despair; memory and desire. The readings will be followed by an informal discussion.’
The dates and locations (click for booking details) are Wednesday 4 May, 7.30pm Alton Library; Thursday 12 May 2016 7.30pm Petersfield Library; and Saturday 4 June 2016 7pm, Winchester Discovery Centre.
Four Quartets: Read by Juliet Stevenson, discussed by Rowan Williams, February 2016
This year’s King’s Lynn Festival will feature a TS Eliot event in St Nicholas’ Chapel on Thursday 28th July. Four Quartets will be spoken by acclaimed actress Juliet Stevenson, interwoven with cellist Guy Johnston playing selections from Bach’s cello suites. And TS Eliot Society Patron Rowan Williams, the former Archbishop of Canterbury. a poet and Eliot authority, will be discussing the texts. The Box Office opens in April and details of the event are here.
The Waste Land at the Asylum Chapel, February 2016
Booking opens for Royal Society of Literature’s TS Eliot Memorial Reading, February 2016
Poets Simon Armitage (now Oxford Professor of Poetry), Mona Arshi and Zaffar Kunial will be giving the TS Eliot Memorial Reading under the auspices of the Royal Society of Literature. The Reading will be at the LSE in London on April 18th, and the general public can register for tickets at £9.50. Full details are here.
TS Eliot International Summer School 2016 – booking opens, January 2016
From Monday to Friday, the School will present two lectures each morning on all aspects of Eliot’s life and work. Students choose one option from a variety of afternoon seminars for a week-long, in-depth study under the guidance of a seminar leader. The seminars cover a range of subjects on Eliot’s poetry, criticism and drama.
The School also includes intellectual programmes at the sites of the Four Quartets: Burnt Norton, East Coker and Little Gidding (where students attend one day of the weekend’s TS Eliot Festival).
Full details of the Summer School are here.
The play runs 28th to 30th January, and tickets are available now from the Box Office here.
Reading of The Waste Land at Southbank Centre, January 2015
A reading of The Waste Land, open to the public and free to attend, is being held on Sunday 10th January 2016 at 6pm, in the Clore Ballroom at the Royal Festival Hall.
Held in partnership with the Eliot Estate and Faber and Faber, this event culminates a year of festivities marking the 50th anniversary of TS Eliot’s death.
For full details, click here.
TS Eliot Festival 2016 dates confirmed, December 2015
Ticket prices will include food and drink over the two days, and there will be reduced admission for members of the TS Eliot Society.
Further details of speakers and events will be announced on this page as confirmed, with some details provided in advance within our Members Area.
Professor Mark Ford to give annual TS Eliot Lecture in Cambridge, October 2015
This year’s TS Eliot Lecture will be given by Professor Mark Ford, of University College London, on 17th November at 7pm in the Cripps Theatre, Magdalene College, Cambridge. Admission is open to the public, and is free.
The title is TS Eliot in 2015. Professor Ford anticipates drawing upon this year’s publication of the critical edition of The Poems, along with Robert Crawford’s biography, and a volume of new essays on The Waste Land.
The annual TS Eliot Lecture is presented by the TS Eliot Society UK, in association with the Cambridge University Faculty of English.
Professor Mark Ford is Head of the English Department at University College, London, and has published widely on nineteenth-, twentieth- and twenty-first century British, American, and French literature. He has a BA and a DPhil from the University of Oxford. In the academic year 1983-84 he was a Kennedy Scholar at Harvard University, and from 1991 to 1993 a Visiting Lecturer at the University of Kyoto in Japan. He is a regular contributor to the New York Review of Books and the London Review of Books, and a selection of his reviews and essays have been published in two volumes.
Members of the TS Eliot Society are accorded special access to the event – details are in the Members Area of the site.
David Jones exhibition to feature TS Eliot items, October 2015
Eliot was responsible for publishing David Jones’ In Parenthesis at Faber & Faber in 1937, and over the years, he and Jones became firm friends. In 1958, Jones made a painted inscription, Nam Sybillam, incorporating lines from The Waste Land, as a gift for his friend. This rarely seen inscription, together with a bookplate made for T.S. and Valerie Eliot in 1961, have kindly been loaned by the Eliot Estate to the exhibition David Jones: Vision and Memory at Pallant House, Chichester from 24th October 2015 to 21st February 2016. More details of the exhibition are here.
Homage to TS Eliot at Wilton’s Music Hall, September 2015
Eliot was President of The London Library for 13 years, and shortly after his death in 1965 an astonishing cast came together in a special performance of his work. To mark 50 years since this performance, the Library will assemble a cast to again perform Eliot’s work in the atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall, with proceeds going to support the Library.
The event will be staged at the atmospheric Wilton’s Music Hall on Wednesday 21st October at 7.30pm. For further details, click the image (right) to enlarge, or visit the details on the London Library’s website here.
UPDATE: Sources have suggested that participants may include Jeremy Irons, Fiona Shaw, Simon Russell Beale, Sinéad Cusack and Ben Whishaw; readings to include selections and extracts from classic texts such as The Waste Land, The Hollow Men, The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and Four Quartets as well as from popular favourite Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats.
Call for Papers: The Ferrars of Little Gidding, September 2015
Hosted by Magdalene College, Cambridge between 5th and 7th September 2016, the conference will look at “the influence of the family”, and the conference coincides with the completion of a major project to conserve the 600 Ferrar prints collected by the family at Magdalene College.
Proposals for Papers (of 15-20 minutes length) are invited by 1st December 2015; while Eliot and his relationship to Little Gidding, its founders and their principles are not specifically mentioned, details for submissions and of the conference are here.
Last chance to register for Conference on FR Leavis & TS Eliot, September 2015
Registration closes this week for the two-day conference, being held 24-25 September 2015 at Downing College, Cambridge in conjunction with the Leavis Society, which will look at FR Leavis and TS Eliot in relation as literary and cultural critics.
The conference consists of short papers, interviews and round-table discussions, with time for general audience participation.
Speakers include Jim McCue, Stefan Collini, Roger Scruton, Michael Aeschliman, and David Ellis.
Full details of the conference are here. (Members of the TS Eliot Society can attend at the rates applicable to members of the Leavis Society.)
Gresham College, London public lecture on Eliot’s Four Quartets, September 2015
“By exploring the idea of exile in relation to locality and the idea of space more abstractly, the shape of Four Quartets as descriptive of a spiritual journey comes into better focus,” writes Professor Jack.
The one-hour Gresham College lectures, held at the Museum of London, are free and open to all on a “first come, first served” basis. Full details of the Eliot lecture are here.
UPDATE: Following the lecture, a transcript and presentation have been made available for download here.
Eliot events at the Ilkley Literature Festival, September 2015
There are two TS Eliot events in the programme for the Ilkley Literature Festival, which runs from 2nd-18th October 2015.
Through a guided reading group, Georgina Binnie, from the School of English at the University of Leeds, will be offering an expert guide to The Waste Land, “exploring the relationship between modernism and myth in Eliot’s seminal work.” The four sessions begin on Monday 5th October; details are here.
And on Thursday 8th October, A Journey with TS Eliot’s The Waste Land is “a multi layered event exploring the resonances of Eliot’s iconic poem”. Poet and playwright Rommi Smith and actor Damien O’Keeffe give a reading of the poem, followed by input from Professor Mike Tooby, who is developing a participative visual arts exhibition on The Waste Land with Turner Contemporary art gallery in Margate, where Eliot wrote part of the poem. Tooby will outline this exciting project and discuss how we might consider a range of responses to the poem by visual artists. Details are here.
Editors of the new critical edition to discuss TS Eliot’s poetry, August 2015
On Monday 12th October, at 6.30pm, Ricks and McCue will discuss their work to establish an authoritative text for all of Eliot’s poems, including many from his youth that were only published decades later, as well as others that saw only private circulation in his lifetime. They will also consider Eliot’s working processes, his reading, his influences and his vision.
Staged at the Conference Centre, British Library, Euston Road, London NW1 2DB, details and tickets are now available here.
UPDATE: A report on this event is here.
Viggo Mortensen to read The Waste Land at The British Library, August 2015
Best-known for his portrayal of Aragorn in the Lord of the Rings film trilogy, the actor Viggo Mortensen is to give a unique reading of The Waste Land, in the British Library Entrance Hall. The actor is one of the reading voices on the iPad app of the poem.
The reading is on Friday 11th September, from 7.30pm to 9.15pm, in the British Library on Euston Road, London. Details and tickets, both seated and standing, are now available here.
The Cocktail Party – cast and pre-show platform talks announced, August 2015
In addition, the Coronet has announced a series of free platform talks related to Eliot and his works prior to performances, by the poets David Harsent, Glyn Maxwell and Lavinia Greenlaw, and an interview with Eliot literary biographer Lyndall Gordon.
A video trailer for the production is here.
Full details of performances, talks and ticket booking are here.
Conference: TS Eliot & FR Leavis as Literary and Cultural Critics – Full Programme Announced, August 2015
The full programme has now been announced for the conference being held 24-25 September 2015 at Downing College, Cambridge in conjunction with the Leavis Society, which will look at FR Leavis and TS Eliot in relation as literary and cultural critics.
The two-day programme can be downloaded here.
According to the Leavis Society, Leavis “wrote more – and more forensically – on Eliot than on any other single author… preoccupied especially by the question of Christian affirmation in his later poetry.”
The conference consists of short papers, interviews and round-table discussions, with plenty of time for general audience participation. Confirmed speakers include Jim McCue, Stefan Collini, Roger Scruton, Michael Aeschliman, and David Ellis.
Full details of the conference are here. (Members of the TS Eliot Society can attend at the rates applicable to members of the Leavis Society.)
Sweet Thames Run Softly, a collection of work inspired by The Waste Land, July 2015
The Beecroft art gallery, Southend, is hosting a travelling installation of mixed media art inspired by Eliot’s The Waste Land. The work is by The Thames Group, a collective of thirteen working artists, each with a direct link to the River Thames, either through family, childhood or domicile.
Reading of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets at Shakespeare’s Globe, July 2015
As part of a series of performances by internationally renowned pianist Angela Hewitt, there is to be a Concert by Candlelight at the Globe on Monday 3rd August programmed around Eliot’s Four Quartets.
Award-winning Globe actor Roger Allam will give an intimate reading of the entire Four Quartets, around which Hewitt will perform the spiritual music of Bach and Messiaen. Details and tickets are available here.
TS Eliot Festival at Little Gidding 2015 – full programme released, May 2015
The Tenth Annual TS Eliot Festival will be held in the grounds of Little Gidding on Saturday 18th July 2015, with access to the church which inspired him. Details of the programme have been released, and booking is now open.
The Festival commemorates and celebrates the life and work of Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965). This year – one hundred years after The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock was first published, changing poetry forever – it focuses on the poet’s youth and development.
Robert Crawford, author of the new and acclaimed biography Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land, will be asking: was Eliot ever young?
And there will be music from Caprice, playing tunes that Eliot would have heard in his formative period in Paris, 1910.
Lyndall Gordon, author of The Imperfect Life of TS Eliot, will give a talk, Footfalls Echo in the Memory: Eliot’s Expatriation; and Jewel Spears Brooker will update us on the online publication of the complete prose Works.
Eliot located the last of his Four Quartets here so it is our custom to give a reading of Little Gidding; this year, it will be read by the writer, teacher and lecturer Graham Fawcett, President of the Society.
And festivalgoers are invited to read their own choices in the popular session My Favourite Eliot.
Join us in the summer garden at Little Gidding for a thought-provoking and enjoyable festival day, including refreshments. It will begin with coffee at 10.30am, with the first speaker commencing at 11am, and finish at 5pm.
Booking is now open via the Oundle Box Office at www.oundlefestival.org.uk or by phone 01832 274734. Note that there is a discount for members of the TS Eliot Society; for details see the Members Area.
A major revival of TS Eliot’s play, The Cocktail Party, opens the autumn/winter season at the Coronet in London’s Notting Hill from 14 September to 10 October 2015.
First performed at the Edinburgh Festival in 1949, it was Eliot’s most popular play in his lifetime, but has only been occasionally revived since. Casting for the production, to be directed by Abbey Wright, is still to be announced.
It will be the first dramatic work to play in the Coronet’s main house, which was converted into a cinema in the early 20th century, for nearly 100 years.
Details and tickets are here.
TS Eliot events at Padiham, Lancashire, June 2015
On Saturday 6th June, 7 to 9 pm. lecturer and poetry teacher (and President of the TS Eliot Society) Graham Fawcett will deliver his new Eliot lecture.
On Saturday 13th June, 7 to 9 pm, Unitarian minister the Rev Jim Corrigall will give an illustrated lecture on ‘Religion and Poetry in TS Eliot’ focusing on Four Quartets.
And on Saturday 20th June, 7 to 9 pm, poet and theologian Christopher Southgate will read his verse biography of Eliot, A Love and its Sounding, together with Sandy Southgate. Christopher Southgate, who is a theology teacher and Anglican layman, will also lead a short discussion on Eliot as contemplative poet.
Tickets, to include a glass of wine and light refreshments are £10 for Fawcett night; £7 each for other 2 nights. Combined ticket: £20. Tickets will be available at the Chapel door. For enquiries contact Rev Jim Corrigall via firstname.lastname@example.org
Harwich Festival presentation on TS Eliot, May 2015
As part of the Harwich Festival of the Arts, there will be a presentation on Eliot entitled Shafts of Sunlight, on Thursday July 2nd at 7.30 at the Electric Palace, Harwich.
It will be given by Richard Brock, author of a new book, Four Quartets: TS Eliot and Spirituality (Patrician Press).
Young Possum, with Robert Crawford and Fiona Shaw, May 2015
Short notice, but some tickets remain for this event at the Charleston Festival, staged at the legendary country house of the Bloomsbury set in East Sussex. On Monday 25th May Eliot biographer Robert Crawford will be joined by actress Fiona Shaw, who will read some of Eliot’s most celebrated work, including a section from The Waste Land. Details here.
Shared readings of TS Eliot’s poems, Liverpool, May 2015
They are held at Calderstones Mansion House, Liverpool and begin with The Love Song of J. Alfred Prufrock and The Waste Land on Friday 19th June. Following Fridays feature Burnt Norton and East Coker on Friday 26th June, and The Dry Salvages and Little Gidding on Friday 3rd July.
Meetings last from 10.30 to 3, with lunch provided. More details about The Reader Organisation are here.
An Evening of TS Eliot and Four Quartets, Temenos Academy, London, April 2015
On Saturday 30th May at 6pm the Temenos Academy is hosting ‘An Evening of TS Eliot & his “Four Quartets”‘, at The Art Workers Guild, 6 Queen Square, Bloomsbury WC1.
James Harpur will give an introductory talk on Eliot’s life and Four Quartets; Lord Gawain Douglas will give a recitation of Four Quartets.
Full details here.
TS Eliot events at his Parish Church, London, April 2015
The Saint Stephen’s Festival of Arts & Faith returns to the Gloucester Road, London church from Monday 1st to Sunday 7th June 2015. This year’s festival features a number of events related to the work of TS Eliot, who was a member of the congregation and Church Warden for 20 years.
On Tuesday 2nd June at 6.30pm there is a symposium on the life and work of TS Eliot featuring experts from the fields of theatre and academia . These include Kate Pfeffer, Trinity College Cambridge, and John Haffenden, Emeritus Professor, the University of Sheffield. The symposium will be followed on the same evening at 8.15pm by a reading of Eliot’s poetry by actors and real-life husband and wife team, Edward Fox and Joanna David; details and tickets here.
Then there are two exclusive performances of Murder in the Cathedral on Wednesday 3rd and Thursday 4th June at 8pm. A professional cast, headed by Philip Franks as Thomas a Becket, perform alongside actors drawn from the talents of the British and Irish Bar. (This is the site-specific production staged at Temple Church in January; scroll down to that entry in Events below for details.) Both performances will be preceded by a talk on the play by Kate Pfeffer, of Trinity College Cambridge. Ticket details are here.
For further details visit www.saint-stephen.org.uk, call 020 7370 3418 or email email@example.com
TS Eliot and Lancelot Andrewes, April 2015
On Thursday 21st May at 7pm, Poet in the City and
Southwark Cathedral are presenting an event in celebration of T.S. Eliot and the Elizabethan cleric Lancelot Andrewes (1555-1626).
“Eliot’s…conversion to orthodox Christianity midway through his life, and its resulting impact on his work, coincides with his discovery of one of the most dynamic orators in the English language, Lancelot Andrewes. In the heart of the Cathedral, burial place of Andrewes, we explore his transformational influence on the life and work of one of the great pioneers of modernism.”
Contributors include Peter McCullough, author of Lancelot Andrewes: Selected Sermons and Lectures; Lyndall Gordon; and Mark Ford. Full details are here.
TS Eliot is focus of Beckett Festival, April 2015
T.S. Eliot will be the artist in focus at the fourth Enniskillen International Beckett Festival, Happy Days, taking place over two long weekends, between 23 July and 3 August 2015.
This follows last year’s focus on Joyce, and Dante in 2013, as artists with special connections with Beckett. Beckett chose Eliot (along with Joyce and Proust) as one of his earliest literary models.
Four Quartets will be presented in two cycles, each poem being followed by one movement of Beethoven’s String Quartet Op. 131, performed in Enniskillen’s three different churches, St Macartins Cathedral, St Michael’s Church, and the Presbyterian Church. (25 July)
Adrian Dunbar will direct a new staging of The Waste Land interspersing the text with commissioned music by saxophonist and experimental composer, Nick Roth. (1 and 2 August)
Enniskillen, in County Fermanagh, one of the most beautiful parts of the west of Northern Ireland, has become renowned for its association with Samuel Beckett, who attended Portora Royal School in Enniskillen. Full details of the Festival are here.
TS Eliot & FR Leavis, April 2015
A conference is being organised for 24-25 September 2015 at Downing
College, Cambridge in conjunction with the Leavis Society, which will look at FR Leavis and TS Eliot in relation as literary and cultural critics. Full details are here.
According to the Leavis Society, Leavis “wrote more – and more forensically – on Eliot than on any other single author… preoccupied especially by the question of Christian affirmation in his later poetry.”
The conference will consist of short papers, interviews and round-table discussions, with plenty of time for general audience participation. Confirmed speakers include Jim McCue, Stefan Collini, Roger Scruton, Michael Aeschliman, David Ellis and Peter Cochran.
There may still be room for further contributions. If you would like to offer suggestions or to express an interest in attending, please contact either our Chairman, Hugh Black-Hawkins via firstname.lastname@example.org or our Secretary Kathy Radley via email@example.com
TS Eliot Festival at Little Gidding 2015 – details released, March 2015
The Festival commemorates and celebrates the life and work of Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965). This year – one hundred years after The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock was first published, changing poetry forever – it focuses on the poet’s youth and development, with Robert Crawford, author of the new and acclaimed biography Young Eliot: From St Louis to The Waste Land, and music at teatime from Caprice, playing tunes that Eliot would have heard in his formative period in Paris, 1910.
Lyndall Gordon will give a talk, Footfalls Echo in the Memory: Eliot’s Expatriation; and Jewel Spears Brooker will update us on the online publication of the complete prose Works.
Eliot located the last of his Four Quartets here so it is our custom to give a reading of Little Gidding; and festivalgoers are invited to read their own choices in the popular session My Favourite Eliot.
Booking will open on March 30th via the Oundle Box Office at www.oundlefestival.org.uk or by phone 01832 274734. Note that there is a discount for members of the TS Eliot Society; for details see the Members Area.
Burnt Norton at Chipping Camden Literature Festival in May, February 2015
At the Chipping Camden Literature Festival, close to Burnt Norton itself, Eliot biographer and critic Lyndall Gordon will speak on Tuesday 5th May at 7pm. She will be “focusing on stories in writing family memoir; on Eliot’s play of memory when he visited Chipping Campden and trespassed into the garden at Burnt Norton with Emily Hale, whom he’d loved when a young man; and why Eliot’s discarded wife chose the role of Henry James’s famously doomed heroine, Daisy Miller”. Full details are here.
Three TS Eliot events at the FT Weekend Oxford Literary Festival, February 2015
On 24 March Robert Crawford, author of the new biography Young Eliot, will trace the poet’s life from his childhood in St Louis to the publication of The Waste Land. Details here.
On 25th March the poet Don Paterson will take a look at A Hundred Years of The Lovesong of J Alfred Prufrock. Paterson will read the poem and talk about its importance in Eliot’s work and in the wider context of modern poetry. The event will also include clips from the 2009 BBC Arena documentary on TS Eliot. Details here.
And on 29th March, teachers and performers including Juliet Stevenson, present Poetic Memory and Music – An Oxford Masterclass, exploring Eliot’s interest in music as a funnel for memory. Participants will work towards producing a collage of sound, song and imagery. Details here.
Harvard celebrates the centenary of Prufrock, February 2015
An exhibition and series of events at Eliot’s Harvard University will mark the centenary of the first publication of The Love Song of J Alfred Prufrock.
An exhibition, Ragged Claws, curated by Carey Adina Karmel, PhD candidate at the University of London, will explore the genesis of the poem by way of various manuscript and typescript reproductions. The exhibition includes multiple printings of Prufrock, from its debut in 1915 in Poetry magazine to its first independent appearance in book form in 1917, along with books from Eliot’s library that provided source material. The exhibition runs from 6th April to 27th June. There will also be a series of lectures, by speakers such as Sir Christopher Ricks; details are here.
The Unattended Moment, an anniversary exploration of TS Eliot, London
For the 50th anniversary of the poet’s death, Dr Christopher Southgate, of the Department of Theology & Religion, Exeter University, is hosting two events in the Chapel of King’s College, London.
On Wednesday January 14th, at 6pm, there will be a performance in the Chapel of his verse biography of Eliot; followed at 11am the next morning, Thursday January 15th, by a seminar discussion of Eliot as a contemplative poet, chaired by Professor Russell Goulbourne, Dean of the Faculty of Arts & Humanities, King’s College London.
Full details are here.
Words and Music, anniversary broadcast, BBC Radio 3
On Sunday January 4th at 5.30pm, Words and Music on BBC Radio 3 is broadcasting a special edition of music and poetry read by Simon Russell Beale to mark the 50th anniversary of T.S. Eliot’s death. Poems include Four Quartets, The Waste Land, Marina and Landscapes, with music by Thomas Ades, Beethoven, Stravinsky and Chopin.
Four Quartets – anniversary production, London
Director Katie Mitchell talked to The Guardian about her original production here.
This is a fundraising event for the threatened Horse Hospital space, at the Colonnade, Bloomsbury, London WC1N 1JD – just metres from the site of the original Faber & Faber offices where Eliot worked.
Four Quartets will be read by the actor Stephen Dillane, well known for his roles in Game of Thrones, Harry Potter and the Half-Blood Prince, and The Hours.
Full details of the event and tickets are here.
Talk on TS Eliot’s life and work: Lewes, Farnham and Bridport
Poetry educator and performer Graham Fawcett, who is also President of the T.S. Eliot Society, is touring with his World Poets talk on Eliot, to mark the 50th anniversary of the death of the poet.
“The journey from his early Preludes to his late Quartets is so extraordinary as to suggest that there might have been several T S Eliots.”
The talk will be given in Lewes on 15th January; Farnham on 19th January; and Bridport on 22nd January.
Full details of the dates, with some offering an optional supper afterwards, are here.
Commemorative Epiphany Mass, St Stephen’s, Gloucester Road, London
At 11am on 4th January 2015, St Stephen’s Gloucester Road, the church where Eliot regularly worshipped, is holding ‘An Epiphany Mass in commemoration of the 50th Anniversary of the death of TS Eliot.’
‘At this mass we will offer thanks for him and his work and dedicate pictures of TS and Valerie Eliot to hang near the memorial in this anniversary year.’
Saint Stephen’s has a long been a “shrine Church” and stands firmly in the Catholic tradition.
Murder In The Cathedral in London’s Temple
A new production of TS Eliot’s Murder In The Cathedral is to be staged in Temple Church.
This is one of the very few surviving churches in Britain built by the Knights Templar, in their characteristic circular style representing the Church of the Holy Sepulchre in Jerusalem.
The production stars Philip Franks, is directed by Joe Harmston, and is the product of a close collaboration with Middle Temple and the Temple Church. Performances are on Friday 30th January, Saturday 31st January and Sunday 1st February.
TS Eliot’s expatriation: a London talk by Lyndall Gordon
The acclaimed Eliot scholar Lyndall Gordon will give a talk at the Keats Community Library in Hampstead, London to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the poet’s death.
Footfalls Echo in the Memory: Eliot’s Expatriation will be given on Thursday 8th January at 7pm.
Perhaps best known for her book Eliot’s Early Years, Gordon is a Senior Research Fellow at St Hilda’s College, Oxford.
Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2014 – full details
“In the year before his conversion, in an essay on Lancelot Andrewes, Eliot maintained that the movement of the Bishop’s thought led to an examination of words that terminated in an ‘ecstasy of assent,’ says Professor Brooker. “In this lecture, I will use this description as a reference point for understanding Eliot’s own intellectual and spiritual journey, from the tortured indecision of Prufrock to the preoccupation with language in The Waste Land to the ecstatic moments of the Quartets.”
Full details of Dr Brooker’s work on Eliot are on her website here.
The Lecture will be on Tuesday 25th November at 7pm, in Cripps Theatre, Magdalene College, Cambridge. Admission is free, and open to the public.
However, 2014/15 members of the TS Eliot Society ONLY are able to reserve seats in advance; please e-mail the secretary to reserve seats: firstname.lastname@example.org
The Waste Land in the City – a literary walk
As part of their October Literary Festival, the guided walks company Footprints of London are hosting The Wasteland [sic] in the City, a walk around some of the London sites mentioned in Eliot’s poem.
“The walk will involve readings of parts of the poem at relevant spots in the City, particularly from III, The Fire Sermon” (Pictured right, St Mary Woolnoth)
Further details of the walk, on Sunday 19th October, and booking are here.
Eliot College, University of Kent, Annual Lecture, October 2014
This year’s lecture at Eliot College, University of Kent, will be given by Professor Mark Ford, University of London, on Tuesday 14th October.
“Fusing Ovid, Dante, Spenser, Shakespeare and Baudelaire, as well as much Biblical and Grail mythology, The Waste Land is generally seen as the most influential and innovative portrayal of urban life in twentieth-century poetry. Come and find out what shaped Eliot’s vision of the modern metropolis.”
The Lecture will start at 6.30pm in Grimond Lecture Theatre 1, and it will be followed by drinks and canapés. Admission is free, but requires a ticket. Tickets are available from Meredith Johnson, Room W4.8, Eliot College, email email@example.com, tel 01227 823141.
International Symposium: Time and Place in TS Eliot and His Contemporaries
Focussed on, but not limited to, TS Eliot and Modernism, this major international symposium is to be held in Florence, 18th to 21st January 2015.
“Time and place have huge symbolic significance in Eliot’s work and that of his contemporaries,” say the organisers. “Space and time exist as symbolical, religious, philosophical, historical, political and personal ‘nodes’ in Eliot’s writings. This conference wants to explore these ‘nodes’ in greater depth — where they exist, how they interact with other nodes and themes in Eliot’s writing, and how they intersect with the aesthetic and philosophical thinking of Eliot’s contemporaries.”
Full details of the symposium are here; the deadline for abstract submissions is 1st October, and registration for attendance is open now.
Diagnosing The Waste Land
A one-day group seminar in Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, on Thursday 18th September 2014, led by Dr Sophie Ratcliffe (Lady Margaret Hall) and Dr Andrew Schuman (GP and Clinical Tutor) – and with a guest lecture from the critic and poet Craig Raine.
“We will…use The Waste Land to think about matters which affect those who work in the health service – these will include ideas of empathy, chaos, trauma, communication difficulties, fertility, sexuality and gender.”
This one-day seminar is part of a series, The Poetry of Medicine, designed primarily for General Practitioners and Hospital Doctors, but open “to those who work in the health service/people who work with patients. This has, in the past, included, nurses, counsellors, psychotherapists, midwives, as well as hospital doctors, medical students and GPs – both retired and practising.”
Ninth Annual TS Eliot Festival, Little Gidding, 5th & 6th July 2014
The programme has now been announced for the 2014 TS Eliot Festival, held at Little Gidding.
A Heap of Broken Images: paintings by Bartholomew Beal, Fine Art Society, June 2014
The Fine Art Society (148 New Bond St, London W1) is hosting Bartholomew Beal’s first exhibition at the gallery from June 24th to August 29th 2014.
“The title A Heap of Broken Images, is borrowed from The Waste Land. The entire body of work is a translation of this literary work into paint on canvas, and whilst some pieces have stayed quite true to that starting point with clear references, others have ‘run away with themselves’.” (Pictured left, Madame Sosostris).
Full details of the exhibition and further examples of the work are here.
Dear Mr Eliot: When Groucho met Tom, BBC Radio 3, June 2014
On Saturday June 14th at 9.30pm, BBC Radio 3 broadcasts “a musical fantasy by Jakko M Jakszyk, woven round the real-life 1964 dinner encounter between the greatest poet in the English language of the twentieth century, TS Eliot and the legendary star of A Night at the Opera, Duck Soup and Horse Feathers, Groucho Marx.” Full details, listening and download facilities (for a limited time) are here, and an Independent article about the incident and programme are here. (See also our Letters by TS Eliot page for links to two articles about the correspondence between Marx and Eliot.)
Lecture: TS Eliot & Kathleen Raine – Two Contemplative Poets, May 2014
The Tenemos Academy is organising a lecture by Professor Grevel Lindop on Tuesday 17th June, entitled TS Eliot & Kathleen Raine: Two Contemplative Poets. The lecture will be at The Lincoln Centre, Lincolns Inn Fields, London, and admission is £5 (concessions £3.50). Full details are here.
Murder in the Cathedral, Saint Bartholomew the Great, London, April 2014
The production is by the Little Spaniel Theatre, and the venue, Saint Bartholomew the Great, is one of London’s oldest churches. It was mentioned by Eliot in a letter of 26 April 1911, to Eleanor Hinkley, in which he lists the church as one which he had visited.
NB: There is a reduced admission price for Members of the Society – see the Members’ Area for details.
Telegraph/How To: Academy Event – How To Read TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, April 2014
Repeated due to popular demand, the one-day seminar will be led by Professor Mark Ford, of University College, London. A small group “will be guided through the historical and biographical context of the work and shown how to unlock its meanings, release its power, and absorb the quality of its strangeness”. Full details are here.
Members of the Society have a special ticket offer to this event – see the Members Area for details.
Literature in Conversation – The Waste Land, Pitfield London, April 2014
The Pitfield London exhibition/shop/café space in Hoxton hosts a Lit in Pit salon on Thursday 17th April 2014, with Wendy Meakin (Channel 4 Four Rooms) and Toby Brothers (London Literary Salon). An evening of “literary exploration…combining deep knowledge with passion for language, this event also includes a tasty meal and wine.” Only 30 places available, with tickets £55 including supper and wine. Full details here.
TS Eliot – Personal Perspectives, Union Gallery, Edinburgh, April 2014
The Group 13 collective, a showcase for some of Scotland’s most celebrated artists, has chosen Eliot as the focal point of their latest (third) collaboration. This exhibition will be the first time the collective has exhibited in Edinburgh, and runs at the Union Gallery, Broughton Street, Edinburgh from 4th-30th April 2014. More details here.
BLAST 2014 – Vorticist Centenary Conference announced, March 2014
BLAST 2014 is an interdisciplinary conference on the cultural and artistic significance of Vorticism one hundred years after the first issue of BLAST was published in June 1914. It will include all scholarly disciplines which provide an enlightening perspective on BLAST and its cultural context.
T. S. Eliot’s first poems to be published in the UK appeared in the pages of BLAST 2: The War Number.
The Conference will be based at Sion Hill, the home of Bath Spa University’s School of Art and Design, and will take place on 24th and 25th July 2014. Full details are here. There is a call for papers, open until April 1st 2014, and details are here. UPDATE: The Call for Papers has been extended to April 15th 2014.
The Waste Land, in a musical setting by Anthony Burgess, February 2014
Psappha, “Manchester’s pre-eminent new music ensemble and one of the UK’s leading contemporary music groups”, are staging a multimedia performance of Anthony Burgess’s musical version of The Waste Land.
“Anthony Burgess’s extraordinary musical version illuminates and intensifies T.S. Eliot’s seminal text.
Performances at 6pm and 8pm take place on Friday 28th February, at the International Anthony Burgess Foundation, Engine House, Chorlton Mill, 3 Cambridge Street, Manchester M1 5BY. Full details and booking are here.
TS Eliot International Summer School – open for applications, February 2014
“Poetry lovers and Eliot enthusiasts are invited to the sixth annual, week-long celebration of the life and writing of one of the greatest modern English poets.
“From Monday to Friday, the School will present two lectures each morning on all aspects of Eliot’s life and work. Students choose one option from a variety of afternoon seminars for a week-long, in-depth study under the guidance of a seminar leader. The seminars cover a range of subjects on Eliot’s poetry, criticism and drama.
“In addition to the lectures, seminars, receptions and coach trips, there will also be a series of social activities, including poetry readings, discussion groups, and late afternoon walking tours of T.S. Eliot’s London and literary Bloomsbury. The Summer School aims to maximise opportunities for social interaction and intellectual exchange within a convivial and scholarly environment.”
The School also includes intellectual programmes at the English sites of the Four Quartets. This includes attendance at our own TS Eliot Festival at Little Gidding.
Full details of the 2014 summer school, and how to apply, are here.
Weekend Seminar – how to: Read TS Eliot, February 2014
The Telegraph/How To Academy seminars, in association with Waterstones and Penguin Classics, celebrate the art of reading and the craft of criticism.
With Mark Ford, a Professor in the English Department at University College London, “This weekend will explore the relationship between the meanings of Eliot’s poetry, as developed by generation after generation of academics labouring in the Eliot industry, and the experience of reading – and hearing – the poems themselves”
Professor Ford wrote an overview of Eliot in the Daily Telegraph here.
Full details of the seminar are here.
The Poetry School – Online Reading Group – The Waste Land, February 2014
The Poetry School – “the only major national organisation whose sole focus is teaching the art of writing poetry” – is running an interactive online course on The Waste Land.
Led by poet and performer Siddhartha Bose, “this interactive reading group allows readers and writers alike to explore this classic text both collaboratively and asynchronously, with reading notes supplied.”
Details of the ten-week course, which starts on Thursday 6th February, are here.
Other Eliots: Contemporary Trends in TS Eliot Studies – Conference, January 2014
The conference, aimed at the postgraduate and early career researcher level, “seeks to draw attention to the multifarious research into Eliot’s life and work which is currently being undertaken”. A programme of speakers and panels, along with full details of the conference, have now been announced here.
Admission is free but registration through the conference website is required
Four Quartets read by Jeremy Irons on BBC Radio 4, January 2014
(This follows the reading of The Waste Land by Irons, which now forms part of the poem’s iPad app.)
Full details here.
You can also read more about Jeremy Irons’s relationship with Eliot’s poetry via our TSE & Me page, here.
The Annual TS Eliot Lecture 2013, November 2013
Details of this year’s TS Eliot Lecture have now been released.
Given by Dr Rowan Williams, Patron of the Society, the title of the Lecture is Eliot’s Christian Society and the current political crisis.
The Lecture will be given in the Riley Auditorium, The Gillespie Centre, Clare College, Cambridge, at 7pm on 26th November. For full details, click on the poster (left)
Admission is free to all, but members of the TS Eliot Society are accorded special advance booking privileges, which are detailed in the Members’ Area of the site.
Eliot College Lecture, University of Kent: Patrick Heron’s Portraits of TS Eliot, November 2013
Between 1947 and 1950, Patrick Heron, one of the greatest British painters of the Twentieth Century, made fourteen portraits of TS Eliot. Nuzhat Bukhari’s lecture explores the implications of these portraits (recently exhibited at the National Portrait Gallery, for Eliot scholarship.
One of the paintings, permanently housed at Kent University (right) will be present during the lecture. The others will be shown on screen. There will also be an opportunity to see the Epstein bust of Eliot, recently bequeathed to the college (see News).
For full details of the lecture, click here.
Premier Radio to broadcast Four Quartets for National Poetry Day, September 2013
From Sept 29th to Oct 3rd, Premier Christian Radio will broadcast readings of each of Eliot’s Four Quartets. The readers include our patron, the Rt Rev Dr Rowan Williams, and our Chairman, Hugh Black-Hawkins.
The readings will be followed, on National Poetry Day (Oct 3rd) by a panel discussion, including previous Eliot Festival participants Lyndall Gordon and Lord Harries.
Premier Christian Radio broadcasts nationally on DAB and Freeview 725. It is also available at www.premier.org.uk.
Full details of the event, with participants, readings and discussion, are here.
Vivienne, August 2013
An operatic song cycle, dramatically and intimately staged, based on the life of Eliot’s first wife, Vivienne Haigh-Wood. “This is Vivienne’s life told in a series of short scenes each containing a song. There are hints of cabaret or music hall (a favorite of both Eliots), perhaps something seedier or grander, full of Vivienne’s wit and intelligence as she finally takes charge of her own story”. The libretto is fascinating for anyone with a knowledge of Eliot’s life and work. Full details here.
Following its successful premiere, there are performance dates in August, October and November – full performance schedule here.
Tickets for the Bloomsbury Festival performance on October 17th are available here.
Exhibition – Poetry in Print, August 2013
An exhibition of limited edition prints by Nic Farrell featuring quotations from TS Eliot. At the Cambridge Arts Picturehouse, 38-39 St Andrews Street, CB2 3AR from 13th August, until “at least” 19th September. Private View details here, pictures of the works in progress here.
Other Eliots: Contemporary Trends in TS Eliot Studies, August 2013
A postgraduate conference has been announced, to take place at the University of Birmingham on 18th April, 2014. It “seeks to draw attention to the multifarious research into Eliot’s life and work which is currently being undertaken.” The organisers welcome papers from postgraduate and early career researchers which address all areas of Eliot studies. Full details are here.
Lecture: Portraits of TS Eliot, National Portrait Gallery, 8 August 2013
Marking the display of the many sketches and paintings of the poet TS Eliot by Patrick Heron, Nuzhat Bukhari discusses the fascinating relationship between poet and painter, the nature and importance of these experimental portrait works in art history, their relevance to Eliot’s poetry and some wider notions of the self in philosophy. Full details here.
TS Eliot’s India: Many Gods, Many Voices, BBC Radio 4, Sunday 4 August 2013
Poet Daljit Nagra explores the often overlooked Indian element to T.S Eliot’s poetry. Partly recorded at this year’s TS Eliot Festival, where Daljit was a reader, the programme begins with the backdrop of the Festival itself. (Sadly this programme is no longer available to hear online.)
Eighth Annual TS Eliot Festival, Little Gidding, 6-7 July 2013
Click on the image above to see a larger version – or click here for a printable PDF
Burnt Norton hosts performances of As You Like It, June 2013
A series of charity performances of Shakespeare’s As You Like It provide a rare opportunity to visit the gardens of Burnt Norton.
BurntOut Theatre have scheduled a series of matinee and evening performances from Thursday 20th to Sunday 23rd June; audiences are allowed to wander the gardens for an hour and a half before performances.
Jeremy Irons to read Four Quartets at Hay Festival, May 2013
Jeremy Irons is to read Four Quartets, in their entirety, at the Hay Festival on Saturday 1st June 2013. For details click here. Irons, who has previously recorded The Waste Land, talked to the Daily Telegraph about reading Eliot here.
Jacob Epstein bust of TS Eliot on display, April 2013
A rarely-seen 1951 bust of TS Eliot is on display at the National Portrait Gallery, London (Room 33) until November 24th, as part of an exhibition, Jacob Epstein, Portrait Sculptor. Admission is free.
Manuscript sale, Bonhams, 10th April 2013
A major sale of Poetical Manuscripts and Portraits of Poets includes several items of interest to Eliot enthusiasts.
Chief amongst these is a typescript of Journey of the Magi, dating from 1927, with revisions to the poem in Eliot’s hand. The page is signed with the poet’s initials, and has an estimate of £6-8000. UPDATE: This typescript was sold on the night for a remarkable £44,450 – more than six times its estimate.
The sale also includes several photographs, including those of rare meetings between Eliot and Auden (est £2-3000) and between Eliot and Hughes (est £1200-1800)
Earlier, on 19th March, Bonhams are also auctioning correspondence between Eliot and Methuen concerning publication of The Sacred Wood (est £2-3000); and a First Edition of Four Quartets, signed by TS Eliot (est £1000-1500)
The Institute of English Studies, University of London is hosting the fifth annual TS Eliot International Summer School between 6-14 July 2013. Applications are now open.
Anyone with an interest in his writings is welcome to participate in this week-long celebration of Eliot’s life and work by some of the most eminent scholars, poets and teachers.
In addition to the academic programme, the School visits Little Gidding (during the Eliot Festival), Burnt Norton and East Coker.
Enquiries, registration and programme information are available here
Reading of Four Quartets, Michaelhouse, Cambridge, February 2013
Patrick Heron: Studies for a portrait of TS Eliot National Portrait Gallery (Room 32), St Martin’s Place, London, 26 January-1 September 2013 (Admission free)
Heron’s 1949 portrait of T.S. Eliot is shown alongside rarely seen studies: from life-drawings to experiments in form and colour, revealing the process of abstraction for which the artist is best known. A Daily Telegraph article on the exhibition and its contents can be read here and two of the most interesting, previously unseen studies can be viewed at the foot of the curator’s blog here.
Annual TS Eliot Cambridge Lecture 2012
Details have been announced of this year’s Annual TS Eliot Cambridge Lecture, to be delivered by Dr Jeremy Noel-Tod on 14th November. For full details click here.
Waste Land – an exhibition by Sally Waterman at the Ruskin Gallery, Anglia Ruskin University, 3-27 October 2012
Waterman employs literary adaptation as a mechanism for self-portraiture, producing photographic and video works that explore memory, place and familial relationships. Waste Land draws upon Eliot’s The Waste Land; Waterman re-interprets the poem to retrieve memories of conflict and separation.
Society members are invited to a Q&A session with the artist at the exhibition on 27 October – see the Members Area for details.
TS Eliot: A leader on the Mythical Path, 7 October 2012
The Right Rev’d David Walker, Bishop of Dudley, preaches in the Chapel, St John’s College, Cambridge
You can listen to a recording of this here.
Celebratory TS Eliot Lecture, University of Kent, 26 September 2012
To commemorate the anniversary of Eliot’s birth, Professor Ken Pickering will be giving an evening lecture entitled “In the presence of a masterpiece”, on the background of Murder in the Cathedral. Open to all, drinks to follow; full details here.
Meeting with Archbishop Rowan Williams at Lambeth Palace, September 2012
A small number of members were invited to Lambeth Palace to meet the Society’s patron, Archbishop Rowan Williams. Among the topics discussed were the relative merits of Eliot’s earlier and later poetry; His Grace believes the later poetry to be more “worked” than the earlier. A photograph of the meeting is in the Members Area.
TS Eliot’s words to “emerge” in unique Thames Festival installation, September 2012
Fragments from The Waste Land are being “written” on the Thames’ riverside walkway, as part of a new art installation.
Adult Course, Literature and Creative Writing – Marlborough Summer School, August 2012
Two Great Modern Poets: TS Eliot and WH Auden – With Susan Abbott
East Coker TS Eliot Event, 15 July 2012
TS Eliot International Summer School University of London, 7-15 July 2012
The fourth annual T.S. Eliot International Summer School will again bring together a host of the most distinguished international scholars of T.S. Eliot and Modern literature.
Seventh Annual TS Eliot Festival, Little Gidding, 7-8 July 2012
Talks, readings, music and celebration, with a significant programme of speakers and events, all taking place at Little Gidding itself.
Forthcoming publication: The Letters of TS Eliot Vol 3 – 1926-1927 5 July 2012
Eliot’s Little Gidding Day, 3 July 2012
On location in Little Gidding, Graham Fawcett will attempt to recreate Eliot’s own experience of this place, and to unravel the poem.
Unreal City: A Walk Through London’s Waste Land, London, 23 June 2012
A guided walk inspired by Eliot’s poem
(This walk was subsequently reported in The Guardian here.
The Cocktail Party, Performed by Theatre Alba
The Netherbow Theatre, Scottish Storytelling Centre, Edinburgh, 15 & 16 June 2012
Reading Group: Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats, Kensington Unitarians, London W8 22 May 2012
TS Eliot and the Dry Salvages, Poetry Day, Orthona, West Dorset 12 May 2012
With Graham Fawcett
Tutored course: The Development of TS Eliot’s Faith, Norwich Cathedral, 5 May 2012
with Hugh Black-Hawkins
TS Eliot Poetry Evening, Guildford Cathedral, 21 April 2012
An evening on Four Quartets presented by Kevin Laue
Public Lecture: The Beauties of TS Eliot, 7 Feb 2012, Durham University
A lecture by Dr Seamus Perry, University of Oxford, in The Persistence of Beauty Lecture Series