Festival provides a creative look into the world of John Keats

The Keats festival brought Keats House alive with a feast of Georgian Food, a dramatic Q&A with resident poet Benjamin Zephaniah and music, art and poetry.

The festival, funded by the City of London Corporation, featured a week of artist’s workshops, poetry readings and concerts.

The Georgian food demonstration opened visitors eyes to the food Keats might have snacked on – including pineapples grown in greenhouses.

In an emotional and startlingly honest Q&A session following a reading on June 3, Mr Zephaniah astonished listeners when he discussed his complicated relationship with his violent father – including the day he handed him a copy of his first book of poetry only for it to be dismissed as pointless by his father.

Maureen Roberts, who organised the festival said: “He was so incredibly honest and giving and it was just incredible – more than just a performance, it was him having a real and open discussion with the audience.”

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She added: “To have a very modern poet in residence, it sort of brings the house alive – when you think that Keats, in his day, wouldn’t be stuffy. He was new and not really that highly thought of.”

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