William Wordsworth was a poet with deep concern for the human condition and its relationship to the natural world. Now, amidst the celebrations of his 250th birthday, Poet in the City brings together poets and academics to explore why an examination of Wordsworth is relevant today.

Wordsworth's work wrote nature into our social and political history. In 2020, a year of seismic shifts to our contemporary social and cultural lives, Wordsworth's use of the natural world as a canvas has come into even sharper focus. As the impacts of the COVID-19 pandemic continue to emerge, we will be joined by contemporary nature writers to understand how colonial legacies have meant nature continues to be one of society's greatest divides.

Academic Shahidha Bari will provide a contextual introduction into Wordsworth's life and legacy, and writer Polly Atkin joins us live from Grasmere, to explore the relationship between humans and the natural world over time. Pratyusha will discuss the impact of Wordsworth on her work, performing her own poetry and sharing how she is working towards making nature writing a more inclusive field. Wordsworth's poetry will be read actor Anna Madeley.

Polly Atkin: Poet and writer
Shahidha Bari: Academic and critic
Pratyusha: Poet and writer
Anna Madeley: Actor


Polly Atkin lives in Grasmere. She has taught English Literature and Creative Writing at QMUL, Lancaster University, the University of Cumbria, and most recently at the University of Strathclyde. Her debut collection of poetry Basic Nest Architecture was published in February 2017 by Seren.

Shahidha Bari is an academic, critic and broadcaster. She is a Professor at the University of the Arts London, working in the fields of literature, philosophy and visual culture. She the author of Keats and Philosophy (2011) and Dressed The Secret Life of Clothes (2019). In 2016, she was the winner of The Observer Anthony Burgess Arts Journalism Prize. She was Chair of Judges for the Forward Prizes for Poetry in 2019 and a judge for the Baillie Gifford Non-Fiction Prize in 2020.

Pratyusha is an Indo-Swiss writer based in London. Since 2018, she has been working on amberflora, an eco/world poetry zine. Her latest pamphlet, Bulbul Calling, was published with Bitter Melon Press in 2020. She writes poetry, prose, and reviews.

Anna Madeley is an actress who works in theatre, TV, film and radio. Her most recent stage work includes Lorraine Hansberry’s Les Blancs at the National Theatre and Florian Zeller’s The Height of the Storm in the West End. On screen, her latest work includes Patrick Melrose for Sky/Showtime, Deadwater Fell for Channel 4, and playing Mrs. Hall in Channel 5’s new adaptation of All Creatures Great and Small. 

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