Samuel Taylor Coleridge

Venue: Cafe Sladers, West Bay Road, West Bay, Bridport, Dorset DT6 4EL
Map below

Coleridge - World Poets series

Coleridge was a magician of the word, an irresistible poet of nature and imagination, a wildly inventive writer of letters, notebooks, essays, critical reviews and a unique poetical autobiography, a political, social and literary journalist, and a marathon talker and walker.

His friendship with Wordsworth revolutionised English poetry. He divided his time between the West Country, the Lakes, and London, and the landscapes of all of them, while   

writing, thanks to those surroundings,, some of the most famous and lovely poems in English.

To meet the Ancient Mariner, old man and poem, at school is never to forget either. He is the Flying Dutchman, the storyteller in the railway carriage, the reminiscer whom we may at first mistrust but who rapidly metamorphoses into a gripping benediction before our reading eyes. We can be rooted to the spot by him at any age. With any luck.

"Absolutely terrific".
A.S., Lewes
after Coleridge Night, Lewes, Sussex
“Thank you. That was a revelation. I sat spellbound for the 90 minutes. I felt that you had taken on Coleridge's eloquence and insight and transmitted it direct to us. I have been for whatever reason out of love with poetry for a while, and you rekindled for me the sense of its vital importance and its magic. I may even start writing again. I am immensely grateful. And the charismatic, tragic figure of Coleridge himself is vividly in my mind again. I remembered Lamb's desperately sad letter about his death. I think we will be back for more in due course.”
Ruth Valentine, London (2021)
Online version of Coleridge lecture
"Thank you for the Coleridge lecture, which I saw yesterday.  Also completely engrossing.  I was unaware of his personal history of loss and abandonment which is so relevant to his writing and you present it all, together with the readings, beautifully.  At times your own lecture (or the way you read it) almost seems to take on the rhythms of the poet you are talking about!  I’ll take a break for the time being but will be back for more eventually! Quote me as many times as you like and I will continue to recommend your ‘food for the soul’!"
Caroline Maldonado, London (2021)
Online version
"If you have never experienced Graham Fawcett, you have missed something. His childlike enthusiasm for the greats of the canon is the motor that drives through his two-part, two-hour monologues to a journey’s end of revelation. These are not literary events for those with contemporary attention spans. Fawcett does not give it to us in bite-size chunks. These are big talks, packed full of imagination and research, and ideally suited to Samuel Taylor Coleridge, for Coleridge, like the Ancient Mariner himself (as Fawcett reminded us) simply had to talk. Do go; these are very special occasions".
John Pownall, Bridport Review
after Coleridge Night in West Bay (2016)
“I was struck by your evocation of fathers reflecting on their children early in your Coleridge . . . I think I’ve been mainly a prose parent, but identifying with you, and fondly reflecting on my now adult children, I’m combining a little poetic sensibility! Your lectures seamlessly blend exposition with the poems. I’m off now to Kubla and the Mariner"
Charles Porter, San Luis Obispo, California
Online version

Tickets £12.50 or £30 with dinner (served from 6pm) 

Tickets available from Cafe Sladers

Call 01308 459511 to make a booking

Have a Question?

Feel free to contact me - I'm happy to answer any questions you may have.

Top picture: Engraving by Gustave Doré for an 1876 edition of Coleridge’s Rime of the Ancient Mariner. Labelled “The Albatross,” it captures the moment in the poem when Coleridge writes of the albatross that

“In mist or cloud, on mast or shroud,
It perched for vespers nine;
Whiles all the night, through fog-smoke white,

Glimmered the white Moon-shine.”  

Middle picture: Samuel Taylor Coleridge. From The Rime of the Ancient Mariner and The Vision of Sir Launfal (by Samuel Taylor Coleridge and James Russell Lowell}, collected by H. G. Hall and Edward Everett Hale. Published by Sampson Low, 1906.  

Bottom picture: Reproduced signature of Samuel Taylor Coleridge. From The Ancient Mariner printed in Boston, Massachusetts (USA) by D.C. Heath & Co., 1900

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