Events and Exhibitions held by the Wordsworth Trust

Further details and up to date information can be found on the Wordsworth Trust website:

Exhibitions at Dove Cottage, The Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery

October 25th 2008-June 14th 2009 - A Home Within a Home – Dove Cottage, Grasmere and the Wordsworths
The years spent in Grasmere, and in Dove Cottage in particular, were of great significance to the Wordsworths. It was here that Wordsworth wrote much of his greatest poetry and Dorothy kept her Grasmere journals. This exhibition will explore how the Wordsworths made Dove Cottage and Grasmere their home - how the garden and house were integral to family life and to Wordsworth's poetry. It will also show Wordsworth's concern for the local community and follow key poems to assess their impact at the time, and their relevance today.

May 16-August 31st - Tennyson and Wordsworth: two great poems of 1850
The exhibition celebrates the bicentenary of the birth of the poet Alfred, Lord Tennyson (1809 - 1892), who stands with Wordsworth as one of the greatest poets in the English language. Specifically, the exhibition will focus on the greatest works of these poets - Tennyson's In Memoriam and Wordsworth's Prelude - both of which were published in 1850. The exhibition will display the original manuscripts of these two great poems, as well as portraits of the two poets. The exhibition will also explore Tennysons connections with the Lake District, particularly, his close friendship with the Spedding family at Mirehouse, to which he was a frequent visitor. Recently conserved portraits of Tennyson and his publisher, John Moxon, shall also be on show. These works have been prepared especially for the exhibition.

July 2nd - October 4th - Edward Lear the Landscape Artist: tours of Ireland and the English Lakes 1835 and 1836
This exhibition will concentrate on Lear's early career as a landscape draughtsman up to his departure from England in 1837. This particular aspect of an otherwise well-documented life has never before received close attention. Drawing on unpublished letters and drawings that have never before been on public view, the exhibition will cover Lear's topographical tours to Ireland in August 1835, and to north Lancashire and the Lake District from August to October 1836. In attempting to reconstruct the artist's itinerary for the 1836 Lake District tour, the exhibition promises to be truly groundbreaking.

Family Activities at Dove Cottage
Easter Holidays, April 14 - 19th
Summer Holidays, July 18 - August 30th

Whatever the weather, The Wordsworth Museum & Art Gallery will encourage creativity.
Our experienced guides adapt our tours to interest people of all ages and written children’s guides have been created for the museum.
Drop in to our family activity room opposite Dove Cottage and enjoy a range of activities:
• Paint, draw or colour scenes from Wordsworth’s poems
• Create a Lake District landscape
• Find out more about Wordsworth, his poetry, his family and his home at Dove Cottage
• Make your own Dove Cottage guide book
• Investigate old objects
• Try our jogsaws, quizzes and games
Family activity room open daily, 10am – 5pm, closed for lunch 1pm – 2pm. Children must be accompanied by an adult.

The Bindman Talks
The Bindman Talks provide a general introduction to some of the authors and works in the Wordsworth Trust’s collection.
Admission is free, but we do advise booking, as spaces are limited.
015394 35544

April 8th & 15th (8th is now full), 10.45am - Town End Walks with Angela Kenny, Custodian of Dove Cottage, and Sally Hall, Senior Guide (weather permitting).
Learn about the Wordsworth's life and some of their neighbours. Thomas Ashburner who delivered their coal and Molly Fisher who had not heard of the French Revolution ten years after it happened.

April 18th, 3pm, The Jerwood Centre
'We have heard Ravens...' Wordsworths' descriptions of the birds and flowers led by Hilary Fry and John Mounsey.
'We have heard Ravens. The ash trees are in blossom, Birds flying all about us. The stitchwort is coming out...'
(Dorothy Wordsworth's Grasmere Journal 6 May 1802).
A look at the Wordsworths' descriptions of the birds and flowers that they encountered while at Dove Cottage. The event will be led by Hilary Fry, an ornithologist and former university lecturer, and John Mounsey, a naturalist and retired biology teacher. If weather permits, part of the afternoon will be spent outside.

May 2nd, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
The Prelude: 'this offering of my love' explored by Professor Stephen Gill, Emeritus Fellow of Lincoln College, and Seamus Perry, Fellow of Balliol College.
Written at Dove Cottage, Wordsworth's autobiographical poem The Prelude was dedicated to his great friend Coleridge as an 'offering of my love'. Hearing it read out in January 1806, Coleridge at once responded with his own poem to Wordsworth.

May 16th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
From Waverley to Waverley Station: Wordsworth's influential friend Scott with Sir Eric Anderson, KT.
Sir Eric Anderson, KT, editor of The Journal of Sir Walter Scott and recently retired Provost of Eton College, will explore Scott's legacy - how he made novels popular and affordable, encouraged a love of romantic highland scenery in his readers, invented Scottish baronial architecture, established tartan as Scotland's national dress, and even had a railway station named after his most famous novel.

June 6th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
Wordsworth and Tennyson in 1850: 'The Prelude' and 'in Memoriam'. Pamela Woof, editor of Dorothy Wordsworth: the Grasmere and Alfoxden Journals and President of the Wordsworth Trust, will analyse the significance of these two great poems published in the same year.

June 13th, 3.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
Daily life in Dove Cottage led by Muriel, John, Stephen and Robert Stachan.
An afternoon of talks and music to mark the closing of the exhibition, A Home within a Home.
Topics will include Wordsworth's activities and pastimes, the lives of the Wordsworth children born in the cottage, and matters of day-to-day domestic life. There will also be a performance of music by pupils of Grasmere School.

July 18th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
Wordsworth's aumbry: a pre-reformation treasure, or an eighteenth-century fake? Tony Lonton, a collector and lecturer on antiques, will explore whether Wordsworth's aumbry (a cupboard for sacred vessels on display in the Wordsworth Museum) was made in 1525 by an ancestor of the poet or is, in fact, an eighteenth-century fake.

August 8th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
Wordsworth's lakes: In the mid-nineteenth century, stereoscopic photography was considered to be one of the most popular forms of entertainment and education in Europe.
Bruce Graver, Professor of English at Providence College, Rhode Island will talk about the stereoscopic cards depicting Wordsworth's Lake District in our collection.

September 5th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
Harriet and Amos Green: Unsuspected Romantics with Michael Broughton, Chairman of The W W Spooner Charitable Trust and a Fellow of the Wordsworth Trust.
Harriet Green's privately circulated Memoir of Amos Green (1823) provides a unique insight into the lives of Harriet and her husband Amos: accounts of
the tours on which they sketched from nature, the importance of the private patron and their unsuspected connection to Wordsworth, Southey and Sir George Beaumont.

October 10th, 4.30pm - The Jerwood Centre
William Godwin and the French and English Juvenile and School Library led by Brian Alderson, co-author with Felix de Marez Oyens of Be Merry and Wise; origins of children's book publishing in England 1650-1850 (2006).
Following the death of Mary Wollstonecraft, William Godwin married again and established himself as a children's story writer and bookseller.
Brian Alderson, co-author with Felix de Marez Oyens of Be Merry and Wise; origins of children's book publishing in England 1650 - 1850 (2006), asserts that despite Godwin's
incapacity for such a role, he and his wife proved to be among the most inventive publishers of their time.

November 14th, 3pm - The Jerwood Centre
Daniel Isaac Eaton: radical publisher in Wordsworth's London reviewed by Human rights lawyer, Sir Geoffrey Bindman.
Daniel Isaac Eaton published the writings of Thomas Paine and went to prison for his courageous defence of freedom of expression.
Human rights lawyer Sir Geoffrey Bindman will review Eaton's turbulent career, and consider the evidence as to whether Wordsworth contributed to his periodical The Philanthropist.

Poetry in Grasmere
All readings take place at St Oswald’s Church, Grasmere, 6.45pm
Each reading is followed by supper at 8.45pm at the Dale Lodge Hotel, Grasmere with the poet(s) in attendance. Please book the supper through the Wordsworth Trust when booking the reading. The supper is a set meal. Please let us know if you would like the vegetarian option.
Readings: £6.00 in advance (please note that payment must be made in advance); £7.00 on the night
Meal: £16.00 per head; £18.95 with a glass of wine
Season Ticket: All 13 readings for £65.00. A season ticket with meal costs £311 with wine, or £273 without wine
015394 35544

April 21st -Tomas Venclova & Ellen Hinsey
Lithuanian Tomas Venclova is one of Europe's greatest living poets. Through his quiet narratives and extraordinarily vivid landscapes, his poems find hope in the aftermath of totalitarianism. His reading follows the publication in the UK of his Selected Poems, translated by Ellen Hinsey, at the end of last year.
In addition to her translation work, Ellen Hinsey is an acclaimed poet in her own right. She will read from her new collection, Update on the Descent, which explores the extremes of the human condition, tackling issues of civil strife and reconciliation in lyrics, prose poems and aphorisms.

May 5th: C.K. Stead & Katherine Kilalea
New Zealand poet C K Stead visits Grasmere to mark the publication of his Collected Poems, drawn from over fifty years of writing. His poetry explores his roots in New Zealand, as well as his extensive travels. He is inspired by European classical tradition while being fervently international and inventive in his outlook.
Katharine Kilalea marks the publication of her debut collection, One Eye'd Leigh, with a reading in Grasmere. She weaves surreal and witty romantic narratives that span both her native South Africa and her adopted home of London.

May 19th: Polly Clark & Colette Bryce
Polly Clark's new collection, Farewell My Lovely, her third, looks at the end of innocence, from poems about childhood dreams to the Falklands War. Her poems contain many voices, from riffs on popular songs to a modern reworking of Mary's Song.
Derry-born Colette Bryce's new collection, Self-Portrait in the Dark, uses a range of imaginative strategies to look at the ways we give life meaning, in poems that are seductively intimate and musical.

June 2nd: Carol Ann Duffy
One of Britain's most acclaimed and popular poets makes her first visit to the Wordsworth Trust. Carol Ann Duffy has been bringing new audiences to poetry since the publication of her first collection in 1985. From her dramatic and hilarious monologues, which reached their zenith with the playful gender politics of The World's Wife, to her beautiful sonnets and the intimate love poems in her T S Eliot Prize-winning Rapture, her work has something for everybody.

June 16th: Fred D’Aguiar & Kei Miller
Fred D'Aguiar makes a welcome return to the UK from the United States to read in Grasmere for the first time. Fred's new collection of poems, Continental Shelf, makes the journey from his native Guyana through youth and young adulthood to the present day, taking in the 2006 shootings at Virginia Tech University, where he now works. His poems tell memorable stories and introduce vivid characters.
Kei Miller is a dynamic and memorable performer of his poems. His poetry travels from the warmth of Jamaica to the cold and baffling England that he has adopted, in jaunty narratives which conjure up the rhythms of hymns and Baptist sermons. Kei was shortlisted for the Commonwealth Writers Prize for Best First Book for his collection of short stories, The Fear of Stones. His latest poetry collection is There is an Anger that Moves.

June 30th: George Szirtes & Jen Hadfield
George Szirtes came to England as a Hungarian refugee in 1956. He won the T S Eliot Prize in 2005 for his collection Reel. His poems bring his interest in film and photography to bear on a life of exile, through his increasing interest in traditional verse forms. He has recently published New and Collected Poems but his work does not stand still, with another new collection due in the autumn. He is a charismatic reader of his work.
Jen Hadfield was the 'surprise' (not to us!) winner of the 2009 T S Eliot prize for her second collection Nigh No Place. Jen's poems evoke the natural landscape through her witty and playful use of sound. She is a daringly original voice who is finding new possibilities for poetry.

July 14th: Simon Armitage
Our programme just wouldn't be the same without Simon Armitage. One of the most admired poets of his generation, Simon continues to win over audiences with his poetry of everyday experience in everyday language. His most recent collection is The Not Dead, which brings together poems from his latest collaboration with filmmaker Brian Hill and explores the hardship of soldiers returning from conflict.

July 28th: Ruth Padel & Tom Pow
Ruth Padel is one of poetry's most dynamic performers. She will read from Darwin: A Life in Poems, her new work about her famous great-great-grandfather. In superbly controlled poems written from multiple perspectives, Ruth captures the drama of Darwin's discoveries, and imagines his complex emotions as a private man and a tender father.
Award-winning Scottish poet Tom Pow picks up the theme of biographical and narrative sequences with his collection Dear Alice, a sequence of poems inspired by the archives of The Crichton, a nineteenth-century asylum in Dumfries. Tom will also read new work on the life of the nineteenth-century forger Thomas Watling, who was sent to Botany Bay. This Grasmere reading marks the publication of In the Becoming: New and Selected Poems, which includes work from five collections alongside new poems.

August 11th: Michael Symmons Roberts & Peter Bennet
Michael Symmons Roberts writes spiritual poetry for a secular age. His latest collection, The Half-Healed, portrays characters searching for consolation in a world divided by violence and betrayal. It includes a series of poems written for radio on the last words of victims of 9/11. Michael is an emotionally powerful reader.
Northumbrian Peter Bennet's richly imagined poems draw on a huge range of reference, mixing forgotten histories with myth and botany to make poems that are contemporary and darkly funny. His return to Grasmere follows the inclusion of his latest collection, The Glass Swarm, on the T S Eliot prize shortlist.

August 25th: Josephine Dickinson & Jeremy Over
Cumbrian poet Josephine Dickinson makes a welcome return to Grasmere to read from her new collection, Night Journey. These poems are journeys through darkness and grief, but they are ultimately poems of transformation and enlightenment. Josephine is a mesmerising and haunting reader.
Jeremy Over, another Cumbrian, reads in Grasmere for the first time to mark the publication of his second collection of poems, Deceiving Wild Creatures. His poems are anarchic and mischievous, taking some influence from Edward Lear's nonsense tradition but finding new pleasures and meanings in an absurd world.

September 8th: Imtiaz Dharker & Emma Jones
By public demand, Imtiaz Dharker returns to Grasmere to read from her new collection, Leaving Fingerprints. Her poems speak of political activity, urban violence and religious anomalies alongside a quiet, unobtrusive domesticity. Her new book gives voices to things that are missing, or about to go missing: a person, a recipe, a talisman or a language.
Australian poet Emma Jones looks set to be one of the most accomplished voices of the new generation. She will be reading from her highly acclaimed debut The Striped World. The poems create new worlds with tales of settlers and indigenous peoples, of humanity and the wilds of nature, of underwater zoos and transitory lands.

September 22nd: Don Paterson & Kate Rhodes
Don Paterson, one of our most critically acclaimed poets, returns to Grasmere to mark the publication of Two Trees, his first collection of new poems since his T S Eliot prize-winning Landing Light. Don's superbly crafted poems reflect his skill as a jazz musician, whether he is reflecting on childhood in Dundee, lamenting bad sex, entering the labyrinth of myth, or observing his own children. His readings are pithy, darkly funny, mysterious and deeply memorable.
Kate Rhodes' poetry is polished, direct and full of surprises. She was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best Individual Poem in 2008. Her second collection The Alice Trap charts the end of a painful love affair with poems that are brave, precise and imaginative.

October 6th: Hugo Williams & Joanne Limburg
The ever-popular Hugo Williams comes back to Grasmere to mark the publication of West End Final, his tenth collection of poetry. Much of Hugo's poetry draws its subject matter from his upbringing as the child of a theatrical family. He casts his witty, urbane and clear-sighted eye on his own experiences in thumbnail sketches, pared-down monologues and short stories in verse.
Joanne Limburg was shortlisted for a Forward Prize for her first book, Feminismo. The poems in her latest book, Paraphernalia, break the human body and the wider world into component parts. She examines our skin, hair, faces, thoughts and words alongside telephones, tin openers and vacuum cleaners. Her wit and perception lift the ordinary into strangeness.

Dove Cottage Poets with Wordsworth Trust Poet-in-Residence
Lower Rotunda, The Jerwood Centre, The Wordsworth Trust (Cost – Free)

March 27th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm - Adam O’Riordan
April 24th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm - Adam O’Riordan
May 29th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
June 26th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
July 31st, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
August 28th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
September 25th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
October 30th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm
November 27th, 2.30pm – 4.30pm

A wonderful opportunity to try your hand at writing poetry. Whether you have never set pen to paper before or you are a seasoned sonneteer, this is a monthly group for poets of all levels and experience.
In a relaxed and welcoming environment we will spend the first hour looking at a poem; exploring it and sharing our thoughts and ideas. The second half will be spent composing and discussing our own work in an open and friendly forum, using exercises and activities designed to build confidence and inspire creativity.
We will discuss a range of forms, from sonnets to sestinas, as well as focusing on approaches to the creative process and how best to harness the poetic impulse.

A Spot of Poetry: Poetry Readings at Dove Cottage
Throughout the summer months every Wednesday afternoon at 2.30pm, we are holding impromptu poetry readings at Dove Cottage, in the garden on the grassy bank behind the Wordsworth Museum and Art Gallery (or in the Jerwood Centre Rotunda if wet).
Events will feature a number of poets and writers, including our poet-in-residence.
All readings are free (2.30pm – 3pm)

April 22, 29th
May 6, 13, 20, 27th
June 3, 10, 17, 24th
July 1, 8, 15, 22, 29th
August 5, 12, 19, 26th
September 2, 9, 16, 23, 30th
October 7th

Wordsworth related pages: