• 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.


    2021-2022 is going to be an exciting 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. With things resuming, we are gearing up to have a great, poetry filled year! We have workshops, socials, poetry readings and open-mics, competitions, and collaborations with other societies in the works, 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!

  • The Ash

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

  • Hilary 2021 Termcard

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

    Considering Science Through Poetry: An Evening with Zoë Hitzig

    Thursday 28th January (2nd week), 7pm

    Join us for an insight into the intersection between poetry and economics with Zoë Hitzig, Harvard Economics PhD candidate and author of Mezzanine (Ecco, 2020).

    We will be talking about the ways in which poetry can contribute to the scientific world: can poetry help us to understand scientific problems where rational thought falls short?

    Featuring readings of Zoë's poetry.

    OUPS x CUPPS Workshop : 'Seed'

    Tuesday February 9th (4th week), 7pm

    On Tuesday, 9 February (4th week) at 7pm, OUPS will host a joint reading-workshop with the Cambridge University Poetry and Prose Society. Submit your poems on the theme of "seed" by Saturday, 6 February, then come along to read and discuss with other poets from Oxford and Cambridge. Sign-up link to follow soon.

    More events to be announced soon.



  • 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 Alice Oswald. 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 (2021-2022)


    Katie Kirkpatrick, President

    Katie Kirkpatrick is a second year studying French at St Edmund Hall. In 2019, she won the youth category of the BBC Proms Poetry Competition, and she has also been three-times winner or runner up in the Forward Creative Critics Prize.


    A commended Foyle Young Poet, her work has been published in Modern Poetry in Translation, perhappened mag, and more. In Oxford, she has edited poetry for Cherwell, The Isis Magazine, and the Oxford Review of Books, as well as having her writing published in the Isis and the ASH. A short play she co-wrote won Best New Writing in the 2021 OUDS Drama Cuppers competition, and she was also a winner of the OUDS New Writing Festival.


    In her spare time, she writes theatre reviews, watches a lot of teen movies, and spends too much money on iced coffee.


    Please feel free to reach out via email (oxforduniversitypoetrysociety@gmail.com) or our socials to discuss any ideas, pitches and contributions to the OUPS.

    Isla Chaplin, Vice President

    Isla is a fourth year History and German student at Wadham College. She was a 2017 Commended Foyle Young Poet and the joint winner of the 2018 Martin Starkie Prize.


    Her favourite poets include Liz Berry, Ocean Vuong and Philip Larkin, though realistically she's more likely to be on Netflix than in the library.


    Chloe Tong,

    Secretary and Social Media Manager

    Chloe is a third year studying Classics at Wadham College. She is fascinated with the evolution of poetry, and how old texts are received by the modern reader. Her spoken poem was shortlisted by the Cambridge Ancient World Video Competition in 2017, and one of her poems will be featured in the coming KongPoWriMo Anthology.


    When she isn’t stressing over her next essay, she can be found listening to true crime podcasts or making candles.

    Lucie Briscoe, Treasurer

    Lucie is a third year student in Persian Studies at Wadham College. She is interested in the permeability of poetry across languages, and remembers the French Romantics being her first memorable exposure - Rimbaud's 'Ma Bohême' is still her favourite poem.


    She loves writing and reading poetry, and sees her work as very personal. Poetry is a numinous medium for her, and she is exploring it as a method of divination and manifestation.


    She spends her free time listening to dub music and drawing other-worldly characters.


    As Treasurer, she is happy to discuss any funding issue you may have at lucie.briscoe@wadham.ox.ac.uk.

    Heather Glover, ASH Editor

    Heather is a third year English student at Worcester College. She’s a previous winner of the Royal Society of Literature’s youth poetry prize, and has had her poetry performed as part of BBC Radio 3s Words and Music programme.


    The relationship between literature and the visual arts is of particular interest to her, with her academic work focusing particularly on the Pre-Raphaelites. When she isn’t working, Heather loves visiting art galleries, playing sport, cooking, and drinking wine with friends.

    Ellie-Jai Williams, ASH Editor

    Ellie-Jai is a third year English student at Worcester College. Her poetry has appeared in Cherwell, Hyacinth and Eponym Magazine, among others.


    Ellie has a long-term interest in psychoanalysis and intends to pursue a career as a psychoanalyst after graduating. As such, she is fascinated by the similarities literature and psychoanalysis share in their aim to give language and meaning to the unsaid. Her poetry reflects this interest by exploring themes such as identity, childhood, trauma, sexuality and dreams.


    When not writing poetry or trying to make a last minute deadline, Ellie can be found enjoying a glass of red wine, travelling or cooking for her friends.

    Dineo Mya Serame, Events Coordinator

    Dineo Mya Serame is a 2019 Rhodes Scholar currently reading for her DPhil in Biomedical engineering. She is a performance poet and has contributed to publications in Kalahari Review, Button Poetry and Odd magazine. She is also a survivor of bipolar disorder and that has driven her towards mental health activism, using different platforms like her TEDx talk titled ‘Crazy Woman’ to raise awareness on mental health.

  • 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: