Ekphrasis, the British Library and Alice in Wonderland


Lewis Carroll: ‘Alice’s Adventures Under Ground’
British Library Add. MS 46700, f.19v
Copyright © The British Library Board
A high-quality version of this image can be purchased from British Library Images Online. For more information email imagesonline@bl.uk


We are delighted to announce that our next Ekphrasis event will take place in conjunction with the British Library and the Alice in Wonderland exhibition.

2015 is the 150th anniversary of the publication of Alice in Wonderland and the year will culminate with an exhibition opening in November, which will be exploration of the book itself and the themes it explores in the main foyer of the British Library. Very excitingly our evening event will also take place in the main foyer of the British Library on March 4th 2016 and it will be a cabaret of poetry and song written especially in response to the work on display.

We are inviting poets and songwriters from all over the country to take part but this time we also wish to compile and publish a full anthology of Alice inspired poetry and will commission poets to write their own poem in response to the exhibition or to any aspect of the book.

We will also, as before, invite poem submissions from everyone inspired in some way by Alice, two of whom will be invited to join us on stage in the evening, with the publication of a further three other winning poems offered within the anthology.

It is hard to imagine a world without Alice. Reading it today, it still seems fresh and alive. And so we invite you all to consider your own response to this classic, thinking through any of the very many ways Carroll has shaped or freed our imagined world, our perception of childhood, even our very use of language.


Emer Gillespie, Abegail Morley and Catherine Smith, together we share a passion for creating a dialogue between the arts.

‘It’s the exciting bit, really….how arts practitioners in one sphere can take something created by an arts practitioner in another sphere and see something fresh and inspiring in it,’ Catherine Smith

‘I find that what I see and read sets off a chain of thoughts in my own head that can lead to a poem I would never have thought of writing in the first place. The poem furthers my communication with a work of art, I can talk back to it, talk back to the artist who created it, or explore the resonance it creates inside me,’ Emer Gillespie.

EKPHRASIS provides an evening of conversation and exploration inviting collaboration with some of the most original voices working in poetry today.

Exhibition details will be posted up on the British Library site shortly.

Previously we worked with The Royal Academy of Arts: