Negative Capability

On December 21st 1817 a twenty-two year-old poet wrote in a letter to his brothers that a great writer possesses ‘Negative Capability, that is when man is capable of being in uncertainties, Mysteries, doubts.’

The poet was John Keats, and his famous phrase is the starting point for a new site-specific performance work. Join poets Hannah Silva, Inua Ellams and Simon Barraclough in their investigations of creativity and the negative space of the imagination, with a video installation by Ross Sutherland and atmospheric live accompaniment from experimental musician Leafcutter John.

Commissioned by Ledbury Poetry Festival and presented in association with Keats House.


Thoughtful and inspiring ... We were given a chance to explore a place, a moment in history and an individual’s moment of history.
Imogen Robertson

Performance dates

10 June 2014 ~ Keats House, London
12 July 2014 ~ Ledbury Poetry Festival

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