News: 11 March 2021

23rd February 2021: 200 Years After John Keats’ Death

200 years after John Keats died in Rome, the poet’s life and works were remembered around the world in a series of events. Many centred on the Keats-Shelley House and were organised in conjunction with the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association. If you want to relive the day’s readings, performances and talks, the itinerary wa as follows.

  • 9 am (GMT). Launch of A Panoramic Tour of the Keats-Shelley House: visitors from all over the world took part in a new online tour of the House in the company of a personal guide on our own platform launched on the bicentenary. You can book your tour here.
  • 9.45 am (GMT). Flowers and Poems for Keats at the Non-Catholic Cemetery. The Director of the Non-Catholic Cemetery and the Curator of the Keats-Shelley House laid flowers by the tomb of Keats, and poems were read. Live streamed on the Keats-Shelley House Facebook page.
  • Listen to the premiere of ‘The Death of Keats’, a poem written and performed by UK poet Luke Wright for the bicentenary of Keats’s death commissioned by ArtHouse Jersey and Mary Venturini from the Keats-Shelley House Rome Committee (5 minutes).
  • 2.15 pm (GMT). Broadcast of Writ in Water, by Angus-Graham Campbell, commissioned by the BBC and produced by Wireless Theatre Co. in partnership with the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association, to mark the bicentenary of Keats’s death. Listen on BBC Radio 4 website. (45 minutes). Read a Q&A with the author at the Keats-Shelley Blog.
  • 5 pm (GMT). Live Stream – CGI Keats reads from the Keats-Shelley House: On the 200th anniversary of Keats’s death his poem ‘Bright Star’, written for Fanny Brawne, was recited by a virtual Keats from the room where he died beside the Spanish Steps. This project was commissioned by the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association from the Institute for Digital Archaeology in Oxford (30 minutes).
  • At around the same time another webinar was being held: ‘Conversations on Keats’, with British artist Nancy Cadogan whose exhibition ‘Gusto’ is now on display at the Keats-Shelley House until the end of May. Click here to find out more about the exhibition.
  • 5.30 pm (GMT). Online premiere of The Death of Keats: an immersive video story narrated by Keats-Shelley200 Ambassador Bob Geldof. Best enjoyed with a VR Headset but fully accessible without, this video story recounts, through readings of letters by John Keats and Joseph Severn, Keats’s final few months. Via the Keats-Shelley House YouTube channel.
  • A summary of the day’s activities in Rome and interview with the House Curator Giuseppe Albano was aired by RAI, the Italian national public broadcasting company, at 7:30 pm during the news programme TGR Lazio. Click here to watch the interview (only in Italian).
  • 7 pm (GMT). On the Shore of the Wide World: Keats, 200 years on.’ Poetry Society online event, featuring Nicholas Roe, Ruth Padel, Lucasta Miller, Will Harris, Laila Sumpton, Sarah Wooton, Richard Margraff Turley, Rachael Boast. Via Poetry Society website.
  • 7pm (GMT). A stimulating programme of readings, talks and music to commemorate the anniversary of John Keats’ death. A video film on YouTube for the South Downs Poetry Festival, in association with the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association and the University of Chichester:
  • 9.30 pm (GMT). Online production of ‘Lift me up for I am dying’, a play by UK poet and dramatist Pele Cox first performed at the Keats-Shelley House in 2013. This unique performance for the British School at Rome, in association with the Keats-Shelley House and the British Institute of Florence, was conducted on FaceTime by the actors, who are all in lockdown in various locations, and shared with the world at the hour Keats passed away two centuries ago. Via the the BSR’s YouTube channel.
  • 10 pm (GMT). ‘Weep for Adonais: A Collaborative Reading of Percy Bysshe Shelley’s Elegy for John Keats,’ hosted by the Keats Letters Project.

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