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Small Wonder Festival at Home | Arena: T.S. Eliot

Free online events

Friday 25 Sep 10:00AM

Free online events available from 10am, Fri 25 Sept – 10pm, Sun 27 Sept

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Arena T.S. Eliot documentary Small Wonder Festival at Home

The BBC’s landmark documentary,  Arena: T.S. Eliot, takes an in-depth look at the Nobel Prize winner and seminal figure in twentieth-century English language literary culture who was a regular visitor to Charleston. A man who was a poet, playwright, children’s writer, critic and publisher — but who was also a husband, a friend, and an American settler in the UK. Featuring never-before-seen private scrapbooks, albums and archive footage from Eliot’s widow Valerie Eliot, the 2009 documentary tells the whole story of Eliot’s life and work, including the happiness he found in the last years of his life in his second marriage.

The film will be shown alongside exclusive new poems inspired by the documentary from the acclaimed British-Guyanese poet Maggie Harris and British-Sri Lankan writer Minoli Salgado. Bestselling author Kate Mosse, poet Roger Robinson — who won this year’s T.S. Eliot Prize for Poetry— and award-winning writer Imogen Lycett-Green will also come together to discuss the documentary in an online in-conversation event. Plus, learn how to start your own personal writing journey with seasoned author Colin Grant’s online masterclass. 

The films, poetry and masterclass will be available for free online at Small Wonder Festival at Home, from 10am (BST), Friday 25 September – 10pm (BST), Sunday 27 September. 

As part of Small Wonder Festival at Home, Charleston is also hosting an online panel discussion at 5pm (BST) on Sunday 27 September with some of the writers shortlisted for this year’s BBC National Short Story Award. Find out more here

As a charity that receives no public funding, our current closure due to the Covid-19 crisis is financially devastating for Charleston. As you enjoy these events, please consider making a donation to Charleston’s Emergency Appeal.

In partnership with

Your Local Arena is an Arts Council England funded project, produced by Speaking Volumes and Lucy Hannah, featuring the BBC’s Arena film archive.


Festival bookshop

We’ve teamed up with Hive to bring you Small Wonder Festival at Home’s online bookshop: an edit of books from our featured events. A percentage of every sale on Hive supports an independent bookshop in the UK.


Image: T.S. Eliot c.1953 © Keystone Press / Alamy Stock Photo

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