Nightingale Festival - 'Ode to a nightingale' - creative writing workshop & talk

Monday 6 May

Creative writing workshop 11 am - 1 pm. Talk 3 pm - 4 pm

Price: Creative writing workshop £40 per person. Talk £5 per person

Booking essential

As it is 200 years since Keats's famous 'Ode to a Nightingale' it's the perfect time not only to celebrate the poetic life of the nightingale, but to join the great tradition of nightingale poets! As part of our Nightingale Festival and supported by Horsham District Year of Culture 2019, we'll be joined by Dr Bethan Roberts and will discover more about the literary life of the nightingale.

Dr Bethan Roberts is the William Noble Research Fellow in the English department, University of Liverpool. Her research is on the relationship between the nightingale of poetry, science and the environment in the Romantic period. Her first book, on the Sussex poet Charlotte Smith, is forthcoming with Liverpool University Press and she is currently writing Nightingale - a cultural history of the bird - for the Reaktion Press 'Animal' series. She has spoken on Radio 4 about her research on nightingales and will appear in the forthcoming conservation documentary Last Song of the Nightingale.

Join Bethan for a creative writing workshop...

'A Nightingale Sang in...' This gentle and informal workshop invites you to join the great tradition of nightingale writing, as we try to capture something of its elusive, mercurial, magical song in prose or rhyme. We will look at existing examples of work in poetry and prose, and hear the bird for ourselves, putting pen to paper with discussion and support. No previous experience required.

Time: 11 am - 1 pm

Cost: £40 per person (includes teas, coffee and home baked scone with jam & cream)

Booking is essential - please call the Visitor Centre on 01798 875851 between 10 am and 4 pm.

In the afternoon, Bethan will be giving a talk...

'Immortal Bird': The nightingale in and out of poetry

This spring marks the two-hundred year anniversary of the composition of John Keats's 'Ode to a Nightingale', one of the most famous poems in the English language.  The nightingale is without doubt the most versified and celebrated bird in history. It is also the most mythologised of birds: the 'real' nightingale is obscured and superseded by myriad associations, symbols, metaphors and myths. This talk will trace the cultural life of the bird - from the classical world to the present day, through Old English riddles, Romantic lyrics, and popular music - in relation to its natural history to tell a story about our relationship with the natural world over the last two-thousand years and to celebrate the power of this little brown bird.

Time: 3 pm - 4 pm

Cost: £5 per person (includes tea/coffee)

Booking is essential - please call the Visitor Centre on 01798 875851 between 10 am and 4 pm



RSPB Pulborough Brooks

Where is it?

  • Lat/lng: 50.93729, -0.49562 (Google Maps)
  • Postcode: RH20 2EL
  • County: West Sussex

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