Around and About

5th WOODSTOCK POETRY FESTIVAL – Friday to Sunday 11 – 13 November 2016

Tickets and information: 01993 812760. Festival ticket giving entry to all events – £60
Children & students half price. Tea and cakes are included in the price of all afternoon events

Most readings are held upstairs in Woodstock Town Hall. Events marked * are held in St Mary Magdalene Church


Friday 11 November
*6.30pm Liz Lochhead, former Makar (National poet) of Scotland, reads from Fugitive Colours. £10

*8.30pm Alice Oswald reads from Falling Awake and recent work. Alice Oswald has been shortlisted for this year’s TS Eliot Prize. £10 (wine and sandwiches served between these readings)

Saturday 12 November
11am Free children’s event: John Foster ˜The Dinosaur Rap’, reading & activities with puppets in Woodstock Library for children aged 3-11. Tickets from the library.

1pm Oxford Stanza 2 – welcome return of this group of local poets in their new reading “The Space Between”, with Meg Barton, Jenny Hammond, Bill Jenkinson, Theo Kwek, Kathleen McPhilemy, Romola Parish, Lyn Thornton and Dorothy Yamamoto. £5

2.30pm Jenny Lewis leads an open mic session. £5

4pm See How I Land. Anthology edited by Carole Angier seven years ago, bringing together Oxford poets and exiled writers. Several contributors join us today, including Yousif Qasmiyeh, Palestinian poet and translator; Greg Leadbetter; Nigerian poet Afam Akeh, founding editor of African Writing, and Vahni Capildeo, whose Measures of Expatriation won this year’s Forward Prize. Vahni Capildeo has also been shortlisted for this year’s TS Eliot Prize… £8, includes a copy of See How I Land.

6pm Gillian Clarke, formerly National Poet of Wales, reads from her recently published Selected Poems and from her forthcoming book, Zoology. £8

*8.30pm Lemn Sissay, Chancellor of Manchester University and official poet of the 2012 Olympics, reading from his recent collection, Gold from the Stone. £10

Sunday 13 November
2.30pm Deryn Rees-Jones & Jamie McKendrick have both recently published their Selected Poems. Deryn’s previous work Burying the Wren was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize and she is Professor of Poetry at the University of Liverpool. Jamie McKendrick is a distinguished poet and translator from the Italian and ˜among the most interesting, surprising and distinctive poets of his generation’ (Sean O’Brien). £8

4pm Oxford Stanza – readings by members of this long established Oxford-based group including Simon Altmann, Caroline Ashley, John Elinger, Paulette Mae, David Olsen and Andrew Smardon. £5

6pm Carrie Etter, Penny Boxall & Jane Draycott. Penny Boxall recently won the Edwin Morgan Poetry Award for her first collection, Ship of the Line; Carrie Etter, an American poet living in England, is Reader in Creative Writing at Bath Spa University and has published three collections of poetry, most recently Imagined Sons; Jane Draycott’s previous collection, Over, was shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize. She teaches at Oxford and Lancaster and last appeared at the festival with her remarkable translation of Pearl. She will read from her latest book, The Occupant. £8

8.30pm Bernard O’Donoghue & Tom Paulin, with singer Mick Henry and guitarist Nick Hooper. Traditional Irish singing and music, with poems by Bernard O’Donoghue, including recent ones from The Seasons of Cullen Church (shortlisted for this year’s TS Eliot Prize), and readings of Yeats and his own work by Tom Paulin. Woodstock Social Club – drinks available at the bar. £8




SciPo 2016, 11 am – 4.30pm, on Saturday 11th June, at St Hilda’s College

With poets Tony Curtis, Samir Guglani, Lesley Saunders and Sarah Watkinson, introduced by Jenny Lewis of the Poet’s House, Oxford. A day of poetry and reflection on the relationship between poetry and science. Tickets: £35 to include a sandwich lunch. Book at Eventbrite here

On Saturday 7th May at 7.30pm, Lucy Ingram will be reading with Stav Poleg, Rosie Sheppard and Liane Strauss in the Large Common Room of Oriel College. Wine will be served. Voluntary contributions to the Oxford Food Bank, please.

Launch of Wendy Klein’s new collection Mood Indigo with Wendy Klein, David Attwooll, Robin Thomas and Gina Wilson, at 7.30pm on Sunday 17th April at the Albion Beatnik Bookshop. £2 entry.

David Attwooll is reading with others at the Paris Lit Up Launch, 7.30pm, Thursday 24th March, at the Albion Beatnik. Free event.

Paris Lit Up is taking an elite team of volunteers to the fair shores of England to share our beautiful magazine n°3 with our neighbours. We’ll be hosting & performing around the country from March 21 – 27.  We’d like to invite as many people as possible to come and read/perform at our (free) launch nights. So, if you’re based near London, Oxford, Guildford or Bristol, please come along – or send a friend – to support the work we do, say hello, read your work, and pick up a copy of the magazine! ”

The Compass Dances

Michael Pickering has published his lifetime’s work, in “The Compass Dances, selected poetry 1955 – 2015″, Troubadour Publishing Matador, £10.99. This is indeed a book to be savoured, containing long and short poems, including “Cosmos” a dramatic meditation on the creation of the universe; poems in Italian and Finnish as well as in English; comic and elegiac poems; poems celebrating the very different powers of memory, place and love. You can order The Compass Dances at Matador, here, or at Blackwell’s, here

Reading with Philip Gross, Saturday 20th February at the Friends Meeting House, Oxford

Back Room Poets present a poetry reading featuring Philip Gross, with Paul Surman, Sarah Watkinson, Jenyth Worsley and Stephen Yeo: on Saturday 20th February at 7:00 pm, at the Friends Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford OX1 3LW. No charge for admission; a collection will be made for Oxford Friends Action on Poverty

“BIRMINGHAM’S WHAT I THINK WITH” –  Roy Fisher at 85: a celebration

Saturday 27 February, 2-4.30 pm, Oriel College, Oxford

Poets Tom Pickard and Peter Robinson will read and discuss the poetry of Roy Fisher, together with work of their own, in celebration of the poet’s 85th year. The event will include a rare screening of Pickard’s 1991 Roy Fisher documentary, Birmingham it’s what I think with.

Roy Fisher is a key figure in contemporary British Poetry and has been publishing prominently since the 1960s. A new collection called Slakki: New and Neglected Poems, ed. Peter Robinson, will be published by Bloodaxe later this year.

Leah Umansky and Penny Boxall Reading at the Albion Beatnik at 7.30pm on Monday 21st March. £2 on the door.Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre and The Albion Beatnik Bookshop present a reading by Leah Umansky and Penny Boxall

Oversteps Poets reading on Saturday 5thDecember, 7.00pm, at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore, Oxford. Featuring: Giles Goodland, Jane Spiro, Ross Cogan, Alwyn Marriage and John Daniel, with Joanna Seldon reading poems by Avril Bruton.

The Woodstock Poetry Festival 2015 will run from Friday to Sunday 13 – 15th November. For full details, go here.

‘Reflections on Humanity’, 3pm, Saturday 7th November, Christ Church Cathedral, Oxford

Poster email version‘Reflections on Humanity’ explores friendship and our common humanity through art installations and poetry.

On Saturday 7th November 3- 4pm, as part of Remembrance weekend, there will be a special, free, non-denominational event with poetry readings from some of the countries involved in the hostilities on both sides, organised by artist Diana Bell and Oxford Stanza Two, in collaboration with Christ Church Cathedral and the Oxford International LinksEveryone is welcome

Afterwards there will be tea and another reading at the Mayor’s Parlour, Oxford Town Hall, starting at about 4.30pm. Wouter Ydema, City Poet of Leiden, will be reading as will Kathleen McPhilemy, Dorothy Yamamoto, John Daniel, Jane Spiro, Simon Martin – back from Berlin for the weekend – and Carl Tomlinson.

Journeys in Time and Space, a poetry writing workshop with Dorothy Yamamoto and Sarah J Bryson from 10 am to 3:30pm, on Sunday 18 October 2015 at Kirtlington Village Hall, 1 South Green, Kirtlington OX5 3HJ. Come and join Dorothy and Sarah in the village hall, for a relaxed day full of writing exercises, writing time, sharing and discussion in a supportive group. The village hall is surrounded by playing fields and a country estate and there is plenty of parking. Tea, coffee and biscuits provided. Please bring a contribution for a sharing lunch. For enquiries and bookings please contact Dorothy on or 01865 247661. COST: £20 per person, pay on the day

illegitimate objects poets inviteFrom 2pm to 4pm on Saturday 17th October, at the Mathematical Institute, Oxford University, Andrew Wiles Building: Illegitimate Objects Poetry, with April Pierce, Dan Holloway, Daisy Johnson, Susie Campbell, Kiran Millwood Hargrave, Agnes Davis, Samir Guglani and Claire Trévien. Talk Sylvester’s Models by Professor Sam Howison. Exhibition open until 12th November at the Andrew Wiles Building, Woodstock Road, OX2 6GG. For more information go to



Four Corners Poetry Competition: Drinks – Poetry Reading – Book Launch: from 5.30pm, Tuesday 13th October, St Cross College

mimi_07_3Mimi Khalvati, Giles Goodland, and winners and commended poets in the 2015 Four Corners Poetry Competition will be reading in the Common Room, St Cross College, 61 St Giles, Oxford  OX1 3LZ on Tuesday 13th October. The event will open at 5.30pm, with readings starting at 6.00pm and finishing at 7.00pm. There is more information about the poets here. Copies of the anthology will be available to buy, and drinks and nibbles will be served. All are welcome – please tell Ella Bedrock if you are coming –

Harry Moseley: “…meteor of a summer night…” at 7.00pm, Thursday 8th October, National Poetry Day, Oxford Moseley poetry poster_smallMuseum of the History of Science Doors open at 6.30pm. This event is free: all welcome

cropped-main-ident-image-1024x7221.jpgOxford Stanza Two will present a programme of original poetry inspired by the “Dear Harry…”Special Exhibition at the Museum of the History of Science. The story of this young man, killed in action at Gallipoli at the age of twenty-seven, gripped us at once. In a career of barely forty months as an experimental physicist, often working alone throughout the night, he unpicked the structure of the elements and ordered the Periodic Table. He pioneered the world in which we live. Students from the Langley Academy will also be joining us to read their poems, following the very successful and enjoyable schools workshop held at the Museum and led by Lucinda.

At 7.30pm on Friday 2nd October, our good friends Giles Goodland and Alistair Noon will be launching their new book “Surveyors’ Riddles” – we have this on Giles’ authority and by recommendation from Berlin from our dear friend Adam Flint (now the father of a fine daughter – congratulations!) – the blurb reads:surveyorsriddles“We’re very excited to give you a date for your October diaries, with the launch of our latest Team-Up, “Surveyors’ Riddles”! On Fri 2 October at 7.30 pm, get thee to the Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton St, Oxford for a night of poetic chicanery and outright lies. The result of some serious formal (and informal) mischief by poets Giles Goodland and Alistair Noon, Surveyors’ Riddles is a sequence written in the classic ‘enigmenga’ form and translated out of the original tongue. At least, it might be. Frankly, the more you read of this devious title, the more you come to doubt any words its authors are saying. Expect layered, gneissic verses glittering with allusions to the contemporary, the historical and the alt-historical, and spot the tricks where you can.” Best of luck!


Sunday Un Evensong (No Singing): an evening of poems and music with Michael Swan, Sarianne Durie, Hannne Busck-Daniel Eltinger ReadingNielsen, and Rupert Ingrams, with Elizabeth Reed (violin) and Carol Lancaster (cello) at 7pm on Sunday 4th October at the Albion Beatnik. Entry: £4 Refreshments available. 01865 511345 or e-mail

Brittle Star at the Albion Beatnik at 7.30pm, Thursday 9th July – Entry £2 – Refreshments available

Help celebrate Brittle Star’s first Oxford reading at the Albion Beatnik bookstore with wonderful poetry and short fiction from Simon Collings, Jennie Carr,Ian McEwan, Karen Leeder, Mike Loveday, Lucy Anderson and Kate Venables

EKPHRASIS at the Ashmolean, 2pm, Saturday 27th June.

This Saturday, 27th June, at 2pm will see the second of Jalina Mhyana’s EKPHRASIS poetry readings at the Ashmolean, on the theme of “language is the only homeland” – Czeslaw Milosz. Oxfordshire poets Sarianne Durie, Laura Guthrie, Tony-Vincent Isaacs, Bill Jenkinson, Megan Kerr, Nina Kossman, Louise Larchbourne and Jennifer McGowan will be reading.

Emma Press Anthology of Dance, which includes  Margot Myers amongst contributors, launches today 14th May at the Love and Scandal coffee shop, 107 Lower Marsh, Waterloo, SE1 7AB. You can order your own copy of the anthology from the Emma Press, at

David Attwooll will be launching “The Sound Ladder”, his first collection, in Oxford at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore at 6pm on Sunday 3rd May. Peter Robinson will also be reading from his new collection “Buried Music” (Shearsman) and there will be jazz piano from the brilliant Frank Harrison.

“Spring Poems” with Oxford Stanza 2 at 7.30pm, Wednesday 25th March, at the Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street, Oxford, OX2 6AA. Tickets: £5. Refreshments will be available for purchase in the interval.

DSCN2205 (2)

This will be the twenty-fifth day of Meteorological Spring – but only the fifth since the Spring Equinox on March 20th! Whichever way you reckon it, Spring is still fresh. So, seven of us will be reading in honour of the new season: Steven Bliss, Sarah Bryson, Yvonne Eller, Jenny Hammond, Bill Jenkinson, Kathleen McPhilemy & Hilda Reed.  In the first part of the show, we will be presenting poems from our own personal anthologies – on a range of subjects.  After the interval, we will be reading Spring Poems: a chain of poems celebrating the new season, its explosion of light, warmth and life, offsetting the harsh darkness & memories of winter. We hope to see you there!

Photo: Sarah Bryson

Nick Owen and Jalina Mhyana with “Endings and Beginnings” at the Ashmolean Museum, Saturday 21st March.

Nick Owen, founder of “Poetry and Pictures at the Museum” and Jalina Mhyana will be co-hosting a reading with the theme “Endings and Beginnings” at the Ashmolean Museum. This will be Nick’s final reading of the series before Jalina takes over: her first reading will be on 25th April.

“Hear the Word” at the Gardener’s Arms, 39 Plantation Road, Jericho, OX2 6JE, 8pm, Monday 16th March

On 16th March there will be the next session of “Hear the Word” at the Gardener’s Arms. Come and join in with your poetry, stories and your listening ears. Wednesday Wolves are playing.

Xogara, Helen Mort, Alan Buckley and the Anglo-Cymraeg-Galego Band, 7.30pm, Friday 13th March

Xogara, Helen Mort, Alan Buckley: poetry with the Anglo-Cymraeg-Galego four-piece band, 7.30pm, Friday 13th March, Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AU. £6

Kei Miller – Poetry Reading, Oxford University Poetry Society, Wednesday 11th March 7.30pm, Albion Beatnik

Award-winning poet Kei Miller, reading some of his beautiful work. Everyone welcome. Wed 11th March 7.30pm £5 (£2 for Backroom Poets members) Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street, Oxford OX2 6AU.
Inspired by Blake, The William Blake Festival, Oxford, 18-31 January 2015 To coincide with the major exhibition, ‘William Blake: Apprentice & Master’, Blackwell’s Bookshop and the Ashmolean present ‘Inspired by Blake’, a two-week William Blake Festival. The programme includes talks, panel discussions, musical and theatrical events and workshops, encompassing the art, poetry, philosophy and spirit of William Blake. The festival culminates with a special edition of Ashmolean LiveFriday. For more information go here.  The Indigo Dreams Poets in Oxford, Friday 23rd January, 2015 An evening of poetry by four poets published, or to be published, by Indigo Dreams Publishing. Jennifer A. McGowan, Gareth Writer-Davies, Sophia Argyris and Jill Sharp. At the Albion Beatnik Bookshop, 34 Walton St, Oxford, OX2 6AA, 7pm for 7.30pm start.  £2 on the door. Live Canon with War Poets at the Oxford Playhouse, Friday 21st November at 5pm Live Canon returns to Oxford Playhouse with a collection of war poetry in commemoration of the centenary of World War One. Featuring works from Brooke, Thomas, Sassoon and Owen, this poignant performance also includes poems from the Crimea, Vietnam, Iraq and Afghanistan conflicts as well as some of the most extraordinary war poetry by women from every generation. Tickets: £9(£7). For more information, go here Jenny Lewis: “Taking Mesopotamia”, Monday 24th November from 7pm All welcome, from 7pm,  next Monday 24th November, at the Quaker Meeting House, 43 St Giles, Oxford, where Jenny Lewis will be reading from her new book, “Taking Mesopotamia”, which explores the First World War and the Iraq war, using soldiers’ diaries, including her father’s.  Jenny Lewis is well known as an Oxford teacher and writer of poetry.  Free refreshments from 7pm. No charge for entry, but a collection will be taken in aid of Oxford Friends Action on Poverty, which supports Oxford’s organisations working with people in poverty. Book Launch: “The Book of Love and Loss”, Tuesday 25th November from 7pm At the Albion Beatnik Bookstore 34 Walton Street, Oxford, next Tuesday 25th November at 7.30pm. Doors open at 7.00pm. Admission: £2. Reading with R.V. Bailey and June Hall will be Oxford Back Room Poets published in the book: Liz Birchall, David Burridge, Sarianne Durie, Deborah Mason, David Olsen, Averil Stedeford, Merryn Williams and Stephen Wilson. Anyone who would like to read a poem on the subject of love or loss, at the open mic session following the launch, please let Merryn Williams ( know in advance if possible. There will be a list at the Albion Beatnik to sign if you wish to read a poem, but numbers may be limited if too many people want to read, so better to sign up early! Tower Poetry Reading, at 7.30pm, next Friday 28th November at the Albion Beatnik  Caroline Bird (Tower Poetry 2004 commended poet, Eric Gregory Award winner 2003 and shortlisted Shell Woman of the Future Awards 2011) and Tina Sederholm (winner of 2013 Oxford Arts Group ‘Best Female Performer’) will be reading and performing on Friday, November 28, 7:30pm at The Albion Beatnik, 34 Walton Street, OX2 6AA Oxford. Entry: £7. Come and catch Oxford Stanza 2’s next reading, “Autumn Leaves”! 3.30pm, this Saturday 15th November! Tickets £5

Photo courtesy Sarah Bryson
Photo courtesy Sarah Bryson

 – at the Methodist Church, Woodstock, at 3.30pm, on Saturday 15th November! Tickets £5, including home-baked cakes and tea!

Come and be inspired at Edgelands, a poetry workshop run by Dorothy Yamamoto, from 10.30 am to 3.00 pm on Saturday 12th July at Hogacre Common Eco Park, off Whitehouse Road, Oxford OX1 4PA. Cost: £20. To book, or for any enquiries Please contact Dorothy Yamamoto on e-mail at, or by telephone on 01865 247661.
Judi Sutherland’s Celebration Reading, 7.00 for 7.30pm, Monday 23rd June, Albion Beatnik Bookstore, 34 Walton Street, OX2 6AA. Be there!
Judi Sutherland and Ben Parker will be reading with Andrew Smardon and Annette Volfing at the Albion Beatnik on Monday 23rd June: 7pm for a 7.30pm start.  Tickets £2 on the door.
Judi writes: “Our poems will be on the theme of ‘The Poetry of Place’. I really hope you can make it – it will probably be my last chance to read in Oxford before we head north in mid July.”
“See you there! And please do pass this message to to any of your friends you think might be interested.”

Simon Armitage reading in Oxford On Thursday, 30th January, at 6.30 pm, Simon Armitage is giving a public reading in the Pusey Room, in Keble College as part of Keble College’s “Meet the Poet” Series. This reading is free. Ben Parker, Holly Corfield Carr and Harry Man reading at the Albion Beatnik Ben Parker is reading at the Albion Beatnik, 7.30 pm on Saturday 1st February, with Holly Corfield Carr and Harry Man, details at David Attwooll reading poems from his and Andrew Walton’s “Ground Work” Catch David Attwooll’s poetry and Andrew Walton’s paintings, made as part of their shared project “Ground Work” at 7 pm on Thursday 6th February at Art Jericho, 6 King Street, Oxford, OX2 6DF. There will also be jazz from Frank Harrison, see more at £5 entrance fee. If you are coming, please RSVP to David, or let me know at, headed “Ground Work”.


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