John Clare Society website

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

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

Carry Akroyd Exhibitions

‘Found in the Fields’ is now at the Platform Gallery and Visitor Information Centre, Station Road, Clitheroe, Lancs BB7 2JT. Carry will be giving a talk there at 2pm on Saturday 17 June. Lithographs, John Clare poetry, and linocut illustrations from 3 JC poetry books. The exhibition will then go on to Stamford and then Frome at the back end of the year.

She’ll also have an exhibition at the Brook Street Pottery in Hay on Wye, 22 July to end August. Also at the Rutland Birdfair 18 – 20 August, and open studio weekend 9-10 September.

Visit her website for detail –

A beginner’s guide to John Clare, 28 May 2017

There will be an illustrated talk in St Botolph’s Church in Helpston (near Peterborough) on Sunday 28 May, starting at 2pm, until 4.15pm, with a break for tea and cake.

If you would like to know more about John Clare, our local poet, do come along. Tickets are £5 (to include tea), and can be bought at the door on the day.

Perhaps you would like to have Sunday lunch beforehand at the Bluebell in Helpston (the pub where Clare used to work) and a pint of John Clare ale to end the afternoon!

To book lunch, please telephone the Bluebell direct on 01733 252394. Further information can be obtained from Sue on 01353 668438 or email

John Clare discussion group

The Centre for John Clare Studies in Cambridge regularly runs a discussion group to which all are welcome. For more information, contact

The May and June meetings are:

  • Wednesday 24 May, 12.30-1.30pm, in Finella, Queens’ Road, Cambridge CB3 9AH. Professor Stephanie Kuduk Weiner (Wesleyan) will give a paper on ‘Bird and animal noises in Clare and Whitman (and Shaun the Sheep)’.
  • Tuesday 13 June, 1-2pm, with Professor Simon Kovesi (Oxford Brookes) on the occasion of the publication of his book ‘John Clare: Nature, Criticism and History’ (Palgrave).