Acorn Theatre

The Thermal Stair: W S Graham & the Artists by David Whittaker


An illustrated talk by David Whittaker, following W. S. Graham’s career over the last 30 years of his life in Penwith (where he lived at Gurnard’s Head, Gulval and Madron).

W. S. Graham is now considered to be one of the most vital and original poets of the later half of the 20th century. This is his centenary year. Though Scottish, he lived most of his life in Cornwall (and most of that time in Penwith). He was a significant and colourful figure of the St Ives group of artists and he wrote famous elegies for Lanyon, Hilton and Wynter.

David will look at W. S. Graham’s close friendships with various artists including Berlin, Lowndes, Frost, O’Malley, Lanyon, Wynter and Hilton, reading a selection of poems as well as some of his very entertaining letters. There will also be an intriguing selection of illustrations to enjoy. His talk will be taken from the research he conducted for his book ‘Give Me Your Painting Hand: W. S. Graham & Cornwall’, which traced his time living in the county, looked at his artistic friendships and explored how the visual arts fed into his poetry. The book had excellent reviews and was nominated for a Holyer an Gof award.