Anthony Hett becomes poet in residence at Keats House

Anthony Hett poet in residence at Keats House

Anthony Hett poet in residence at Keats House - Credit: Archant

Over three months the Welsh writer will hold drop in poetry writing sessions and write his first collection based on photographs of himself at John Keats’ former Hampstead home

Anthony Hett poet in residence at Keats House

Anthony Hett poet in residence at Keats House - Credit: Archant

Welsh writer Anthony Hett has become the latest poet in residence at Keats House.

Over the next three months, he will pay weekly visits to the former Hampstead home of romantic poet John Keats to run poetry writing sessions and take inspiration for his first collection of verse.

At the next drop in sessions on June 14 and July 12, budding poets will be encouraged to bring their own photograph and use it with images of Keats' life as a prompt for their writing.

And in September, Hett will hold a special event to share his work and encourage new writers to perform their poems to an invited audience.

His appointment coincides with Keats200, a programme of celebrations marking the bicentenery of Keats' living in what was then Wentworth Place from 1818-1821.

The Keats Foundation and the Keats-Shelley Memorial Association are also helping to mark his life, works and legacy until February 2021.

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Hett, a proud member of the Keats House Poets who has curated poetry events there since 2010, said: "I am very proud and excited to be the Keats House Poet in Residence for three months, which will give me the time and space to focus solely on writing a collection of poetry and ultimately, help me to grow and develop as a writer.

"My collection titled Pictures of Me. will be a selection of autobiographical poetry, prompted and inspired by photographs of me taken between the ages of 0 and 33.

"Each poem will be presented in chronological order, alongside the photograph which inspired it.

"Although some writers have completed collections combining poetry and photography, I believe it has not previously been done in this way."

Previous Keats House poets in residence have included Hannah Lowe, Michael Rosen, Jo Shapcott and Benjamin Zephaniah.

The City of London Corporation, who run the venue, hope that providing a platform for poets to write and perform new works in the same house that inspired Keats to produce some of his most acclaimed a work will connect the historic landmark to the contemporary poetry scene, while building new audiences sustaining the poet's legacy into the future.