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Edward Thomas Weekend, 6 – 8 October 2023

Edward Thomas Weekend

Friday 6 October – Sunday 8 October 2023.

The Edward Thomas Fellowship is pleased to bring an ‘Edward Thomas Weekend’ to Petersfield this October with a mix of online, online and in person, and walking events over the course of the weekend.

On Friday 6 October in the evening (UK time) join members of the Edward Thomas Fellowship and the Robert Frost Society for a transatlantic online discussion about the two poets who were also great friends.

This will be the fourth such gathering and this year will look at the influences of Hampshire and New Hampshire on both men.

On Saturday 7 October, at The Avenue Pavilion, Petersfield, and online we will be holding a full day of talks and poetry readings inspired by the life and work of Edward Thomas and other poets and writers of that period. You can also hear also about how Edward Thomas was already writing about Climate Change over 100 years ago.

Wind up the weekend on Sunday morning with a Walk – when we will also be joined by participants in the 2023 Petersfield Walking Festival – from Bedales School to The Bee House, where Thomas wrote much of his prose and poetry between 1909 and 1916 via the Shoulder of Mutton Hill and back to Steep.


The Edward Thomas / Robert Frost session on the Friday evening is available online only – please register as below using the Eventbrite link or by email to The talks on Saturday are both in person and online – please be careful and check that you are applying for the correct tickets.

If space permits, which is the case at present, payment may be made on the day or in advance in the Edward Thomas Study Centre on a Wednesday or Thursday between 10 am and 3.30 pm.

Eventbrite uses PayPal as its Merchant Services provider to process payments. This does NOT mean you have to have a PayPal account to buy tickets. When it comes to paying you have the option to use PayPal or ‘Pay with debit or credit card’. A guide to how this works is available here.

If you are planning on a stay in Petersfield for the weekend, the Visit Petersfield website provides a search facility for accommodation in Petersfield and the surrounding ‘Edward Thomas’ countryside.

There are hotels and a wide-range of bed and breakfast and self-catering accommodation is also available, plus there is a Premier Inn on the edge of town around 15 minutes walk from the Avenue Pavilion where we will be meeting on the Saturday.


Edward Thomas Fellowship merchandise, including books and notelets, will be available to purchase during breaks or from the Edward Thomas Study Centre at Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery – payment by card or cash.


Outline Programme:  

Friday 6 October

Hampshire / New Hampshire: Edward Thomas / Robert Frost                         7 pm – 9 pm

An online discussion, with readings, between members of the Edward Thomas Fellowship and the Robert Frost Society.

Free (Donations welcomed)

The panel this year will comprise: from the Robert Frost Society – Virginia Smith, Donald Sheehy and Jonathan Barron; and from the Edward Thomas Fellowship – Edna Longley, Lucy Newlyn, Guy Cuthbertson and Tom Durham.

To register through Eventbrite please click here.

If you would like to make a donation towards the costs of holding this and other events organised by the Edward Thomas Fellowship please use the following ‘Donate’ button. Although this will use PayPal, you do not need a PayPal account to use it.


Saturday 7 October – Avenue Pavilion, The Avenue, Petersfield, GU31 4JQ

10 am – 4 pm – in person and online

In person cost: Over 25 – £10; Ages 18/25 £5; 17 and under free

Online cost: £5.00; 17 and under free

Arrive 10.00 am onwards for a 10.30 am start

Tea and Coffee will be available on arrival

Speakers are:

10.30 am – Rory Waterman

The lecturer, poet, press critic and editor Rory Waterman will read some of his own poetry and talk about the ‘Super-Tramp’ Poet W. H. Davies and his elegy for Edward Thomas.

Rory’s full-length poetry collections, all published by Carcanet, are: Tonight the Summer’s Over (2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for a Seamus Heaney Award; Sarajevo Roses (2017), which was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize for Second Collections; and Sweet Nothings (2020). A fourth collection, Come Here to This Gate, will be published by Carcanet Press next spring. He is also a critic for the TLS, PN Review and other publications, and has published several books on modern and contemporary poetry and other writing, including Belonging and Estrangement in the Poetry of Philip Larkin, R. S. Thomas and Charles Causley (Routledge, 2014), Wendy Cope (2021), and W. H. Davies: Essays on the super-tramp Poet (Anthem Press, 2021), as well as W. H. Davies, The True Traveller: A Reader (Fyfield Books, 2016). He co-edits the poetry pamphlet publisher New Walk Editions.

11.30 am – Dr Jane Potter

Title: ‘Now that the novelty is wearing off, this Camping is beginning to get troublesome’: Wilfred Owen at Hare Hall Camp 
This paper will focus on Wilfred Owen’s time at Hare Hall Camp in the Autumn and Winter of 1915. Drawing on Owen’s letters, it will consider the poems he drafted during this time, over a year before he experienced French battlefields. It will analyse the ways in which these poems differ from those that grew out of his experience of what he called ‘the abode of madness’ at the Western Front and reflect on the possibility of a ‘strange meeting’ with Edward Thomas, whose time at Hare Hall overlapped with Owen’s.


Jane Potter is Reader in Arts at Oxford Brookes University. Her research focuses on the literature of the First World War and book history. Her publications include Boysin Khaki, Girls in Print: Women’s Literary Responses to the Great War, 1914–1918 (2005); with Jon Stallworthy, Three Poets of the First World War: Ivor Gurney, IsaacRosenberg and Wilfred Owen (2011); Wilfred Owen: An Illustrated Life (2014); and, with Carol Acton, Working in a World of Hurt: Trauma and Resilience in the Narrativesof Medical Personnel in War Zones (2015). She is also the editor of A Cambridge History of World War One Poetry (2023) and her new edition of the Selected Letters of Wilfred Owen was published in August.

12.30 pm – 2.00 pm – Lunch break

For those attending in person, please make your own arrangements for lunch as it is not included. There are many restaurants and cafés in Petersfield or please feel free to bring your own picnic which you may eat in the hall, or outside if the weather is fine.

Petersfield Heath, with its large pond and prehistoric burial site, is nearby, as is Petersfield Museum and Art Gallery, which is where the Edward Thomas Study Centre is located. Both are within easy walking distance of the Avenue Pavilion and discount vouchers are available to those who wish to visit the Museum.

2.00 pm – Jennifer Evans

Our third contributor is Jennifer (Jen) Evans who is a Librarian at Amgueddfa Cymru (National Museum Wales) and who has been project managing a digital archives volunteer project using a crowdsourcing platform.

Jennifer will be telling us more about this fascinating project.

3.00 pm – Professor Guy Cuthbertson

Professor Guy Cuthbertson, well known to members of the Edward Thomas Fellowship as a frequent, and excellent, speaker at our regular talks, as a member of the transatlantic Frost / Thomas discussions and as a participant in our Literary Festival is our fourth participant. He may also be remembered as a participant in Remembrance Day programmes on TV.

Guy is a Professor of British Literature and Culture, and currently Head of the School of Humanities. He mostly works on the literature of the twentieth century, with a particular focus on the Edwardian era, the First World War, and the 1920s, and is published widely on Edward Thomas (1878-1917) and Wilfred Owen (1893-1918).  He is interested in ‘Back to the Land’ movements, the simple life, the ‘return to nature’, Bohemianism, paganism, and, more generally, all countercultural groups, environmentalism and various ideas of simplicity. He gave the British Academy’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry in 2018, on Edward Thomas, later published as ‘”I should want nothing more”: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’, The Journal of the British Academy (2019).  His inaugural professorial lecture at Hope was on the simple life and the return to nature.

He has written two books for Yale University Press – Wilfred Owen (2014) and Peace at Last (2018) – and is currently writing a third. Both were widely reviewed and led to a variety of media appearances. He has also edited two scholarly editions of Edward Thomas’s prose for Oxford University Press and is now editing a third. He studied at St Andrews and Oxford, and, after teaching at Oxford and St Andrews for several years, and after a year in London, came to Liverpool Hope in 2012.

Please also see where you can find plenty of information about his publications and interests, and various media appearances, including national television and radio, and podcasts.

Guy will be talking about ‘Edward Thomas and Climate Change’.

The day is scheduled to finish around 4.00 pm.

To buy tickets and register to attend these talks IN PERSON using Eventbrite please click here.

To buy tickets and register to attend these talks ONLINE using Eventbrite please click here.

Eventbrite uses PayPal as its Merchant Services provider to process payments. This does NOT mean you have to have a PayPal account to buy tickets. When it comes to paying you have the option to use PayPal or ‘Pay with debit or credit card’. A guide to how this works is available here.


Sunday 8 October – Bedales School, Steep, Petersfield, GU32 2DG

Edward Thomas Fellowship-led Walk in the footsteps of Edward Thomas with stops for poetry and prose readings.

Join members of The Edward Thomas Fellowship and participants in the Petersfield Walking Festival in this, strenuous in places, four and a half / five mile on the Sunday morning of this Edward Thomas Weekend.

Following in the footsteps of the poet and his family, we will walk from Bedales School to the Memorial Stone (pictured here at the time of its unveiling in 1937) and then on to Bee Cottage (where Thomas did most of his writing between 1909 and 1916), with the kind permission of its owner, Sharyn Antonini, before returning to Steep and Bedales School via a path that is the subject of his poem The Path. This descent will need care as it is steep in places.

There is no charge to attend this walk but registration is requested please for health and safety purposes.

Please meet in Bedales School car park at 10.15 for a 10.30 departure.

To register to join the walk please click on this link to take you to our Eventbrite registration page.


Booking and Cost:

The cost for attending on Saturday is £10 for Members, £20 for Non-Members and £5 for 18/25’s. Attendance will be confirmed in the order in which bookings have been received.

Online attendance is also possible, at a 50% reduction on the Member and Non-Member prices above, 18/25s remains the same.

Please book online (preferred) using the Eventbrite links above or advise Jeremy Mitchell,, if you wish to attend, including your name, address, email address for the zoom link and date of birth (if aged 25 or under).

If you are booking direct by email, please make the appropriate payment, as above, direct to the ETF account:

Bank: HSBC

Sort Code: 40-08-21

Account Name: The Edward Thomas Fellowship

Account No: 11250205

Ref: Surname Pet23.


Donations will help us to keep the cost of tickets to a minimum. Any donation would be greatly appreciated. You may donate to the Edward Thomas Fellowship using PayPal. Please click the ‘Donate’ button below to be taken to the secure PayPal payment page.

Thank you for your interest and support and we look forward to seeing you in October.