• Oxford University Poetry Society

    The Oxford University Poetry Society aims to be the centre of poetic life within the University of Oxford. Established in 1946, OUPS is one of the oldest and most active student poetry societies in the UK, making Oxford a wonderful place for aspiring poets and poetry lovers.


    2019-2020 is a big year for us. In previous years we have welcomed the likes of Sarah Howe, Don Paterson, Bernard O'Donoghue, Michael Longley, Alice Oswald, Andrew McMillan, Jack Underwood, Kei Miller and Vahni Capildeo, and the coming three terms are looking to be just as exciting - our term card will be coming soon! We have workshops and reading groups, socials and group trips, poetry readings and open-mics, competitions, and collaborations with other societies in Oxford. We're very welcoming, so come along to as many events as you can!


    Make sure you sign up to our mailing list, and contact us if you have any questions; our email addresses are all below.

  • The Ash

    The Ash Hilary '19 is still available to order to Oxford college addresses.

    ASH Trinity '19
    ASH Trinity '19
    Coming soon
    The Ash Hilary 2020
    The Ash Hilary 2020
    On hiatus due to term being suspended, but we will deliver next term!
    Coming soon
    The Ash Michaelmas 2019
    The Ash Michaelmas 2019
    Coming soon
    ASH Michaelmas '18
    ASH Michaelmas '18

    ASH HT '19 has unfortunately sold out.
    Edited by Alex Matraxia and Sammy Moriarty.
    Coming soon
  • Hilary 2020 Termcard

    Sign up to our mailing list for further additions. All events are open to the public.

    What We Should Have Said

    Friday 7th February (3th week), 8pm, T.S. Eliot Theatre, Merton College

    'What We Should Have Said' is a unique touring performance event staging interconnected poetry and music.

    Actor and performance artist Stuart Silver (known to many of you from The Double, The Mighty Boosh, and Garth Marenghi's Darkplace) leads the troupe, with guest poets Lorraine Marriner, Rachel Long, Stuart Silver, Richard Douglas Pennant and with Peter Foggitt on piano.


    **Please note: the T.S. Eliot Theatre is at the far end of Merton, so do allow plenty of time to get there (the venue is on the ground floor, but there are a couple of steps up and down on the way from the lodge). If you are unsure of the way, please be at the Merton lodge (situated on Merton Street) no later than 7:55pm, and a committee member will escort you to the theatre. Approx. 50 mins duration.


    Free entry, but a £2 donation is suggested as we are a student run society on a tight budget!

    Maria Teresa Horta​ Reading

    Thursday 13th February (4th Week), 5pm, Room 2, Taylorian Institute

    Point of Honour is a landmark anthology of Portuguese poetry, the first of its kind in English. This definitive, dual-language collection comprises translations of 80- plus poems by Maria Teresa Horta, one of the most revered writers of modern Portugal. It provides selections from each of her volumes of poetry published over a writing career that spans six decades.


    Maria Teresa Horta’s work is powerful, political, and erotically charged, with an intensity of sensual imagination and an often rapturous use of imagery. For over sixty years she has been an actively subversive writer, defying literary as well as social convention.


    The work will be read by her translator, Lesley Saunders, and the critic Ana Raquel Fernandes.

    OUPS X Oxford University English Society Open Mic

    (5th Week) date/time/location tbc

    OUPS X Merton Poetry Soc X UNWomen:

    Feminism and Fizz

    Thursday 27th February (6th Week), 7.30pm, Merton College JCR

    A special iteration of UNWomen's Feminism and Fizz! Poetry-enthusiasts of all genders are welcome to attend and enjoy unlimited(ish) prosecco, female* power and verse!


    We'll be having Laura Scott and Jennifer Wong give relaxed poetry readings, plus there'll be the chance to sign up for an open mic.


    If you would like to read at the open mic, please email oxforduniversitypoetrysociety@gmail.com.


    Entry is £3, free for Merton students.


    Laura Scott was born in London and now lives in Norwich. Her pamphlet, What I Saw, won the Michael Marks Prize in 2014, and in 2015 she won the Geoffrey Dearmer Prize. Her poems have appeared in various magazines including PN Review, Oxford Poetry and Poetry Review, and a selection of her work was featured in Carcanet’s New Poetries VII in 2018. Her collection, So Many Rooms, is published by Carcanet and was

    the Guardian poetry book of the month.


    Jennifer Wong is a writer and translator. She is the author of two collections including Goldfish (Chameleon Press 2013) and a pamphlet, Diary of a Miu Miu Salesgirl (Bitter Melon Poetry 2019). Her works have appeared in World Literature Today, The Rialto, Magma Poetry, The North, Oxford Poetry, Prairie Schooner, Cha, Voice & Verse, Stand and others. Her translation has featured in Poetry Review, Modern Poetry in Translation and Pathlight. Her new collection, 回家 Letters Home, is forthcoming from Nine Arches Press in late February 2020.


    The Ash Launch Readings

    Friday 6th March (7th Week), 7:30pm, Wadham Room, King's Arms

    Join us for poems, and drinks at the King's Arms! There will be copies of The Ash, our termly poetry pamphlet, to buy, and there will be readings from our contributors.

    Poetry Workshop with Rachel Long

    Friday 13th March (8th Week), 5pm, location tbc

    Rachel Long will be leading a poetry workshop with us, as part of Christ Church Arts Week! No need to send poems in advance -- just turn up and write!


    Rachel Long is a poet and leader of Octavia – Poetry Collective for Women of Colour, which is housed at Southbank Centre, London. She was shortlisted for Young Poet Laureate for London in 2014, and awarded a Jerwood/Arvon Foundation mentorship in 2015. She is Assistant Tutor on the Barbican Young Poets programme 2015-present.

    The Ash, HT 2020

    The Ash is now open for submissions!

    Please email your poem(s) attached in a Word document to OxfordUniversityPoetrySociety@gmail.com, with ASH SUBMISSION in the subject line. Include the title(s) of your poem(s) in the body of the email, as well as a short biography (no more than 75 words in third person) in case your poetry is selected.
    Poems should be your own work and in English. Pieces in English that weave other languages are welcome.

    Please submit a maximum of 100 lines in total: this could take the form of 3 shorter poems or one or two long ones.

    The deadline for submissions will be midnight on the 2nd of February.

  • A Brief History of Oxford Poetry

    It’s difficult to walk around Oxford without thinking about all the iconic writers who once walked its streets as students: John Donne and Philip Sidney, Shelley and Oscar Wilde, Hopkins and Arnold, Betjeman and Larkin, Auden and Eliot, Graves and Wendy Cope, and, more recently, Alice Oswald and Michael Symmons Roberts. Oxford has always inspired poetry and pushed poetry forward, and OUPS hopes to be a space in which the same can happen today.


    OUPS itself has a long history, dating back to 1946, when it was founded by Martin Starkie. Its past presidents have included Caroline Bird and Vidyan Ravinthiran. We have a long tradition of hosting acclaimed writers, such as Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas and, more recently, Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra, Alice Oswald, Andrew Motion and many others. Another Oxford tradition going back to 1708 is the Professorship of Poetry, currently held by Simon Armitage. In the past it has included WH Auden, Robert Graves, Matthew Arnold, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill. There are many practising poets teaching at Oxford University, too, such as Bernard O Donoghue, Peter McDonald, Jane Griffiths and Jane Draycott.

  • Committee (2019-2020)


    Annie Fan, President

    Hello! I'm Annie (she/they), a second-year law student at St Hugh’s College. As well as spending the year wallowing in my tort textbooks, I hope to bring you three packed and plentiful terms of poetry!


    My work has been broadcast by BBC Radio 3 and appears, or will appear, in PN ReviewPoetry London, and Ambit, among others. I was a prizewinner in Tower Poetry, twice, and was commended twice in Foyle Young Poets of the Year. I’ve also received Lancaster University’s prizes for both poetry and fiction, in addition to the Young Person’s Prize at Ledbury Poetry Festival and the Felix Dennis Award at Stratford Literary Festival. Currently, I’m also a shadow trustee at MPT Magazine (so please, please, please discuss poetry in translation with me!).


    Feel free to get in touch about anything poetry related – you can contact me via email (annie.fan@st-hughs.ox.ac.uk), or on twitter (@gnomic_aorist)

    Niuniu Zhao, Vice President


    Hi there! This is Niuniu, a second-year PPEist at New College. I’m not sure whether I live in coffee shops to write or write to live in coffee shops. Some of my writing is scattered around the internet, but I’d rather read yours than mine. When I’m not dealing with words, I’m probably trying out random dance styles, walking down foreign alleyways, or thinking about dessert. As your Vice President I help out with a bit of everything! Feel free to ask me any questions at yi.zhao@new.ox.ac.uk

    Alexander Haveron-Jones, Secretary and Social Media Manager

    I'm Alex, a second-year studying English at Somerville. Although I am always writing poetry, it is often somewhat private, something I share only with friends and fellow students - however, I have previously had some of my work published in Oxford publications such as The Isis and our very own ASH.

    Although I currently write much more prose than I do poetry, I anticipate all the wonderful events coming this academic year!


    As secretary and social media manager, I will be making sure that everyone is updated as to OUPS' events and opportunities, and look forward to contacting you all in our weekly mail-out.

    Feel free to contact me via email if you have any questions (alexander.haveronjones@some.ox.ac.uk)!

    Chinma Johnson-Nwosu, Treasurer


    Hello! I’m Chinma, a Second-Year English Student at Christ Church, a writer of some pretty cumbersome poetry, and this year’s OUPS Treasurer. When I’m not figuring out how to work with numbers as well as words, I can be found meditating on language and literature, somewhere on a yoga mat, or pretending I can talk to the moon. When it’s time to get back to earth, I’m more than happy to talk about funding, grants or any financial support you might need from the OUPS.

    As your Treasurer, I’m all about making sure that the beauty of poetry can be fully realised!

    Natalie Perman, Workshop Coordinator


    Hi poetry lovers! I’m Natalie, a second-year English and German student at St John’s. I’m a 2017 and 2018 winning and commended Foyle Young Poet and have won the Forward Student Critics’ Award as well as publication online with the Poetry Society such as as first-prize winner in the Civilisation and Its Discontents challenge on Young Poets Network. I have also appeared in various student publications, such as ASH(!), INSIGHT, Pekes and Pollicles, the Seven Voices Project and the 1555.


    Paul Celan said “The poem is lonely...lonely and en route” and as workshops coordinator I am here to help you chase down your lonely, soon-to-be born poems! Get in touch with me about anything poetry related on natalie.perman@sjc.ox.ac.uk or find me on Twitter @kafkaeatsbabka !


    Hannah Patient, ASH Editor


    Hi, I'm Hannah, one half of your illustrious ASH editorial team. I'm a third-year English student at Somerville who enjoys travelling, watching detective dramas and eating chips with mayonnaise. I'm the former Essex Young Poet of the Year and my work has appeared in publications including Blacklist Journal, The Purple Breakfast Review and The Oxford Review of Books. You can read some of my poems on my personal blog at www.theroguishapostrophe.wordpress.com.


    I'm really excited to read all your work - please feel free to email me if you have any questions at hannah.patient@some.ox.ac.uk. I also have a very new and underused Twitter account (@patient_hannah).

    Ivana Cholakova, ASH Editor


    Heya, I’m Ivana, the other half of the famous ASH editorial team. I’m a second-year German student at LMH whose interests include reading confusing foreign novels and binge watching anything on Netflix. Having been brought up trilingual, I love to look at the interaction of poetry in different languages. (Translations are thus warmly welcomed and encouraged!)


    I mostly write spoken word poetry which I share with my friends and the lucky people who attend OUPS’ Open Mic nights. If you would be interested performing and need that extra encouragement and advice you are always welcome to drop me an email! Poetry is meant to be heard and appreciated! I am excited to read all your beautiful, creative work. If you have any questions, please email me at ivana.cholakova@lmh.ox.ac.uk

    Flora de Falbe, Events Coordinator


    Flora is studying for an MSt in Creative Writing while working as a part-time bookseller. She has written poetry since her teens, when she was a two-time Foyle Young Poet, and was the Ledbury Festival Young Poet in Residence in 2016. She completed her undergraduate degree in English at Cambridge.

    Alex Beukers, Publishing Officer


    Alex Beukers is a second-year undergraduate studying English at Merton. She likes hiking but the idea of hiking more, and remains in a love-hate relationship with horror films. Her crowning achievement is a poem in which she re-imagined Sade's 'Smooth Operator' as a Shakespearean sonnet.


    Her work can be found in The Isis Magazine, Cherwell student newspaper, and the ‘Seven Voices’ blog.

  • Social Media

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  • Donors

    Supporting Oxford University Poetry Society

    Oxford University Poetry Society runs on the generosity of those who want to see poetry in Oxford thrive.

    Special thanks to those who have donated on our GoFundMe:


    Mary-Lucille Hindmarch

    Kate Paul

    Sandy Fraser

    Laura Lamont

    Lorraine Fraser-Leonard

    Andy Leonard

    Vahni Capildeo

    Jeremy Noel-Tod

    Rishi Dastidar

    Michael Donkor


    Donations can be made on our GoFundMe: