• 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.

  • ASH

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

    ASH Hilary '19

    Buy this term's issue of ASH, OUPS's termly magazine! This term featuring Jane Griffiths and Grażyna Wojcieszko alongside student poets.

    Edited by Alex Matraxia and Sammy Moriarty.

    (past editions are also available through the drop down menu)
    Coming soon
  • Michaelmas 2019 Termcard

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

    Adelaide Ivánova Reading

    Friday 18th October (1st Week), 4pm, Maplethorpe Seminar Room, St Hugh's College

    Adelaide Ivánova was born in Recife, Brazil in 1982. A poet, journalist, photographer, activist and performance artist, she currently lives between Berlin and Cologne. She is the author of the collections 13 Nudes and o martelo (the hammer), a visceral tour de force, which was awarded the 2018 Rio de Janeiro Literature Prize for Poetry. Adelaide’s work has been featured in several anthologies and has been translated into German, Galician, Greek, Spanish and Italian. She curates the anarcho-feminist zine of queer and erotic poetry #MAISPORNÔ,PFVR! (#MOREPORN,PLS!), and is a co-founder of the feminist collective RESPEITA! (RESPECT!), a coalition of Brazilian female poets.


    She will be reading with her translator, Francisco Vilhena.


    Francisco Vilhena, is a literary translator, an assistant editor at Granta magazine and a member of the Poetry Translation Centre advisory board. He was the bridge-translator for Ivánova's collection. He writes short essays and translates from the Portuguese; his work can be found in Modern Poetry in Translation, clinic, Wasafiri, Brooklyn Rail, Granta and elsewhere.

    Poetry Workshop

    Thursday, 24th October (2nd week), 7pm, Graves Room, St John's College

    Join our workshop coordinator, Natalie, for the first workshop of term! This workshop will explore postcard and letter-writing alongside postal censorship with the help of some poetic and non-poetic examples! Confess your deepest desires, address Shakespeare or your dog, censor yourself and get feedback on any poems you send in! This will be a great way to experiment with form and style whether you have never written before or are just looking to try something new.


    Please send poems you would like feedback on to natalie.perman@sjc.ox.ac.uk

    OUPS X The Isis X Common Ground

    Poetry Night

    Wednesday 30th October (3rd week), 7.30pm, Common Ground Cafe


    The Isis’ poetry night is back, in partnership with Oxford University Poetry Society and Common Ground.


    Join us at Common Ground Cafe, Oxford, for a night of spoken word and political poetry written and performed by Suhaiymah Manzoor-Khan, Simran Uppal, Phoebe Stuckes and Theophina Gabriel.


    The city of Oxford has long been a hub for the best, brightest, and most groundbreaking members of the poetry world. The legacy of many of these poets is bound to the magazines and movements that existed while they studied here, and that hasn’t changed.


    Since its inception in 1892, The Isis has sought to platform student work that deserves wider recognition. The Oxford University Poetry Society has done the same since 1946, and Common Ground has a proud history of disrupting the Academy when it needs to be shaken up, whether in protest, performance, or both. Our joint poetry night this term will be filled with verses concerning sexuality in the subcontinent, the British government’s Prevent policy, and the Windrush scandal, platforming voices that deserve to be heard - voices that gift us new perspectives on old narratives, and use language in a way that leaves us breathless.


    Space at the venue is limited so get you tickets while you can. Refreshments will be included and copies of The Isis, ASH, and some of the poets’ publications will be available to buy on the night. All are welcome.

    How to Make a Living As a Poet

    Wednesday 6th November, 6:30pm, Lecture Room 2, Christ Church College

    Get some answers! Join Mary Jean Chan and Rachael Allen in a panel chaired by the Society of Authors, as they discuss how it’s possible to make a living from poetry and poetry-related activities.


    Mary Jean Chan (b. 1990) was born and raised in Hong Kong. She is the author of A Hurry of English (ignition, 2017), a Poetry Book Society Pamphlet Choice, and Flèche (Faber, 2019), her debut full-length collection, which is a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. She won second prize in the 2017 National Poetry Competition, and has been shortlisted in the Forward Prize Best Single Poem category twice. She is also a former winner of The Poetry Society’s Anne Born Prize. A Lecturer in Creative Writing (Poetry) at Oxford Brookes University, she lives in London.


    Rachael Allen was born in Cornwall and studied English Literature at Goldsmiths College. A pamphlet of her poems was published as part of the Faber New Poets scheme, and her first collection is Kingdomland (Faber, 2019). She is the poetry editor for Granta magazine and coeditor of the poetry anthology series Clinic and the online journal Tender. She is the recipient of an Eric Gregory award and New Writing North’s Andrew Waterhouse award.


    Entry is free, but we highly recommend a £3 donation.

    What We Should Have Said

    Thursday 14th November (5th week), 7:30pm, 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!

    The Ash Launch Party

    Wednesday 20th November (6th Week), 7:30pm, Freud's (119 Walton Street in Jericho)

    Join us for poems, music, and drinks at Freud’s! There will be copies of The Ash, our termly poetry pamphlet, to buy, and you’ll be able to hear contributors and last year’s Martin Starkie prizewinners read.

    OUPS X Florio Poetry Workshop

    Sunday 1st December (7th Week), 8pm, Lecture Room A, Magdalen College

    The Florio Society is Magdalen College's poetry society, which meets to appreciate its members’ own poems: the traditional form of the meeting invites anonymous contributions on a set theme and/or subject. These are duplicated, circulated at the meeting and read aloud. Critical discussion follows.


    OUPS will be hosting a joint workshop, opening up Florio's final meeting of term to other members of the university, and the public; we will follow Florio's usual format, and there will be snacks!


    Please email anonymous submissions (with no details appearing on the document) to Iona Rangeley-Wilson before noon on Sunday 1st December: iona.rangeley-wilson@magd.ox.ac.uk

    The Ash, MT 2019

    The Ash is now closed for submissions.


    Please visit our Facebook page/website next term to enter your verse into our HT20 publication.

  • 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: