• The Oxford University Poetry Society

     

    The Oxford University Poetry Society, established in 1946, is one of the oldest and most active poetry societies in the UK. It aims to make Oxford a welcoming place for poetry lovers all, and nurture a vibrant hub of poetic life for them within the University of Oxford.

     

    In recent years, OUPS has hosted the likes of Sarah Howe, Don Paterson, Bernard O'Donoghue, Michael Longley, Alice Oswald, Andrew McMillan, Jack Underwood, Kei Miller, Vahni Capildeo, Mary Jean Chan or Jamie McKendrick. We organise workshops, socials, poetry readings, open-mics, competitions, and collaborate with other societies all year round, so please feel free to come along.

     

    If you wish to stay up-to-date on all things poetry in Oxford you can sign up to our mailing list, and get in touch via email or social media if you happen to have any questions.

  • Poetry in Oxford

     

    It is impossible to walk the ancient cobblestones of Oxford without thinking of all the writers who once tread upon them as students: from John Donne to Philip Sidney, Shelley, Wilde, Hopkins and Arnold, Betjeman and Larkin, Auden and Eliot, Graves and Wendy Cope, Alice Oswald or Michael Symmons Roberts. It seems the city has inspired the written word and reshaped poetic form for most of its existence. OUPS hopes to provide a space in which to continue the tradition and reinvent it for the times.

     

    The society itself has a long history. It was founded by Martin Starkie in 1946, and its past presidents have included Caroline Bird or Vidyan Ravinthiran. Over the years, it has hosted the likes of Ted Hughes, Dylan Thomas, Paul Muldoon, Daljit Nagra, Alice Oswald or Andrew Motion.

     

    Another Oxford tradition is the Professorship of Poetry, which reaches back to 1708 and is presently held by A.E. Stallings. The post has been occupied in the past by W.H. Auden, Robert Graves, Matthew Arnold, Paul Muldoon, Seamus Heaney, and Geoffrey Hill. There are also many practising poets teaching at Oxford University, such as Bernard O'Donoghue, Peter McDonald, Jane Griffiths, Hannah Sullivan or Jane Draycott.

  • The Committee

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    Hebe Yu

    Co-President (Undergraduates)

     

    Hebe is a third year studying English at Christ Church. She’s interested in reading poetry with innovative poetic form, but finds the process of actually writing it rather daunting.

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    Hermán Luis Chavez

    Co-President (Masters)

     

    Hermán Luis Chávez is a postgraduate studying for the MSt in Modern Languages (Spanish). They have served as Managing Editor of Cicada Creative Magazine and Spiritus Mundi: A Collective Memory, and have taught at the Lighthouse Writers Workshop and at the University of California at Los Angeles. Their poetry can be found in Tinderbox Poetry Journal, Barely South Review, and Greyrock Review, among others. In 2020, a collection of their poems won the Second Prize in Poetry from the English Department at Colorado State University. Beyond poetry, they enjoy experiencing music, food, and magic with loved ones. You can often find them musing about gender or wandering about Oxford, trying to look like a mysterious flaneur (though they're most likely giving lost puppy).

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    Olivier Yasar de France

    Co-President (DPhil)

     

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    Matilda Kennedy

    Events Coordinator

     

    Matilda Kennedy is a 2nd year at Somerville studying Classics and Italian. She likes playing chess and football. Her favourite poets are Charles Bukowksi, Savannah Brown, Thom Yorke and Ovid. She enjoys writing about womanhood and cats. She self identifies as a creep and a weirdo and often wonders what the hell she is doing here.

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    Francesco Cipriani

    Events Coordinator

     

    Francesco is a postgraduate student doing an MSt in Greek and/or Latin Languages and Literature at Jesus College. Originally Italian from Verona, Francesco moved to England in 2013. A published poet, he is also a huge football fan, playing for the Oxford University first team of which he is vice-captain.

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    Alice Brooker

    Treasurer, ASH Editor

     

    Alice is a rusticated English Literature undergraduate. Her work has been published with Artemesia Arts, Last Stanza Poetry Journal and the Young Poets Network. In 2023 she was short-listed for the Geoff Stevens Memorial Prize and won the Wildfire Words’ New Voices First Pamphlet Award. She primarily writes on the topics of mental health and nature, focusing on the poetic and personal essay forms. Alice is also a columnist and editor for The Oxford Blue, and when not writing can be found serving or drinking coffee! Her favorite poets are Andrew Motion and Emily Rose Galvin.

     

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    Eleanor Harvey

    ASH Editor

     

    Eleanor is a 3rd year English student at Somerville, occasional poet, and part-time American. When she's not slogging through the sixteen and seventeen hundreds, she is a scatterbrained reader. She often ends up returning to the same poems, over and over again (currently - Auden’s ‘First Things First,’ Heaney’s ‘Postscript,’ Thom Gunn’s ‘Autobiography’). She loves poetry in all its forms (quietly putting aside her burning hatred for acrostic and concrete poems) and can’t wait to experience everything Oxford’s poets have to offer!