Skip to content

The Edward Thomas Literary Festival – 2021

September 27th – Sunday 3rd October.

Details of events and ticket prices for the Edward Thomas Literary Festival are now available on the Petersfield Museum Website. Fellowship Members should use the ‘Concession’ price when purchasing tickets.

The landing page for the Festival is available here.

We have an amazing line up of speakers, poets, writers and creative spirits this year, our biggest and boldest line-up so far with, literally, something for everyone. We look forward to seeing you there – and of course ticket prices are discounted for Fellowship members.

A current list of sessions and speakers follows:

With over 15 different events over 7 days, participants include: Andrew Motion, Daljit Nagra, Gillian Clarke, Kathryn Bevis, Stephanie Norgate, Edna Longley and Michael Longley.

Live speakers and audiences will be hosted at both Petersfield Museum, the home of the Edward Thomas Study Centre and Bedales School in Steep. Most events will also be  live streamed to allow more people than ever to be part of the festival.

The Edward Thomas Study Centre will be open each weekday and the Saturday of the Festival between 10.00 am and 4.00 pm (Saturday until 6.00 pm).

Monday 27th September.

Daytime poetry sessions for Schools with Kathryn Bevis – Hampshire Poet Laureate 2020 and 2021.

An Evening with Edward Thomas (7:00pm-9:00pm); including an introduction to the life and times of Edward Thomas by the Edward Thomas Fellowship and Edna Longley talking about Thomas’ ‘Critical Path’ to becoming a poet.

Tuesday 28th September.

Daytime poetry sessions for Schools with Kathryn Bevis – Hampshire Poet Laureate 2020 & 2021.

An evening with Edward Thomas and Ivor Gurney. Philip Lancaster – talking about Edward Thomas and Ivor Gurney (6.30pm-7.30pm); Michael Longley and Patricia McCarthy reading their poetry about Edward Thomas and Ivor Gurney (7.30pm-8.00pm); Andrew Hodgson – Clare, Hopkins, Thomas and Gurney.

 Wednesday 29th September – there is now nothing scheduled for today

Thursday 30th September.

‘The Conversation’: An evening with the poet Stephanie Norgate (6:30pm-8:30pm) – including a book launch.

Friday 1st October.
‘Roads’: An evening of poetry and music (6:30pm-10:00pm). Including Gillian Clarke; Stephanie Norgate; Pedal Folk; Jade Cuttle

Saturday 2nd October.
Saeko Yoshikawa (9:30am – 10:30am) – from Japan – ‘The Curious Life of Words’: The Language of Edward Thomas’s Poetry in Translation.

Dr Sam Perry (10:30am – 11:30am) – ‘Above the Brim’: Childhood Experience in the work of Edward Thomas and Robert Frost.

‘Edward Thomas and the Idea of Home’ (12:00pm – 1:00pm)
Dr Elizabeth Black explores the shifting meaning of home in the poetry of Edward Thomas and considers how it influenced his relationship to nature, place, nation and self.

1:00pm Break for Lunch

Guy Cuthbertson (2:00pm – 3:00pm) – ‘Pike, Popler, Oram, and Fatt’: Exploring Churchyards, Graves and Epitaphs with Edward Thomas

Matthew Oates (3:15pm – 4:15pm) – talking about Edward Thomas and W H Hudson (centenary of the latter’s death in 2022)

‘On Gallows Down’ Book Launch and signing (4:30pm – 6:00pm)
Get the chance to meet Nature Writer, Columnist and Author Nicola Chester and discover the story behind her new book ‘On Gallows Down’.

6:00pm Break for Refreshments

Edward Thomas Fellowship and Robert Frost Society Present (7:00pm – 9:00pm) – physical and metaphysical paths starting, going in parallel, diverging and crossing – explored in readings and discussion – Edna Longley, Guy Cuthbertson, Ralph Pite, Robert Hass, Virginia Smith, Donald G Sheehy, Gregory Dowling, and actors Gordon Clapp and Tom Durham, hosted by Jeremy Mitchell. Additional poetry readings by Michael Longley

Sunday 3rd October.

Walking with Edward Thomas (10:00am – 12:30/1:00pm)
Meeting first in the car park at Bedales School, walk in the footsteps of the First World War-time poet Edward Thomas, in this special walk that will take you through the lanes of Steep and the surrounding Downs as those who have studied and admire him share his work with you.

Edward Thomas at Minsmere (2:00pm-3:00pm): Charlotte Peacock

2 Poets, 1 Conversation: Andrew Motion and Daljt Nagra (3:00pm – 4:30pm) – Edward Thomas, nationhood and Englishness, hosted by Jeremy Mitchell

4:30 pm Festival Close