Fourth Annual
Little Gidding
Saturday 27 June and Sunday 28 June 2009

After the successful festivals of 2006, 2007 and 2008, we are pleased to announce that the Fourth Annual T S Eliot Festival at Little Gidding will take place on the weekend of Saturday 27 June and Sunday 28 June 2009.

The Festival is a major literary and musical celebration of the life and work of Nobel Prize winning writer Thomas Stearns Eliot (1888-1965). Sunday’s programme is a joint event with the T S Eliot International Summer School.

Little Gidding
Saturday 27 June and Sunday 28 June 2009

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 27 June 2009

2.00pm Annual Little Gidding Lecture of the T S Eliot Society
Professor Hugh Haughton

Hugh Haughton is a professor in the Department of English and Related Literature at the University of York, with a particular interest in modern poetry and letters. He has edited The Chatto Book of Nonsense Poetry (1988), Second World War Poems (Faber, 2004), and Sigmund Freud’s The Uncanny (Penguin, 2003), and is the author of The Poetry of Derek Mahon (OUP, 2007). With Valerie Eliot, he is co-editor of The Letters of T S Eliot, Volume 2, due for publication later this year, and has helped with the revision of the enlarged Volume 1 of The Letters.

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 eliotfestival@littlegidding.org.uk).

3.30pm Afternoon Tea

4.00pm Keynote Speaker
(title of talk to be confirmed)
Dr Anne Stillman

Dr Stillman is a fellow, tutor and lecturer at Clare College, Cambridge, where she teaches English. She wrote her doctorate on T S Eliot, and is continuing this work.

5.00pm Music in the Garden
An opportunity to talk to the speakers and other Festival-goers
With music played by Alexander Kershaw

6.00pm Supper
Supper in the garden at Ferrar House with its delightful views of Little Gidding Church and south over the Huntingdonshire countryside.

7.30pm EVENING CONCERT in Steeple Gidding Church
Riprap Collective
with guest poet Ruth Padel
Ruth Padel is a leading British poet, freelance academic and broadcaster. She featured on Desert Island Discs in January 2009. She is a great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin.
The Riprap Poetry Collective is a group of musicians and writers from Cambridge. Kevin Flanagan, Malcolm Guite, Dave Gordon, Russ Morgan and Andy Brown make up Riprap, who explore the ‘exchange of ideas between poets and musicians … The rhythmic implications of each genre would coexist, clash and augment the performance’.
Sunday 28 June 2009

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 Festival Morning Prayer in Little Gidding Church
12.30pm Lunch
in the garden at Ferrar House
Professor Ronald Schuchard
Ronald Schuchard is Goodrich C. White Professor of English at Emory University in Atlanta, Georgia in the USA.
This will be followed by a reading of ‘Little Gidding’ and a discussion by a panel of Eliot scholars and poets, including winners of the T S Eliot Prize. Further details to be confirmed.
4.00pm Afternoon Tea
4.30pm Festival Choral Evensong in Little Gidding Church
officiant: the Revd Catherine Lack
preacher: the Revd Malcolm Guite
choir: Oundle School Choir

The T S Eliot International Summer School will be held in Bloomsbury, 27 June–4 July 2009. Founded and directed by Ronald Schuchard, the Summer School is modelled on the highly successful Yeats Summer School in Sligo, which is now in its fiftieth year. The Eliot Summer School is hosted by the Institute of English Studies of the University of London. Its instructors include Jewel Spears Brooker, Robert Crawford, Tony Cuda, Denis Donoghue, Lyndall Gordon, Jason Harding, Sir Frank Kermode, and Christopher Ricks. The School will be officially opened by Nobel Laureate Seamus Heaney, and activities will include trips to Burnt Norton, Little Gidding, and, optionally, East Coker.

For further details of the conference and Summer School see

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.