• 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.


    2018-2019 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 hope you'll be involved - 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.

  • Michaelmas Termcard

    Sign up to our mailing list for further additions!

    Micheal O'Siadhail, Book Launch

    Friday 5th October (1st week) Regent's Park College, 4-5.30pm. Free entry.

    Drinks reception followed by a reading, in collaboration with Regent's Park College.


    Micheal O'Siadhail is an Irish poet whose career spans 40 years and who has represented Ireland internationally on a number of occasions. This event is the launch of his new book, Five Quintets.

    Shivanee Ramlochan, Reading

    Wednesday 10th October (1st week), Wadham College, 6-7pm. Free entry, donations welcome.


    We're incredibly excited to be kicking off the term with a reading by Shivanee Ramlochan.


    Shivanee Ramlochan has been shortlisted for Forward's Felix Dennis Prize for Best First Collection, for the incredibly compelling Everyone Knows I am a Haunting. Vahini Capildeo wrote that her poems are as 'Rich as a García Márquez novel... uncompromising conversations, intimacy wrestling survival.'


    A Trinadadian poet, Ramlochan is also an arts journalist, and is the deputy editor of The Caribbean Review of Books.

    Andrew McMillan: Contemporary Readers' Group

    Tuesday 15th October, 7pm, Seminar Room West, Mansfield College

    Oxford University Poetry Society is running a series of informal discussion groups, open to all, on themes in contemporary poetry. This week, we are delighted to welcome acclaimed poet Andrew McMillan, who will be discussing the place of poetry in the fitness-room, both in his poems and those of others.

    Author of poems such as 'the men are weeping in the gym' and 'things said in the changing room,' McMillan's poetry offers searching explorations of the body, masculinity and sexuality, often poignant and funny in equal measure. Together, we will be thinking about poems which have looked at exercise and the gym. We will also ask: how might poetry formally reflect (or not) the physical exertion it describes?


    What We Should Have Said

    Friday 19th October (2nd Week), 8pm, TS Eliot Theatre, Merton College.

    After the immense success of last year's events, we are delighted to be hosting Stuart Silver and another round of poets and musicians for the jazz/poetry mashup night, What We Should Have Said.


    'What We Should Have Said' is a truly unique touring performance event putting interconnected poetry to music.


    Luke Allan

    Monday 22nd October (3rd Week), Time and Location TBC.

    Luke Allan is a literary editor based in Oxford and will be discussing poetry publication. He is the Director of Sine Wave Peak and co-editor of the poetry journals Quait and Pain. He is the former Managing editor at Carcanet Press and PN Review.

    Kirsten Norrie: Publishing Talk and Reading

    Thursday 15th November (6th Week), 7pm, Wadham Room, Kings Arms.

    MacGillivray is published by Bloodaxe in the UK and Red Hen, Los Angeles in the US. Her third collection 'A Crisis of Dream', forthcoming from Bloodaxe Spring 2019, is a trilogy comprising a Dantesque Gaelic tree alphabet 'The Gaelic Garden of the Dead', the relationship between optics and the paranormal 'A History of Ghost and 35 sonnets and chewed up sonnets to Mary Queen of Scots - one for each step she descended to execution then ground up for the fifteen minutes her lips moved after decapitation - 'In My End is My Beginning'. She is also the founder of the Oxford Poetry School.

    Kirsten is a fascinating writer and individual and her reading and publishing discussion are not to be missed



    Date TBC.


    Working on some poems? In need of some friendly advice? Oxford University Poetry Society is hosting a relaxed workshop and feedback session. Bring your poetry, or just come along and get some writing inspiration.


    Open Mic Night

    Tuesday 30th October (4th Week), 8pm, Common Ground.

    Our termly Open-Mic Night in collaboration with Oxford Writers House and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre. This term with special guest reading from Joel Carrick-Varty.

    Keble Meet The Poets: Vahni Capildeo

    Tuesday 6th November (5th Week), Keble College.


    Forward Prize winning Vahni Capildeo will be reading at this term's Meet the Poets.


    Vahni Capildeo’s multilingual, cross-genre writing is grounded in time experienced through place. Her DPhil in Old Norse literature and translation theory, her travels, and her Indian diaspora/Caribbean background deepen the voices in the landscapes that inspire her. Her poetry (six books and four pamphlets) includes Measures of Expatriation, awarded the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2016. She has worked in academia; in culture for development, with Commonwealth Writers; and as an Oxford English Dictionary lexicographer. Capildeo held the Judith E. Wilson Poetry Fellowship and the Harper-Wood Studentship at Cambridge. She is currently a Douglas Caster Cultural Fellow at the University of Leeds.

    Mark Ford: Contemporary Reader's Group

    Tuesday 13th November (6th Week), 7pm, location TBC.

    Oxford University Poetry Society is running a series of informal discussion groups, open to all, on themes in contemporary poetry.


    Mark Ford was born in Nairobi, Kenya, and earned both his BA and DPhil from the University of Oxford. He is a poet, translator, critic and teacher.


    Ann Drysdale

    Thursday 22nd November (7th week), Time and Location TBC.

    Ann Drysdale is a British poet and editor. She was born near Manchester, raised in London, married in Birmingham, ran a smallholding, brought up three children on the North York Moors, and now lives in South Wales. She was a journalist for many years, writing, among other things, the longest-running byline column in the Yorkshire Evening Post, which she later made into a series of books. Her recent publications have included two memoirs, Three-three, Two-two, Five-six and Discussing Wittgenstein, both from Cinnamon Press, and a quirky guidebook in the Real Wales series, Real Newport, from Seren. A fifth poetry collection, Quaintness and Other Offences, was recently published by Cinnamon Press.

    Ash Michaelmas

    Ash Michaelmas submissions to be opened soon! A launch will be held in 7th week.



  • 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 (2018-2019)

    (we're still under construction at the moment!)

    Maya Little, President

    Hello, I’m Maya (a second year English student at Mansfield College). I’m hoping to be able to bring as many people into contact with poetry as possible this year, or at the very least, to spend the whole year talking about poetry. I’m a poet and occasional theatre director, and I’ve had my work published in Ash (OUPS’ very own publication), RISE, and on The Young Poets Network. I’ve also been shortlisted for the Martin Starkie Prize, commended in Foyle’s Young Poets of the Year, and won the Trinity Gould Essay Prize.


    Please feel free to get in touch about anything poetry related – you can contact me via email (maya.little@mansfield.ox.ac.uk), or on twitter (@oddimaginer)

    Tilly Alexander, Vice President


    I’m a third year English student at Lady Margaret Hall (currently researching my dissertation on Emily Dickinson!). I’ve previously been shortlisted for the Keats-Shelley Young Romantics Prize and the Bridport Prize, highly commended in the T.S. Eliot Shadowing Scheme, and published in Ash. I’m very excited to get much more involved in the Oxford University poetry community this year, and to be able to talk to other poets/anyone interested in poetry!


    Workshop Coordinator


    Position open! Email maya.little@mansfield.ox.ac.uk if you're interested.

    Nicholas Stone, Publishing Officer

    Nicholas Stone is a Classicist at Christ Church. As Publishing Officer he organises events and resources to help poets who want to publish their work. He has had poems in the Spectator, New Statesman, Oldie and the Vates Anthology, and has been kindly appraised in Quadrant. In 2018 he was awarded Proxime Accessit in the Chancellor’s Latin Verse Prize. He is Satire Editor of the Oxford Student. He can be contacted at Nicholas [DOT] Stone [AT] chch.ox.ac.uk



    Jack Sagar, Secretary




    Alex Matraxia & Samuel Moriarty, Ash Editors


    Ash is OUPS' termly publication. Past editions have seen poets such as Simon Armitage and Vahini Capildeo contribute poems, alongside student submissions.

  • Donors

    Supporting Oxford University Poetry Society

    Oxford University Poetry Society keeps going off the back of the generosity of those who want to see us thrive. Those who donate on our GoFundMe are listed below as thanks; you can donate too, here: https://www.gofundme.com/oxforduniversitypoetrysociety


    Mary-Lucille Hindmarch

    Kate Paul

    Sandy Fraser

    Laura Lamont

    Lorraine Fraser-Leonard

    Andy Leonard

    Vahni Capildeo

    Jeremy Noel-Tod

    Rishi Dastidar

    Michael Donkor

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