Saturday 3rd October, 530pm.
Literary history was being made in the village of Dymock in the years before the First World War but it is nearly 90 years since the phrase ‘The Dymock Poets’ was used for the first time. Linda Hart wrote “This was the title of a magazine article in the autumn 1933 issue of Gloucestershire Countryside. A magazine editor may thus be responsible for turning six disparate writers into a group of poets. But more likely, the author of the article came up with the title. He was John Haines, a Gloucester solicitor, naturalist and poetry-lover who was friendly with Gibson, Abercrombie, Frost and Thomas and visited Dymock now and again.”
The Dymock Poets were aspiring poets but not a self-selected group. Through connections with the Poetry bookshop in London, and other friendships, three came to live for a time in cottages around Dymock, in northwest Gloucestershire.
Encouraged by Abercrombie, Frost left Beaconsfield to rent a cottage in Leadington, and Thomas came to stay nearby for a few weeks in 1914.
Three talks will explore the influence that Dymock, and this landscape had on Thomas’s poetry and friendships.
Richard Simkin, will set the scene and guide you around the little-changed “Landscape of the Dymock Poets”. Richard is Chair of the Friends of the Dymock Poets. He lives in a farmhouse where Lascelles Abercrombie once stayed during a return visit after WW1.
Robert Moreland, former Member of the European Parliament, will discuss his great uncle Jack Haines: Walking companion, solicitor and close friend to Thomas and Frost.
Rowan Middleton will explore some of the ways in which Edward Thomas writes about plants in his poetry, and how this relates to the landscape that surrounds Dymock. Rowan teaches English and creative writing at the University of Gloucestershire. He has written articles on teaching English and creative writing, and the poetry of Thomas and Alice Oswald. His pamphlet The Stolen Herd is published by Yew Tree Press.
This talk will take place over Zoom.
Get your tickets here!