One week from today marks 200 years since John Keats died in the arms of his friend Joseph Severn. On the occasion of this bicentennial, there are many things to read, to listen to, to watch, and to attend (at least virtually). While by no means an exhaustive list, the KLP has gathered here a collection of some of these bicentennial resources.
Events on 23 February
- [On the day before, 22 Feb] “Keats: A Bicentennial Talk,” with Rob Shakespeare, Principal Curator (Keats House). 22 Feb, 12:30 pm GMT, 7:30 am EST.
- Flowers and Poems for Keats at the Non-Catholic Cemetery in Rome. The Director of the Non-Catholic Cemetery and the Curator of the Keats-Shelley House will lay flowers at Keats’s grave, and poems will be read. Watch via live stream on the Keats-Shelley House Facebook page. 10 am CET, 9 am GMT, 4 am EST. If you’re in the US, stay up late, or get up early!
- Performance of Angus Graham-Campbell’s play “Writ in Water,” airing on BBC Radio 4 at 2:15 pm GMT, 9:15 am EST.
- CGI Keats (!) reads from the Keats-Shelley house. 6 pm CET, 5 pm GMT, 12 pm EST. Live stream via the Keats-Shelley House Facebook page. Read more about CGI Keats, a project of the Institute of Digital Archaeology at Oxford, via the Daily Mail.
- Premiere of “The Death of Keats,” an immersive video story from the Keats-Shelley House, narrated by Bob Geldof. 6:30 pm CET (Rome), 5:30 GMT, 12:30 EST. Get your VR headsets ready! You can also schedule a live virtual tour of the Keats-Shelley House starting on February 23.
- “On the Shore of the Wide World: Keats, 200 years on.” Poetry Society event (via Zoom), featuring several poets and Keats scholars. 7-9 pm GMT, 2-4 pm EST.
- Performance of Pele Cox’s play Lift me up for I am dying. Collaboration between the British School in Rome, the Keats-Shelley House, and the British Institute of Florence. Performed by actors over FaceTime from various locations. Available to watch via the BSR’s YouTube page. 10:30 pm CET, 9:30 pm GMT, 4:30 pm EST.
- And don’t forget about us! The KLP is hosting “Weep for Adonais: A Collaborative Reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Elegy for John Keats,” 11 pm CET (Rome), 10 pm GMT, 5 pm EST. Pre-register here–more details via the poster below.
Join the KLP to weep for Adonais as February 23rd draws to a close
- And one more before the day is done in the US (European night-owls are welcome to join as well): the KLP’s own Michael Theune has organized the second session of his “Zoomanities!” series, focused on “Why Keats Now?“, with special guest Eric G. Wilson, author of How to Make a Soul: The Wisdom of John Keats. 23 February, 8 pm EST.
New Books on Keats
If you have a yearning to read more about Keats as the bicentennial approaches, you are in luck. Several books have just come out in the last few months!
- Bright Star, Green Light: The Beautiful and Damned Lives of John Keats and F. Scott Fitzgerald, by Jonathan Bate. From HarperCollins UK.
- John Keats: Poetry, Life and Landscapes, by Suzie Grogan. From Pen & Sword Books.
- Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph, by Lucasta Miller. From Penguin UK.
- Keats’s Odes: A Lover’s Discourse, by Anahid Nersessian. From University of Chicago Press.
- John Keats: A Book of Days, by Peter Phillps. For a daily dose of Keats’s writing!
What else to read
- Follow these fine folks on Twitter so you can keep up-to-date on additional online material will be published over the next week: @KeatsHouse, @Keats_Shelley, @KSAAcomm, @KeatsFound, @BARS_official, @Wordsworthians (don’t worry–they’re ok with Keats too!)
- Stay tuned to the KLP for more posts in the coming days!
What to watch
- Need to brush up on your odes? Head over to the Keats Foundation and you can watch all six of them being performed by Matthew Coulton–as Keats, and filmed at Keats House! Or just stick here and get a taste of mellow fruitfulness with “To Autumn”
- Take a tour of the Keats-Shelley House in Rome narrated by Bob Geldof. And while you’re there, check out their other youtube videos, including a lovely reading of some of Keats’s and Shelley’s poems by Julian Sands.
- And to get in the proper mood for Adonais, who better to help than Robert Smith?
What to listen to (in addition to The Cure)
- “John Keats: Life and After-Life,” airing on BBC Radio 4. Episode one airs 18 February at 11:30 am GMT; episode two at the same time one week later. Hosted by poet Sasha Dugdale, featuring several excellent guests, including friend of the KLP, Joyelle McSweeney.
- From 2019, more on Keats’s odes! “An Ode to John Keats“: 5 episodes of the BBC Radio 3 program “The Essay,” one for each of Keats’s major odes (sorry, “Indolence”).
- The Keats-Shelley Podcast, with James Kidd of the Keats-Shelley House. Including a wonderful recent episode exploring the nuances of “writ in water.”
- The New Lyre Podcast: episode #14. Featuring a conversation with G. Kim Blank, creator of the wonderful website, “Mapping Keats’s Progress.”