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Peter Monamy, ‘Ships in Distress in a Storm’ c.1720–30
Peter Monamy, Ships in Distress in a Storm c.1720–30. Tate

Join us to celebrate the age-old relationship between poetry and art

Tate Britain celebrates National Poetry Day this Saturday. We’ve invited some fantastic poets to perform in front of art works that resonate with their poetry. 

Discover more about our special guest poets and read a sneak preview of some of the work they will be sharing with us below. The paintings they will be performing in front of are pictured in the gallery.

Sir Godfrey Kneller, ‘Elijah and the Angel’ 1672
Sir Godfrey Kneller
Elijah and the Angel 1672
Michael Dahl, ‘Portrait of Mrs Haire’ 1701
Michael Dahl
Portrait of Mrs Haire 1701
John Michael Wright, ‘Sir Neil O’Neill’ 1680
John Michael Wright
Sir Neil O’Neill 1680
Sir Luke Fildes, ‘The Doctor’ exhibited 1891
Sir Luke Fildes
The Doctor exhibited 1891
Briton Riviere, ‘Beyond Man’s Footsteps’ exhibited 1894
Briton Riviere
Beyond Man’s Footsteps exhibited 1894
John Gibson, ‘Hylas Surprised by the Naiades’ 1827–?36, exhibited 1837
John Gibson
Hylas Surprised by the Naiades 1827–?36, exhibited 1837
Sir Hamo Thornycroft, ‘The Kiss’ 1916
Sir Hamo Thornycroft
The Kiss 1916


11.00 Ella Frears, Clare Mulley, Gallery 1650

11.30  Andrew Rodgers, Yuan Yang, Gallery 1910

12.00 Ella Frears, Clare Mulley, Gallery 1890

13.00 Andrew Rodgers, Gallery 1890

14.00 Ella Frears, Clare Mulley, Lewis Buxton, Gallery 1650

14.30 John Iddon, Gallery 1840

14.45 John Iddon, Gallery 1910

15.00 Ella Frears, Clare Mulley, Lewis Buxton, Gallery 1890

15.30 James Massiah, Gallery 1810


Poet Lewis Buxton

Poet Ella Frears 

Poet James Massiah

Poet Clare Mulley

Poet Yuan Yang 

Lewis Buxton

‘Every time I worry like this I hope 
for another handful of October’
From Hypochondriac

Ella Frears

‘Let’s begin by feeling the skull through the face-skin 
of a loved one. Try to empathise
with those bones in the museum.’  
From Let’s Begin

James Massiah

‘they look at us cos we’re a state
but this is all a state of mind 
i am yours and you are mine’

Clare Mulley

‘He speaks in terms of blood and earth
How things web together’
From Dating the Young Pretender

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Also look out for our Tate volunteers who will be performing poems in front of related art works from the BP Displays in free guided tours.

Tate Britain

London SW1P 4RG
Plan your visit

Date & Time

8 October 2016 at 11.00–16.00

View the performance schedule

Poetry guided tours

Tate Britain Tour

Becoming modern: art to the present day


Join a guided tour of our displays, exploring art to the present day

Free entry
Tate Britain Tour

The growth of British art


Join a guided tour of our displays, exploring the growth of British art 

Free entry
Tate Britain Tour

People and places of the 19th century


Join a guided tour of our displays, exploring people and places of the 19th century 

Free entry
Tate Britain Tour

The paintings of J.M.W. Turner


Take a walk through paintings by J.M.W. Turner in our displays

Free entry