The Keats-Shelley Blog

20 April 2020

Week 4: Keats-Shelley Synchronised Reading Group - Songbird Special

Thursday, 23 April, 1pm GMT - join us to read John Keats' Ode to a Nightingale and/or PB Shelley's To a Skylark. To mark the announcement of the winners of 2020's Keats-Shelley Prizes on Monday 27th April.

This week's Keats-Shelley Synchronised Reading Group falls less than week before Simon Barnes announces the winners of 2020's Keats-Shelley and Young Romantics Writing Prizes. 

To mark this occasion, we thought we would revisit the two poems whose bicentenaries inspired this year's Prize theme: 'Songbird'. John Keats’ ‘Ode to a Nightingale’, which was first published in book form in June 1820, the same month that Percy Bysshe Shelley composed ‘To a Skylark’ in Italy. 

At 1pm GMT, Thursday 23 April, we will sit down and read both poems in our home. We invite you to join us - wherever and whenever in the world you are - for a few minutes of quiet, contemplative poetry reading - together and alone.

The idea was inspired by Keats himself, who in December 1818 wrote from London to his brother George and Georgiana Keats in Kentucky: ‘I shall read a passage of Shakespeare every Sunday at ten oClock – you read one at the same time and we shall be as near each other as blind bodies can be in the same room.’

To read 'Ode to a Nightingale' click here

To read 'To a Skylark' click here.

Please let us know where in the world you are reading. If you want to send us a video or recording of your reading, get in touch on Twitter, Facebook or email: