Journeys with 'The Waste Land' Events

In 1921, Thomas Stearns Eliot composed the key lines of ‘The Waste Land’ poem whilst sat at the Nayland Rock Shelter on Margate Seafront. The poem was published the year after and is considered one of the 20th century's literary masterpieces.

On Margate Sands.
I can connect
Nothing with nothing.
The broken fingernails of dirty hands.
My people humble people who expect

Eliot was in Margate on sick leave from his bank job and had been advised by his doctor not to write during this period of convalescence.

This winter, Turner Contemporary hosts an exhibition called ‘Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’ (3rd February – 7th May), which examines connections between Eliot’s poem and historical and contemporary art.

Take a walk along the seafront towards the station to find the Grade II Listed Nayland Rock Shelter, where T.S. Eliot wrote the lines of the poem.

Throughout Margate you will find venues collaborating with their own exhibitions, events and presentations. 


Pie Factory Margate  
*20-24 April: Journey of Nutcase 10 - exhibition reflecting the experiences of Eliot and his wife Vivienne, who both suffered with mental health difficulties.

Margate Museum 
3 Feb – 7 May: Hosting two artist installations within cells 1 and 3 of the building –
*Prison, Palace -  mixed-media artwork exhibition by Sława Harasymowicz.
*Postcards from Margate 1921 - exhibition giving a flavour of Margate in 1921 when T.S Eliot visited.

*20 April – 7 May: Journeys with ‘The Waste Land’- curatorial space where you can select artworks and create an exhibition experimenting with your own choice of artworks in response to the poem.

Lombard Street Gallery 
*3 Feb – 7 May: On Margate Sands - featuring new artworks by five resident artists responding to The Waste Land and its association with Margate

Proper Coffee
*3 Feb – 7 May: The Deep Sea Swell - an intimate exhibition of oil paintings and sketches celebrating The Waste Land.

The Printworks
*3 Feb – 7 May: Sally Waterman: In The Cage - featuring the work of video artist and photographer Sally Waterman.

Union Row
*6 Feb – 24 April: Shantih, Shantih, Shantih! - a mindful yoga community class drawing on ideas explored in the Turner Contemporary exhibition that resonate with health, well-being and healing.

Turner Contemporary
*21 April: April is the Crullest Month - a respond to ‘Journeys with The Waste Land’, T.S. Eliot’s nervous breakdown and Margate as a traditional place for recovery
*29 April - On the Tram to Nayland Rock - a new choral work, commissioned and performed by the Thanet Big Sing Community Choir, composed by Tony Castro

101 Social Club
*27 April- 7 May: Wasted – students from UCA Canterbury Kent use a diverse range of time-based, moving image and print-based formats to respond to the notion of dispossession and other themes found in The Waste Land.

*21 -22 April: Nothing from Nothing – inspired by the extensive revisions, suggestions and edits made by Ezra Pound to Eliot’s manuscript of The Waste Land, this fleeting, collaborative residency in Margate will examine editing as a creative process.

Tom Thumb Theatre
*27 April: Back to The Jazz Age – an immersive cabaret evening dedicated to T.S. Eliot and the songs and sounds of the jazz and dance halls of Paris following the Great War.
*4 & 5 May: The Wasted Eliot Outtakes