Dr Jean Moorcroft Wilson’s new biography of Robert Graves in the years 1895 – 1929, a period which included Graves joining the Army as an officer at the age of 19 at the outbreak of the First World War, his near-death from wounds during the Battle of the Somme, his marriage to Nancy Nicholson and the births of their four children, study at Oxford, and the many tumultuous events that followed after he met the American poet Laura Riding in January 1926, was published on 2 August 2018.

Jean Moorcroft Wilson and Graves’s son William Graves (from Robert’s second marriage, to Beryl Pritchard), will be examining Robert Graves’s position as a major First World War poet as well as a master prose chronicler of the War, at this year’s Wimbledon BookFest. Their talk will be on Thursday 11th October 2018 at 4.30 – 5.30 pm and the hour will include the presentation of the second Robert Graves Poetry Prize.

Tickets and further information can be found here:

On Thursday 1 November 2018, 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m., Dr Guy Cuthbertson of Liverpool Hope University will give the this year’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, on Edward Thomas, titled ‘I should want nothing more: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’. The lecture will be given at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. Admission is free but seats must be reserved in advance. For details and to book, visit https://www.britac.ac.uk/events/edward-thomas-and-simplicity.

This new book by Owen biographer Dr Guy Cuthbertson uses letters, diaries and newspapers to build an hour-by-hour account of 11 November 1918, the day that brought the First World War to an end with the signing of the Armistice on the 11th hour of the 11th month of 1918.

A number of previous accounts have examined the military and political events of that day, but this new book looks in hour-by-hour detail at ‘how the people of Britain experienced the moment that peace became a reality’.

Further details of the book are on the Yale University Press’s website, here.

Guy Cuthbertson is also author of Wilfred Owen (Yale, 2014). He edited Edward Thomas’s Autobiographies (Oxford, 2011), co-edited Thomas’s England and Wales (Oxford, 2011), and Branch-Lines: Edward Thomas and Contemporary Poetry (Enitharmon, 2007).  He studied at St Andrews and Oxford universities, and is an Associate Professor at Liverpool Hope University.

On Thursday 1 November 2018 6.30 p.m. to 7.45 p.m. Guy Cuthbertson will give the this year’s Chatterton Lecture on Poetry, titled ‘I should want nothing more: Edward Thomas and Simplicity’. The lecture will be given at the British Academy, 10-11 Carlton House Terrace, London, SW1Y 5AH. Admission is free but seats must be reserved in advance. For details and to book visit: https://www.britac.ac.uk/events/edward-thomas-and-simplicity.

Latest (19/09/2018): A video recording of this new composition by Roxanna Panufnik which used lines from Isaac Rosenberg’s poem ‘In the Underworld’ and formed the opening performance of Last Night of the Proms 2018, can be found on the BBC’s website at: https://www.bbc.co.uk/music/artists/4c898ad2-3743-46c4-b3ce-00e4ec1af05c.

The performance of this opening A BBC Radio 4 broadcast interviews the composers Roxanna Panufnik and Anna Meredith about their recent commissions to commemorate the centenary of the end of World War One and to produce a new work for the Last Night of the Proms 2018. The work, Songs of Darkness, Dreams of Light features a poem ‘In the Underworld’ by First World War poet Isaac Rosenberg and will be included in the BBC’s ‘Last Night of the Proms’ this year, as the opening item on 8th September 2018, commencing at 7.15 pm. A copy of the poem is reproduced below, although it is possible that a revised version may be used in the concert.

Listen to the Radio 4 interview here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DzmptFT7P-k.

Isaac Rosenberg’s relative Bernard Wynick has described the inclusion of the poem in the ‘Last Night of the Proms’ as ‘fantastic’ and writes to the WPA as follows:

‘This is a great honour and a fitting tribute in the 100th.anniversary of [Isaac’s] death in action in France in the First World War.’


I have lived in the underworld so long:
How can you, a creature of light,
Without terror understand the song
And unmoved hear what moves in night?

I am a spirit that yours has found,
Strange, undelightful, obscure,
Created by some other God, and bound
In terrible darkness, breathing breath impure.

Creature of light and happiness,
Deeper the darkness was when you,
With your bright terror eddying the distress,
Grazed the dark waves and shivering further flew.

Isaac Rosenberg

To mark the centenary this Autumn of the end of the First World War, and on the theme of ‘Unity’, The Bach Choir will perform Benjamin Britten’s War Requiem at Westminster Cathedral, London on Wednesday 3rd October, at 7.30 p.m.. Visit http://www.thebachchoir.org.uk/concerts for tickets and more information.

Guest speakers will interject the music with readings linked to the theme of war and the horror and pity of war, including some from the poems of Wilfred Owen

This major new anthology of war poetry brings together for the first time the work of poets who saw active service on the Western Front, but not with a gun in their hand. Their role was to save life, not to take it.

Ernest Hemingway and E E Cummings drove ambulances. Mary Borden, Carola Oman and Vera Brittain were nurses. All of them volunteered their services to help those caught up in the war, often at great personal risk to themselves.

Finding themselves amid scenes of unimaginable horror, each one experienced the realities of the war first-hand and wrote about what they saw and did with great honesty and compassion.

Release date: June 2018

Book launch: Professor Paul O’Prey will speak about the book at La Caixa Cultural, Palma de Mallorca, Spain on Wednesday 11 July, at a small launch event during the XIV International Robert Graves Conference there, 10-14 July 2018. The date and time of the launch is to be confirmed. Contact pjvilla@aol.com for further details.

Copies of the anthology, published by Dare-Gale Press, can be ordered via Amazon in the UK or through the University of Chicago Press in the USA.


Ivor Gurney: poet and composer

Free Event

At the Ivor Gurney Hall; King’s School Gloucester, Gloucester, GL1 2BG
7.30 pm and 8.30 pm, Wednesday, 27 June 2018

Tel: 07739910510

Ivor Gurney: poet and composer


For further details, and a map of the venue, click on the link below:


An exciting national poetry competition to mark the 100th anniversary of the end of the First World War is taking place. A shortlist of the five judged the best, with the full texts of the five poems, has been published. The winner is being decided now by a public vote in which you can now participate. One vote per person is permitted.

The competition is named A Poem to Remember and chaired by HRH Prince William, Duke of Cambridge. It is intended to honour and convey the challenges faced by the current men and women serving in the Military, and their families.

The winning poem will be chosen by the public and read by HRH The Duke of Cambridge at a special event at the new Defence and National Rehabilitation Centre (DNRC) this Summer. It will also be mounted at the DNRC and its author will receive a cash prize of £2,000, with four runners-up receiving £500. Only one entry per person was permitted. Entries from any location were accepted. Poems had to be no longer than 25 lines. The closing date for entries was 9 April 2018. The competition was open to everyone aged 17 and over.

Entries were whittled down to a long list of 25 before a short list of five judged the best were selected by a panel of short list judges, chaired by historian and broadcaster Dan Snow and including Stephen Fry and Andy McNab. The winner is now being decided by a public vote.

More information on the competition and how to vote can be found here.


Plans are advanced for the 14th International Robert Graves Society Conference, 10th – 14th July 2018. The theme this year will be:

‘Robert Graves and Europe: Good-bye to All That / But It Still Goes On’

The conference will take place at the former Gran Hotel, Palma de Mallorca, where Graves and Riding stayed on their arrival in Palma in 1929, and at Deià, where they lived until 1936. Graves returned to Mallorca in 1946 with Beryl Pritchard Graves and their family and lived in Deià until his death in 1985.

The hotel is now the Caixa Cultural, a cultural centre in Palma run by a major Catalan and Spanish bank, ‘La Caixa’. This will be the fifth Robert Graves conference to be held there and at Deià since the centenary conference in Mallorca held in 1995. We are most grateful to La Caixa bank and staff at Caixa Cultural for their continued support.

The timings of the conference will be Tuesday, 10th July 2018, at 5.00 pm (approx) – Saturday, 14th July 2018, at 2:00 pm (approx). Please note that he CFP deadline has been extended to 4th June 2018. The CFP and more details of the event are published at http://www.robertgraves.org/society/index.php?id=47 , where there is also a link to the registration page at http://robertgraves.org/society/news.php?id=58&group_id=4 . Accommodation options are being arranged and will be published online soon.

Submit you proposal to give a paper and/or book your place at Robert Graves Mallorca 2018 now by sending your proposal to the conference director, Charles Mundye, at C.Mundye@shu.ac.uk (paper proposals or questions about the CFP or academic programme) or contact Patrick Villa, pjvilla@aol.com  (book your place at the conference, any enquiries about hotels, travel, administrative and financial details) now!

The conference is open to all participants who have registered to attend it and paid the registration fee. It is not necessary to give a paper in order to attend the conference, but all participants who wish to attend it must register in advance and, unless notified otherwise by the organisers, pay a registration fee.

Gamal Khamis and Christopher Kent will be taking part in the BBC Radio 3 programme In Tune with Katie Derham on Monday 21 May between 5:00 pm and 7:00 pm to discuss their First World War play Never Such Innocence. They will also perform extracts from the play during this broadcast, ahead of the English Music Festival performance of the play on Sunday 27 May 2018.

Listen to the Radio 3 programme on the BBC’s website at https://www.bbc.co.uk/programmes/b0b3bz1y, or afterwards on BBC Radio iPlayer. The full programme details are also published on this page.

Never Such Innocence is the acclaimed narrative recital programme of words and music from the First World War which Gamal Khamis and Christopher Kent have been performing round the country over the last few months, with further performances through 2018 as below.

Contact Christopher Kent: 07850 595089 / 020 8991 1855

Video trailer:   www.ckuk.com/never-such-innocence

Facebook: facebook.com/NeverSuchInnocence


Saturday 17th March, 7.30pm. – All Saints Church, Isleworth, TW7 6BE

Sunday 18th March, 7.30pm – Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Sunday 27th May, 2.15pm – English Music Festival, Silk Hall, Radley College, Oxfordshire, OX14 2HR

Tuesday 3rd July, 7.30pm – Festival of Chichester, Oxmarket Centre of Arts, Chichester

Friday 13th July, 7.30pm – JAM on the Marsh Festival, St Dunstans Church, Romney Marsh

Saturday 8th September, 7.30pm – St Chad’s, Shrewsbury (in aid of Medic Malawi)

Wednesday 12th September, 7pm – Freemasons Hall, Covent Garden, London

Thursday 13th September, 7pm – Freemasons Hall, Covent Garden, London

Friday 21st September, 7.30pm – Village Hall, Sutton Veny, Wiltshire BA12 7AP

Sunday 30th September, 4pm – Sandham Memorial Chapel, Burghclere

Saturday 20th October 7.30pm – Canterbury Festival, Sarah Thorne Theatre, Broadstairs

Saturday 3rd November 7.30pm – Bath Recitals, St Michael’s Church, Bath

Monday 5th November 7.30pm – Royal Overseas League, Park Place, St James’s Street, London, SW1A 1LR

Friday 9th November 7.30pm – Jubilee Hall, Aldeburgh, IB15 5BN

Sunday 11th November 7.30pm – St Mary’s, Perivale

Sunday 18th November 7.30pm – Jermyn Street Theatre, London

Saturday 1st December 8pm – OSO Arts Centre, Barnes Green, London, SW13 0LF


“A very special, moving and immensely absorbing production”

“The most amazing evening… one of the most moving and thought-provoking events I have ever attended.”

“Beautifully nuanced show – tender, moving, angry.”

“A spell-binding evening. So compelling to watch and listen to”

“The choice of poetry and music was perfect and the narrative and underlying story very moving…I don’t think there was a dry eye in the house.”

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