Poetry in the ‘Paradise of Exiles’

A Poetry Salon on Zoom – led by Pele Cox

Every Tuesday from 22nd February to 29th March from 18:30 to 20:30 CET

Pele Cox has been running intimate Poetry Salons in London for several years.  Now she is partnering with the British Institute of Florence to offer a special six-part Poetry Salon looking at English language poets in Italy - exclusively accessible to friends of the British Institute worldwide via Zoom.

Over six weeks we will explore the poetry of English language poets and travellers to Italy, which the Romantics famously called the “Paradise of Exiles.”  Readings will include Thomas Wyatt, the Romantics, Elizabeth and Robert Barrett Browning, D H Lawrence, and also the Italian poets that inspired them, from Virgil and Ovid to Dante, Petrarch, Tasso, and more. 

Only eight places are available for this most intimate of literary courses.    .

Each week, participants, in consultation with Pele, will bring a poem they wish to read out and discuss, in addition to the poem(s) Pele has set. This course is not a history of literature course. Each session has a creative writing element, and participants can also bring poems or prose pieces inspired by the historical poetry we are reading. Participants will gain a deeper understanding of the meaning and function of poetry, not just in its social and cultural context, but also the nature of inspiration and the creative process. 


The Programme:

Week one 22 February:

Paradise of Exiles. Keats Shelley and Bryon, and the Romantic Poets in Italy

Week two 1 March

‘Love among Ruins.’ Robert Browning and Elizabeth Barrett Browning- sonnets and dramatic monologues. 

Week three 8 March

The Hunter and the Hunted. Petrarch and Thomas Wyatt.

Week four 15 March: 

‘Uphill’. Christina Rossetti. 

Week five 22 March:  

The legacy of Dante and the epic in British Poetry.

Week six 29 March: 

Twilight in Italy: Ezra Pound; DH Lawrence, Jamie McKendrick


Each two-hour session is on Zoom only, starting at 18:30 CET

Register now to participate

Only eight places available.  Registration fee E.180 (full course)

Feedback from Pele's Poetry Salon in London:


Under Pele Cox's expert guidance, poetry becomes a tool of self-discovery and self-worth. It's like a weekly dose of life wisdom from some of the best, most thoughtful brains in history. For me it counteracted the thinness of life in lockdown: a mixture of degree course, therapy session, creative boost - and party!  
Suzi Feay


I don't say enough how much Group means to me and how much joy and life it brings.
Katie Back


Pele has the unique gift of connecting with you and seeing in you what you can't, and thereby enabling your true poetic voice. It's thanks to her that I found mine.    Arpit Kaushik



Pele Cox did a BA in History of Art followed by an MA Creative Writing (poetry) from UEA where she was tutored by Andrew Motion. This led to roles as inaugural Poet in Residence at TATE and at the Royal Academy of Arts, where her live performances found diverse and entertaining ways to chart the biographies of our great artists and poets, a message.

Her studies of the Romantic poets and work with John and Virginia Murray and the British School at Rome led to her first film, ‘Lift Me Up I Am Dying’ which was made to commemorate the bicentenary of Keats’ death, which was live streamed on the anniversary, 23rd April 2021, by the British Institute of Florence amongst others. She is currently making a film to mark the bicentenary of Shelley’s death in July 2022. 

Her creative writing sessions to private clients have been very popular amongst financiers and creatives alike. In 2017 she was invited to teach the ‘Writing the Self’ module to 2nd year Creative Writing students at Westminster University. Her poetry salon has been running for over five years in London then moved over to Zoom during lockdown.