Unlimited Poetry

Owen Lowery performs his poetry, and Poet in the City present great poetry in sign language.

Lowery reads from his acclaimed book of poetry Otherwise Unchanged

He is joined by Poet in the City, who take language to new limits with The Body Electric, an event bringing together poetry and sign.

Celebrated deaf actors Adam Barrett and Jean St Clair, with TV presenter Ashley Kendall, bring a fresh and surprising new light to classic poems, from Robert Frost to Rabindranath Tagore, by taking words off the page and performing them live in BSL.

These performances look at the act of translating poetry and celebrate the power of poetry through the universal tool of the body.

Otherwise Unchanged
The reading of Owen Lowery's first poetry collection is accompanied by visuals and images.

Owen Lowery is a former British judo champion who received a spinal injury in 1987, leaving him paralysed from the shoulders down and dependent on a ventilator to breathe. 

Written after leaving hospital, his poems span a great visual and emotional range, from intimate love lyrics and studies of life in recovery, to contemporary philosophical treatments linking war, suffering and the arts.

Owen and his wife Jayne read his poetry accompanied by specially commissioned visuals by artist Sam Skinner; a palimpsest of original photography, mixed media and illustration. Composer Simon Jones manipulates Elgar's cello concerto into a richly textured contemporary score. The show also features work by Dame Paula Rego as part of a collaborative project to mark the artist's 80th birthday.
The Otherwise Unchanged live show is produced by Nathan Jones, an artist and curator specializing in new approaches to literature. Supported by Unlimited; celebrating the work of disabled artists, using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England and Creative Scotland.

Owen Lowery's reading is an Unlimited commission


‘a remarkable collection, combining technical poise and an expansive intellectual range’
The Guardian

Booking & event information



Book by phone: 0844 847 9910

Book by fax: 020 7921 0607

Email the Box Office: [email protected]


Level 5 Function Room,, Royal Festival Hall


2 hours

Dates, accessibility & online booking

Event Images

A drawing of Owen in a brightly coloured field

A drawing of Owen in a brightly coloured field

See a larger image