Thou Wast Not Born for Death

Friday, September 22, 2023 - 17:00

On Friday 22 September at 5pm two major Keats biographers, Alessandro Gallenzi and Lucasta Miller, will discuss the living art of writing lives during the talk Thou wast not born for death


Mr Alessandro Gallenzi is the founder of Alma Books. As well as being a literary publisher with over twenty years of experience, he is a prize-winning translator, a poet, a playwright and a novelist. His collection of poetry, Modern Bestiary – Ars Poetastrica, was published in 2005 to critical acclaim. His satirical literary novel, Bestseller, was published in 2010, followed by InterRail in 2012, The Tower in 2014 and Il figlio perduto (Rizzoli, 2018). His verse translation of Alexander Pope’s The Rape of the Lock won the Premio Biblioteca di Monselice special award in 2010. His articles have appeared in many papers and journals, including The Times, The Scotsman and The London Magazine. He edited John Keats’s Complete Poems for Alma in 2019, published a translation of Keats’s Letters ('La valle dell’anima') with Adelphi and, most recently (September 2022), published a biography of Keats's final months in Italy, Written in Water.

Dr Lucasta Miller is a British author and journalist who is fascinated by what it means to write about lives. After an early career reviewing books and editing the literary pages of The Independent, her first book, The Bronte Myth (2001), was an influential study in metabiography. She subsequently worked for the Guardian, writing longform interview-profiles of major cultural figures. Her book L.E.L.: The Lost Life and Mysterious Death of the ‘Female Byron’ – which was shortlisted for the NBCC Awards in the USA in 2019 - was a forensic investigation into the buried history of a once celebrated female Romantic poet who was influenced by Keats but subsequently forgotten. Lucasta has lived all her life on the edge of Hampstead Heath, near to where Keats himself lived in London. This inspired her recent book Keats: A Brief Life in Nine Poems and One Epitaph, which was published in the UK in 2021 and in the USA in 2022. A regular speaker at literary festivals, Lucasta has lectured and broadcast on 19th-century literature in the UK, US and Europe, and has been a Visiting Fellow at Lady Margaret Hall, Oxford, a Visiting Scholar at Wolfson College, Oxford, an Honorary Research Associate at UCL, and a Royal Literary Fund Fellow at the Courtauld Institute. She has reviewed for every British broadsheet, judged the Man Booker Prize and sat on the Trustee boards of the London Library and the Wordsworth Trust.


Admission is free of charge, but booking is required due to the limited number of seats. Please write to