John Clare Society website

to promote a wider and deeper knowledge of the poet, John Clare

Talk by Simon Kovesi June 2019

The Byron Society is holding a lecture at the Art Workers Guild, London, from 6.30 to 8pm, 27 June 2019. £7 for non-members. Professor Simon Kovesi on ‘Lord Byron, poh! the man wot writes the werses?: John Clare’s flights of fame with Byron’. All welcome. For more detail, visit

Walk with John Clare 21 October 2018

An autumn walk with John Clare, on Sunday 21 October. A 5 mile circular walk around Swaddywell Pit Nature Reserve and into Castor Hanglands, led by Carry Akroyd (John Clare Society President) and David Cowcill (Langdyke Trust). Starts at Swaddywell Pit carpark and finishes at Willowbrook Farm at around 3pm

Programme includes a snapshot of John Clare’s life and works, with readings appropriate to the places visited and to the countryside he knew and loved, as well as a cream tea at the Willowbrook Farm. £6 per person, payable on the day. Places limited so booking will first come first served. Contact Simon at or 01733 253164.

Tennyson/Clare talk on 20 October

The Lincolnshire Landscape through the Eyes of Alfred Lord Tennyson and John Clare, a talk by Mark Seaward, at 2.30pm at Franklin Hall, Spilsby, Lincs. Tickets at the door – £5 including refreshments.

As part of the Wolds Words Festival, Professor Mark Seaward is giving a talk examining the connection between poet and landscape. Works by both Tennyson and Clare make extensive use of their knowledge and understanding of the natural world. This is a chance to gain an insight and understanding of the landscape in which both poets lived, wrote and worked.

More information:


‘I Am John Clare’ dramatic performance

On Thursday 11 October, starting 7.30pm, a solo performance drama, 50 minutes approx, followed by Q&A, in conjunction with Theatre 17. At John Clare Cottage in Helpston, near Peterborough. Written and produced by Stephen Loveless and acted by Robin Hillman. There is a licensed bar for refreshments, and the tickets (£5 per head) can be reserved by contacting the Cottage, via

24 June, a midsummer afternoon in the Wye Valley

At 3.30pm in All Saints Church, Brockhampton, a concert: John Clare – Nature, Glory and Tragedy. Tea and cakes in the Parish Hall after the concert, followed by a short guided walk to the top of Capler Hill. Detail at

13 July, Folk music in the Bluebell pub, Helpston

In the lead up to the John Clare Society Festival weekend (14/15 July), there will be the usual John Clare’s Birthday Music and Occasional Song Session in the Bluebell Pub, Woodgate, Helpston from 8.30pm. Free entry. Details from For more information visit the Peterborough and South Lincs Folk Diary at

Meeting of the Centre for John Clare Studies discussion group

The next meeting takes place on Tuesday 22 May, 1 – 2pm, in the Board Room of the Faculty of English, 9 West Road, Cambridge CB3 9DP.

Clare Jones will give a paper on ‘Monet’s Waterlilies and John Clare’s Burden: Water, Repetition and Flow’.

All are very welcome. Please bring your own lunch. Drinks are provided.

The next meeting will be on Tuesday 19 June and the speaker will be George Deakin (folk singer and author of ‘John Clare and the Folk Tradition’).

New Book

Simon Kovesi (Professor of English Literature and Head of the Department of English and Modern Languages at Oxford Brookes University – as well as JCS Vice Chair and Journal Editor) has a new book on sale – John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History – published by Palsgrave Macmillan.

It looks at, amongst other things, what it is that makes JC’s poetic vision so unique and asks how we use Clare for contemporary ends. Discount code of 20%: PM17TWENTY.

Statues in Northampton

On 31 July, there will be an official viewing event of the series of statues they have installed. This includes the statue of John Clare which has been in the town centre for a year. The event is taking place 11.30am – 1pm at Northampton Guildhall. Carry Akroyd, the Society’s President, will be attending and will be reading a poem. The event is open to all.

John Clare and the Art of Bird Watching

The Centre for John Clare Studies is holding a one-day symposium on 15 September 2017 in the David Attenborough Building, University of Cambridge. Speakers include Tim Dee, Carry Akroyd, Anita Bruce, Jamie Castell, Mina Gorji, Francesca MacKenney and Alex Preston, plus a screening of ‘Murmuration x 10’, a short film by Sarah Wood and Helen MacDonald. £20 waged (£15 unwaged), to include lunch and refreshments. To reserve a place email Sarah Houghton-Walker (

Reflections by a visitor to John Clare cottage

Gary Haines, an archivist at the V&A Museum of Childhood, visited the John Clare cottage earlier this year and says “It made a substantial impact on me”. Inspired by his visit, he has put together a John Clare Blog piece that appears on the Museum’s website – available via