City of London

06/12/2019 | Press release | Distributed by Public on 06/12/2019 04:52

Keats House announces Poet in Residence scheme for Keats200 programme

Welsh poet and director, Anthony Hett, has been announced as the new Poet in Residence at Keats House in Hampstead.

Anthony, whose term will run until August, will visit Keats House on a weekly basis to draw inspiration for his first collection of poems, provisionally titled Pictures of Me, and run 'drop in' poetry writing sessions on 14 June and 12 July.

Budding poets will be encouraged to bring their own photographs to use as prompts for their writing, alongside images of Keats's life, in keeping with the theme for Anthony's residency.

Anthony will host a special event in September to share the work that he has written during his residency and encourage new writers who have joined him at the 'drop in' sessions to perform their work to the invited audience, some of them, for the first time.

Anthony's appointment as Poet in Residence at Keats House coincides with the continuing celebrations for the Keats200 bicentenary, which marks the 200th anniversary of John Keats living at Wentworth Place, now known as Keats House.

He has been a Keats House Poet since 2010, when he first became involved through 'Stories of the World', one of the major projects of the London 2012 Cultural Olympiad, and has since performed regularly at the House.

Anthony Hett said:

'I am very proud and excited to be the Keats House Poet in Residence for three months, which will give me the time and space to focus solely on writing a collection of poetry and ultimately, help me to grow and develop as a writer.

'My collection will be a selection of autobiographical poetry, prompted and inspired by photographs of me taken between the ages of 0 and 33. Each poem will be presented in chronological order, alongside the photograph which inspired it.

'I believe that, although some writers have completed collections combining poetry and photography, it has not previously been done in this way.'

Graham Packham, Chairman, City of London Corporation's Culture, Heritage and Libraries Committee, said:

'We are delighted to welcome Anthony Hett to spend time at Keats House on the 200th anniversary of John Keats producing his greatest work here.

'My colleagues at Keats House and I believe that poetry is for everyone and we hope that Anthony and indeed, everyone who visits the House during his residency, will be creatively inspired, either, to write, perform or simply enjoy listening to poetry at this special place.'

The Keats House Poet in Residence Scheme provides a platform for poets to write and perform new works at the same house that inspired Romantic poet, John Keats, to produce his most acclaimed and popular work, including Ode to a Nightingale. In return, the Poets in Residence connect Keats House with the contemporary poetry scene, new audiences, and talent to sustain Keats's legacy into the future.

The City of London Corporation, which owns and manages Keats House, is the fourth largest funder of heritage and cultural activities in the UK and invests over £100m every year. The City Corporation is also developing Culture Mile between Farringdon and Moorgate - a multi-million-pound investment which will create a new cultural and creative destination for London.