Little Gidding
Saturday 7 July and Sunday 8 July 2012

Note: all timings are approximate and may be subject to change. The details of speakers and talks are confirmed, but may be subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances.

Saturday 7 July 2012

2.00pm ‘Ash Wednesday’: a reading
Peter Cochran and Jenny Sargent read ‘Ash Wednesday’
2.40pm Poetry and religion: did faith make Eliot a better poet?
Talk and discussion between Richard Harries and Hugh Black-Hawkins followed by questions.
Lord Harries of Pentifieth was until his retirement Bishop of Oxford, and is a frequent contributor to BBC Radio Four’s Thought for the Day
Hugh Black-Hawkins taught English for many years, introducing youngsters to the delights of Eliot; he is the Chairman of the TS Eliot Society.
3.30pm Afternoon tea
4.15pm Annual Little Gidding Lecture of the T S Eliot Society
Unreal cities & timeless landscapes: Eliot’s poetic debt to Hope Mirrlees’s Paris
Sandeep Parmar

Sandeep Parmar is a visiting Fellow at Clare Hall, Cambridge, specializing in modernist women writers such as Mina Loy and Hope Mirrlees. She edited The Collected Poems of Hope Mirrlees for Carcanet Press (2011).

Festival-goers are invited to read a short piece or extract from the works of T S Eliot. (It would be helpful if you could notify us if you are interested in contributing to this. Please email
6.00 for 6.15pm Supper
Supper in the garden at Ferrar House with its delightful views of Little Gidding Church and south over the Huntingdonshire countryside.
Music to Inspire a Poet
The Bingham String Quartet will perform Beethoven’s String Quartet in A Minor, one of the composer’s great late string quartets, and described by T S Eliot as the inspiration for his own series of poetic Quartets. Fuller programme details available soon.
8.45pm End of Saturday’s programme.

Sunday 8 July 2012

On Sunday the Festival will be joined by members of the T S Eliot International Summer School taking place at the University of London.

11.30am Welcome drinks
12 noon ‘Little Gidding’
Poets Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra and Bernard O’Donoghue read ‘Little Gidding’

A moment always much anticipated at the Festival each year is the reading of ‘Little Gidding’ on the lawn in front of Little Gidding Church. We are delighted to have a trio of poets to share in this moment this year.

12.30pm Lunch
1.45pm Publishing update
Professor Ronald Schuchard and others give the latest details of the publication of the complete works.
2.15pm On Reading ‘Little Gidding’ at Little Gidding
Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra, Bernard O’Donoghue and others discuss what the poem means to them.
3.00pm Annual Little Gidding Lecture of the International Summer School
Professor Paul Muldoon
The Love Song of T Stearns Eliot

Paul Muldoon is Professor in the Humanities at Princeton. Born in Northern Ireland he was Professor of Poetry at Oxford between 1999 and 2004, and is Chair of the Poetry Society (UK).

4.00pm Afternoon Tea
4.30pm Festival Choral Evensong in Little Gidding Church
5.15pm End of Festival programme

The T S Eliot Festival is organized by the Friends of Little Gidding and the T S Eliot Society, with financial support from Old Possum’s Practical Trust.