We Talked and Laughed: The Dymock Poets

Discover the life of and the rapport between the Dymock Poets – Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson, (the American) Robert Frost, Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater and Edward Thomas – that resulted in much celebrated poetry.

Author Jeff Cooper (Abercrombie's grandson), who has written extensively on the Dymock Poets, discusses the history of the group and its impact on poetry. The evening includes readings from actor and writer Anne Harvey, Susie Self (Drinkwater’s granddaughter) and Judy Greenway (Gibson’s granddaughter), followed by a short Q&A. Hosted by Robert Moreland and Richard Simkin, of Friends of the Dymock Poets.

Shortly before the First World War, three poets – Lascelles Abercrombie, Wilfrid Gibson and Robert Frost – came to live near Dymock in Gloucestershire. Three poets visited them: Rupert Brooke, John Drinkwater and Edward Thomas. Their friend, the Gloucester solicitor, Jack Haines from whose correspondence and articles we know so much, dubbed them ‘The Dymock Poets’.

Within a year of the outbreak of war, Brooke was dead and Robert Frost had returned to the USA. Within two years Edward Thomas was killed at Vimy Ridge.

Their relationship was short-lived but remarkably productive and influential. They produced the collection New Numbers which contained memorable poems such as Rupert Brooke’s ‘The Soldier’ and ‘The Old Nail Shop’ by Wilfrid Gibson (then a very popular poet). They worked on poems that were to become amongst the most read poems in the world like ‘The Road Not Taken’ by Frost and ‘Adlestrop’ by Thomas.

Dates & times

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National Poetry Library,

Level 5, Blue side, Royal Festival Hall


Free, but ticketed

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This is a free but ticketed event. You can book your tickets online, over the phone or in person at Royal Festival Hall Ticket Office. No booking fees apply.