Life and work of romantic poet John Clare to be celebrated at annual UON lecture

Date 3.01.2020

Two authors and a poet will be joining forces for the 2020 instalment of the University of Northampton’s John Clare Memorial Lecture.

The annual lecture commemorates the work of local romantic poet Clare and his connections to Northamptonshire, and features leading writers or academics discussing any topic related to the broad theme of literature and the environment.

This year’s event, which takes place on Thursday 23 January, will feature Ellis Hall and Bridget Somekh, who co-authored the recently published Love’s Cold Returning, which explores in verse, prose and images John Clare’s epic 1841 journey from Essex to Northamptonshire.

Esteemed New Zealand poet, John Gallas, who followed Clare’s route on foot in 2016, will read some of his poems about Clare, from his volume Mad John’s Walk.

University of Northampton Vice Chancellor, Professor Nick Petford, will open the event.

Event organiser and Professor in English and Postcolonial Studies at the University, Janet Wilson, said: “This is a fantastic double bill:  the authors of a new book on John Clare’s walk in 1841 accompanied by readings from poet, John Gallas, about his journey retracing Clare’s footsteps. It will be a unique opportunity to hear about a local odyssey, then and now.”

The John Clare Memorial Lecture takes place on Thursday 23 January at 5pm in T Pod A, Learning Hub second floor, Waterside Campus. It will be followed by a reception.

The event is open to the public and free to attend, with guests needing to register by Tuesday 21 January, by emailing