2020 marks 250 years since the death of Bristol-born poet Thomas Chatterton.

Despite his accolade as the “Father of Romantic Poetry” and the centuries of fascination that he’s held for poets, artists and musicians, Chatterton is largely unknown in Bristol. 

A Poetic City is a multi-partner, citywide programme that offers the opportunity to link contemporary poetry practice to its roots in the past, and to bring forgotten stories back into the light. It will celebrate Bristol’s vibrant and diverse contemporary poetry scene and inspire and commission poets of the future. The programme includes new publications; poetry readings; mental health workshops; lectures; and an exhibition focusing on Henry Wallis’ famous ‘The Death of Chatterton painting’.

Chatterton’s story also raises themes including artistic credulity and credibility; the role of the fake in art; young artists; arts and mental health; on-going barriers to obtaining access to culture in the city; the nature of celebrity; the resurrection of the Gothic and the nurturing of creativity.

Words by Naomi Miller, Deputy Director Bristol Cultural Development Partnership.

Literature Works is proud to be supporting this project and we’ll be sharing more details as they are released. In the meantime, take a look at these exciting opportunities for a writer and an illustrator, or maybe a duo, to get involved with a comic book commission on behalf of the partnership. All the details are here.

Don’t forget to like the project’s Facebook page and use the hashtag #BristolPoeticCity on Twitter for all the latest news.

Image: Chatterton's Holiday Afternoon. Engraved by William Ridgway after a picture by W.B. Morris, published in The Art Journal 1875. Bristol Culture Mb3042.