• 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 (2020-2021)


    Anna Seidel, President

    Anna Seidel is a Dutch-German economist and writer, currently completing an MSt in Creative Writing at the University of Oxford alongside a career in finance working for a leading US-based investment firm.

    She previously read at the University of St.Gallen, Switzerland and Harvard University, graduating with a bachelor‘s degree in economics, business finance and philosophy. As a writer, she published a novella in the German-speaking markets while in high-school and successfully participated in National Short Story Competitions winning the A.E. Johann Literature Prize. Her poetic work has been published in Stanford University‘s Literature Journal Mantis, Stand, Brittle Star, Marble Poetry, Porridge, Inkwell and Frontier Poetry among others. While working in the field of finance and economics, she explored poetry as a powerful tool to navigate analytical challenges and support complex reasoning and aims to contribute this understanding of using poetry as a conceptual thinking tool to contemporary cultural debates.


    Please feel free to reach out via email or on our social media accounts to discuss any ideas, pitches and contributions to the OUPS.

    Maggie Wang, Vice President

    Maggie Wang is a second year studying history and economics at Pembroke College. Her poetry has appeared in K'in, Shards, the Literary Nest, Wend Poetry, and Not Very Quiet, among others.


    When not writing haphazard verse or tutorial essays, she enjoys playing the piano and exploring nature.


    Anna Roberts,

    Secretary and Social Media Manager

    Anna Roberts is a second year English student at Somerville College. She is a keen reader of poetry, and is the sort of person who loves Wuthering Heights. She started to enjoy writing poetry in her first year, and one of her poems was published in The Mays Anthology in 2020.


    Although most of her poetry stays very roughly drafted in a Word document, she is also interested in the intersection between poetry and visual art, and enjoys painting and illustrating her poems on paper.


    Lise Cazzoli, Treasurer

    Lise is a third year DPhil student in International Development. When she is not writing about hurricane survivors or pretending to save the world on Caribbean beaches, she can be found procrastinating at Blackwell’s Café with the excuse of “writing poetry”. She write poems in English as a second language, and paint evocative contemporary seascapes. Some of her work has been published in Oxford publications such as ASH and Pekes and Pollicles, and can be found here: https://www.instagram.com/lise.cazzoli/.


    As Treasurer, she is happy to discuss any funding issue you may have at lise.cazzoli@st-annes.ox.ac.uk.

    Eira Murphy, ASH Editor

    Eira Murphy is a second year English student at St Catherine’s College. She is a previous winner of the Foyle Young Poet of the Year Award and the Hippocrates Prize for Poetry and Medicine. She is also the Young Poet Laureate for Liverpool, and has been commissioned to write for WOWfest, the Michael Causer Foundation, The Liverpool Athenaeum, and recently collaborated on work which formed part of The Errant Muse exhibition at the Victoria Gallery. Eira was also invited to support Simon Armitage on his Laureate Library Tour.


    Eira enjoys thinking about the intersection between poetry and visual art, and is a fan of Wanda Coleman, Jorie Graham, and Pipilotti Rist.

    Dot Foster, ASH Editor

    Dot Foster is studying English at Wadham, where she co-founded the Wadham Poetry Collective last year as a way of bringing writers across the Oxford community together.

    She has just co-edited the group's first publication, Poetry in Practice and is also working as part of the Cuntry Living team this year. Dot has performed her poetry at Shambala Festival 2018 and has also read at several Oxford venues such as Freud. Her first short play, Sisyphus, won the OUDS New Writing Festival 2020.


    In her spare time she writes songs for her band and enjoys collaging and photography, which she incorporates into short films that explore the connection between poetry and the visual arts.

    Byrne Gerry, Events Coordinator

    Gerry Byrne is a psychoanalytic child psychotherapist who has worked for over 34 years in the NHS, and now commencing a part-time DPhil in Social Policy and Intervention at the University of Oxford. He first studied Celtic Languages and Literature at UCD, Dublin before moving to England to pursue his career as a psychiatric nurse and psychotherapist. He has a life-long interest in poetry and literature and has run conferences and conversations bringing together people from the worlds of literature, art and psychotherapy/psychoanalysis. He is particularly interested in the role and power of metaphor in word and image to represent the human experience in ways that can lead to understanding and transformation.


    He is author of a children’s picture book, All at Sea, published by Walker Books about a little boy who has bad dreams following the arrival of a new baby, and has published translations of the Irish poet Sean Ó Ríordáin in Modern Poetry in Translation.

  • 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: