Innovative Poetry Readings in London

The Contemporary Poetics Research Centre at Birkbeck is pleased to host this regularly updated listing of forthcoming events on London’s innovative poetry scenes. See the FAQ at the bottom of the page for contact details and more.

Ongoing Exhibitions and Shows

Mon-Fri 10am-6pm until Fri 25 October. The Tyranny of Language: Exhibition of digital language-art by Charles Sandison. HdM Gallery, 42 Conduit Street, Mayfair W1S 2YH. Free.
Tue-Fri 6.15pm, Sat 1pm & 6.15pm until Sat 26 October. Dutchman: Outer Gaea Company and Théâtre Libre stage poet Amiri Baraka’s play. The Actors Centre, 1a Tower Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9NP. £12/£10. Book now.
Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm until Sat 2 November. Blood Wedding: New adaptation of the classic play by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo SE1 8LZ. £40/£30/£20/£10; previews (Thu 19 – Tue 24 September) £25/£20/£10. Book now.
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm until Sat 2 November. From SURVIVOR (F) to The Escapist BHST (Black Hole Spacetime): Exhibition of psychedelic, textual artworks by Suzanne Treister. Annely Juda Fine Art, 4th Floor, 23 Dering Street, Mayfair W1S 1AW. Free.
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm until Sat 2 November. Shiny Colourful Amusements for the Walls of the Bourgeoisie: Exhibition of textual lightworks by poet and sculptor Robert Montgomery. JD Malat Gallery, 30 Davies Street, Mayfair W1K 4NB. Free.
Thu-Sat 1pm-6pm until Sun 3 November. I Am Stuck, Very Much, because of a Missing Page: Exhibition of Ceel Mogami de Haas’ textual artworks exploring the interface between animal and human, inspired by poets like Hélène Cixous and Clayton Eshleman. Seager Gallery, Distillery Tower, 2 Mill Lane, Deptford SE8 4HP. Free.
Until Thu 7 November, opening hours not advertised. Exploring Exclusion: Exhibition on questions of exclusion and marginalisation, featuring work by poet Mariah Whelan, artist Vladimir Miladinović, and scholars Pablo De Orellana and Henry Redwood. The Exchange, Bush House North East Wing, King’s College London, Aldwych, Holborn WC2B 4BG. Free.
Mon-Sat 11am-late until Sat 9 November; special opening Sun 20 October, 12pm-6pm. To whom the flesh / My flesh / Still connects me: Group exhibition of artworks responding to queer poets like Walt Whitman and Audre Lorde. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
10am-6pm daily until Sun 17 November. Looking for Langston: Display of Isaac Julien’s 1989 film about poet Langston Hughes. Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 9RG. Free.
Tue-Sun 11am-8pm until Sun 17 November. A 21st-Century Ferlinghetti: Exhibition of art and writing by Beat poet Lawrence Ferlinghetti. Opening event features new work by performance artists boyleANDshaw. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. Free.
Mon-Wed & Fri 9.30am-6pm, Thu 9.30pm-6pm until Fri 6 December. Alfabet: Exhibition of sculptures by Camilla Løw, inspired by Danish poet Inger Christensen’s long poem Alfabet. Belmacz Gallery, 45 Davies Street, Mayfair W1K 4LX. Free.
Thu & Fri 12pm-4pm until Fri 13 December. Blank Space Library: Exhibition featuring sound poetry by Sarenco, Paul De Vree, Pierre Garnier, Lucia Marcucci and Towards a Total Poetry, plus electronic music by Franca Sacchi, Teresa Rampazzi and Pietro Grossi, video by Ketty La Rocca and textile art by Johanna Tagada. Exposed Arts Projects, 4-6 Drayson Mews, Kensington W8 4LY. Free.
Mon-Sat 8.30am-8.30pm until Sat 21 September, then Mon-Sat 8.30am-1pm until Sat 14 December. Eternal Graffiti: British and American Avant-Garde Poetry: Exhibition charting the development of experimental poetry during the 20th century in the USA and UK. Includes publications and correspondence by Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, HD, Allen Ginsberg, Lawrence Ferlinghetti, William S Burroughs, Michael McClure, Gary Snyder and Amiri Baraka. Weston Room, Maugham Library, King’s College London, Chancery Lane, Holborn WC2A 1LR. Free, but you must bring ID to access the library – details here.
Wed-Sat 12pm-6pm until Fri 20 December. Tomaso Binga: A Silenced Victory: Exhibition by artist and visual poet Tomaso Binga. Mimosa House, 12 Princes Street, Mayfair W1B 2LL. Free.
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-6pm until Fri 21 December. My Life in Flux: Exhibition of works by Fluxus artists and writers, including George Brecht, Henri Chopin, Robert Filliou, John Giorno, Eugen Gomringer, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Jackson Mac Low, Yoko Ono, Gerhard Rühm, Carolee Schneemann and Emmett Williams. Cardi Gallery, 22 Grafton Street, Mayfair W1S 4EX. Free.
10am-6pm daily until Sun 5 January. At the Corner of a Dream: Exhibition documenting Bahia Shebab’s street art murals based on the poetry of Mahmoud Darwish. Aga Khan Centre, 10 Handyside Street, Kings Cross N1C 4DN. Exhibition free.
Fri 4 Oct 10am-6pm, Sun-Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Sat 10am-8pm until Sun 19 January. Into the Night: Cabarets & Clubs in Modern Art: Exhibition on the role of cabarets and clubs as venues for modernist art and literature. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. Mon-Fri £15/£11, Sat-Sun £17/£12. Book now.
Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 11am-6pm, Thu 11am-9pm until Sun 2 February. Sense Sound/Sound Sense: Exhibition of scores and records by Fluxus writers, artists and composers, including John Cage, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Claes Oldenburg and Yoko Ono. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. Free.
Wed-Sat, 12pm-11pm, Sun 12pm-10pm until Fri 20 March. Ithell Colquhoun: Exhibition of work by surrealist artist and poet Ithell Colquhoun. Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, 11 Mare Street, Hackney E8 4RP. £6 (or £2.50 by request on Thu evenings).

October 2019

Mon 21 October, 7pm. Somali Week: Resistance Through Poetry: Performances and discussion with UK-based Somali poets and artists Nuura Axmed, Asmaa Jama, Hamidha Awshan, Warda Yassin and Fatima Hagi. Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £10 plus booking fee. Book now.
Mon 21 October, 7.30pm. Nikki Giovanni in Conversation: US poet Nikki Giovanni discusses her work. With BSL and speech-to-text interpretation. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £10-£30 plus booking fee. Book now.
Tue 22 October, 7pm-9pm. Literary Soho: Guided walk about writers in Soho, including poets like Arthur Rimbaud and Dylan Thomas. All proceeds go to Amnesty International. Walk leader: Alan Fortune. Meeting point: Exit 4, Piccadilly Circus Underground Station, Shaftesbury Avenue, Piccadilly W1J 9HP. £12/£9. Book now.
Tue 22 October, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Study group session on Brazilian modernist painter Tarsila do Amoral, and on poet Oswald de Andrade’s Cannibalist Manifesto. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 106, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 22 October, 7pm. An Evening in Commemoration of Father Alexander Men’: Alla Gelich, Lucy Daniels, David Brummell and Anthony Wood read Russian poetry on religious themes, in memory of Father Alexander Men’. In Russian with English translations. Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £5. Book now.
Wed 23 October, 6.45pm-9pm. AAART 1 // MHUC // Poetry Workshop and Free Write: Poetry-writing workshop with Mental Health Under Capitalism, addressing mental health and its relationship to capitalism. Common House, 5A Pundersons Gardens, Bethnal Green E2 9QG. Presumably free.
Wed 23 October, 7.30pm. Moor Mother: The Great Bailout: Poet and electronic musician Moor Mother confronts colonialism and slavery in this collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra. Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Milton Court, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 9BH. £20 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 23 October, 7.45pm. Launch of Nature of Objects: Carlos Soto-Román reads to launch his new Pamenar Press publication Nature of Objects. Plus more poetry and performance from Montenegro Fisher, Andrés Anwandter and Rhys Trimble. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. Presumably free.
Thu 24 October, 5.30pm. The Human Rights Film Festival: The Poetess: Screening of The Poetess, Stefanie Brockhaus’ documentary about Saudi feminist poet Hissa Hilal. Followed by a Q&A with Brockhaus. Room LG01, Stuart Hall Building, Goldsmiths University of London, 8 Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14 6NW. Free.
Thu 24 October, 6.30pm. The Poetry of London: A panel of poets and artists discuss how William Blake has influenced their approaches to London. Speakers include poets Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe. Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 4RG. £12/£8. Book now.
Thu 24 October, 7pm. I’m Not to Speak My Language: Palestinian author Adania Shibli gives a talk about oppressed people’s experiences of being silenced, drawing on poet Aimé Césaire and philosopher Edward Said. Mosaic Rooms, Tower House, 226 Cromwell Road, Kensington SW5 0SW. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 24 October, 7pm. Bad Betty Shots S2: Launch: Belinda Zhawi, Amaal Said, Clare Pollard and Zena Edwards read to launch their new pamphlets from Bad Betty Press. With BSL interpretation by Jo Taylor. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Free.
Fri 25 October, 6.30pm. States of the Body Produced by Love: Nisha Ramayya and CAConrad read their poetry, and discuss themes of mysticism and ritual in their work. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Fri 25 October, 6.30pm. Spring: A Salon for New Queer and Feminist Writing: Poets Helen Charman, Hannah Regel and Sophie Mackintosh, plus writers Amelia Abraham, Rhoda Adum Boateng and Sabeen Chaudhry, read and discuss their work. South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, Peckham SE5 8UH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 25 October, 7.30pm. Acephalous Monster: Ron Athey presents a multimedia performance inspired by the magazine and anti-fascist secret society Acéphale. Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, Spitalfields E1 6AB. £3-£20 (pay what you can). Book now.
Fri 25 October, 7.30pm. julianknxx and friends presents Caleb Femi + Shingai: Readings and discussion on the theme of self-making, featuring poets julianknxx and Caleb Femi, plus musician Shingai. ICA, The Mall, St James’s, London SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Sat 26 & Sun 27 October, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Rachael Allen’s Weird Weekend: Rachael Allen leads a weekend course on intersections between poetry and weird fiction, looking at poets like Oki Sogumi, Daisy Lafarge, Kim Kyung Ju and Dorothea Tanning. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Sat 26 October, 11am-6pm. Symposium on Language and Music: Symposium on interfaces between music and language in Indigenous cultures. Speakers are Linda Barwick, Angela Impey, Martin Rohrmeier, Martin Orwin, Didier Demolin, Jerome Lewis and Lucy Durán. Brunei Gallery, SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG. £10 on the door; free for students.
Sat 26 October, discussion 3pm, poetry 5pm. Deptford and Decolonisation / Polylingual Open Mic: Lola Olufemi discusses the concept of decolonisation. Followed by a Polylingual Open Mic for poetry in many languages. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. SOLD OUT.
Sat 26 October, 7pm. Nemeses: Book Launch: Collaborative performances, installations and readings to launch Nemeses: Selected Collaborations of SJ Fowler, Volume 2. Featuring SJ Fowler & Eley Williams, Joe Dunthorne, Ailbhe Darcy, Luke Kennard, Prudence Chamberlain, Karen Sandhu, Gareth Evans, David Rickard, Harry Man and Alexander Kell. St John’s on Bethnal Green, 200 Cambridge Heath Rd, Bethnal Green E2 9PA. Free.
Sat 26 October, 7.30pm. Live Art Gala 2019: Fundraising gala for the Live Art Development Agency, featuring performances by writers and artists Brian Catling, Aaron Williamson, Jade Montserrat, Ron Athey, Katy Baird, Rocio Boliver, Tim Bromage, Oozing Gloop, Nando Messias, Daniel Oliver, Tammy Reynolds and Victoria Sin, plus a silent auction. St Paul’s Hall, 306 Amhurst Road, Stoke Newington N16 7UE. £43.71/£32.93/£22.15. Book now.
Mon 28 October, 7pm. Literature Matters: In the Moment: Poet Jay Bernard, novelist Ali Smith and playwright James Graham discuss how literature can respond to contemporaneous events. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. Book now.
Mon 28 October, 7.30pm. Swordfishtrombones Revisited: David Coulter presents his reinterpretation of poet and musician Tom Waits’ 1983 album Swordfishtrombones, with guests including Nadine Shah, Sarah Blasko, Dorian Wood and Lisa O’Neill. Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £20-£35 plus booking fee. Book now.
Mon 28 October, 7.30pm. Theatre of Failure Hauntology Special: Spectrally-themed poetry and performance featuring Sarah Cave, Al Anderson, JD Howse, Petero Kalulé, Charlotte Geater and Stephen Mooney. Crown Tavern, Clerkenwell Green, Clerkenwell EC1R 0EG. Free.
Mon 28 October, 7.30pm. Poetry Club: AK Blakemore, Mary Jean Chan and Rebecca Perry read their poetry. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £12. Book now.
Tue 29 October, 6.30pm. Kwéyòl Poetry Workshop: Translating Liz Faisal with Kendel Hippolyte: Translation workshop on St Lucian poet Liz Faisal. Open to all, no knowledge of St Lucian Kwéyòl required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 29 October, 7.15pm. Guillotine 8: Poetry with Fran Lock, Stephen Mooney and Matt Martin, plus the launch of Matt Martin’s chapbook the dotted line. The Beehive, Stoneleigh Road, Tottenham N17 9BQ. £0-£4.
Tue 29 October, 7.30pm. Last Rehearsal: Poetry and art duo Montenegro Fisher perform a revised version of The Last Company’s play Last Rehearsal. Theatre Deli, 2 Finsbury Avenue, City of London EC2M 2PF. £5.82 early bird tickets until Tue 22 October, then £11.14. Book now.
Mon 30 & Tue 31 October, 6pm & 8pm each night. The East Edge: A Nocturnal Walking Tour: Poet Chris McCabe leads a guided walk about poets interred in Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park. With musical accompaniment by Nick Murray and John Canfield. Soanes Centre (on the right as you enter), Tower Hamlets Cemetery Park, Southern Grove, Mile End E3 4PX. £13.48. Book now.
Wed 30 October, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Brendan Gillott gives a talk about ‘Reading John Cage, with and without Tone’. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Wed 30 October, 6.30pm. The Occult: Poet Nisha Ramayya, historian Lauren Kassell and philosopher Richard Pettigrew discuss how philosophy can contend with the mysterious and inexplicable. Old Building Lecture Theatre, London School of Economics, Houghton Street, Holborn WC2A 2AE. Free.
Wed 30 October, 6.30pm. Book Launch: The Happy Hypocrite – Silver Bandage: Readings to launch a new issue of the magazine The Happy Hypocrite, featuring CAConrad, Alexandrina Hemsley, Rebecca Jagoe and Patrick Staff. South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, Peckham SE5 8UH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 30 October, 7.30pm. LRB Presents Anne Carson, Nico Muhly and Paul Muldoon: Poetry and music to celebrate 40 years of the London Review of Books, featuring poets Anne Carson and Paul Muldoon, plus composer Nico Mulhy and musician Amit Chaudhuri. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £20/£15 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 30 October, 7.30pm. Anna Kavan Re-Lived: A Tribute by Writers & Artists: A night of tributes to experimental writer Anna Kavan. Featuring Kavan’s biographer, the poet Jeremy Reed, performing with sound and video by The Ginger Light. Plus readings by Geraldine Pilgrim, Patricia Hope Scanlan and Andrew McEnef. The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. £5 donation on the door.
Thu 31 October, 7pm. Whose House is This? Ignota’s Halloween Party a.k.a. Hexit: Readings of poetry and prose to celebrate the first birthday of Ignota Books. Featuring So Mayer, Rachael Allen, CAConrad, Will Harris, Caspar Heinemann, Himali Singh Soin, Rebecca May Johnson, Francesca Lisette, Nisha Ramayya, Erica Scourti, Rebecca Tamás and more TBA. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. £5.

November 2019

Fri 1 – Wed 27 November, Mon-Fri 10am-8pm, Sat 10am-5pm. The Yellow Book Exhibition: Exhibition of visual poetry responding to the 1890s magazine The Yellow Book. Featuring work by SJ Fowler, Sarah Cave, Simon Tyrrell, Imogen Reid, Michał Kamil Piotrowski, Nic Stringer, Karen Sandhu, Vilde Valierie Bjerke Torset, Luke Thompson, L Kiew and Astra Papachristodoulou. 1st Floor Study Area, Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin’s Street, Soho WC2H 7HP. Free.
Fri 1 November, doors 6.30pm, readings 7pm. Partus Party: Crispin Best, Naomi Morris, Helen Charman, Ruby Silk and Jack Underwood read to launch new Partus Press poetry collections by Best and Morris, plus a new issue of the journal Pain. Hannah Barry Gallery, 4 Holly Grove, Peckham SE15 4DF. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 1 November, doors 7.30pm, performance 8pm. Jeremy Reed with MC & The 7 Pedals: Poet Jeremy Reed performs in collaboration with experimental harpist MC & the 7 Pedals. Hundred Years Gallery, 13 Pearson Street, Haggerston E2 8JD. £6.
Sat 2 & Sun 3 November, 10.30am-5pm each day. Creative Masterclass for Writers and Translators: Creative writing course on using translation techniques to produce new poetry and prose. Tutor: Jen Calleja. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £185/£167/£157. Book now.
Sat 2 November; either 7.30pm, or doors 6pm then music 9pm (sources vary). Infinita Productions Presents: Arthur Nogueira: Brazilian musician Arthur Noguiera performs songs and settings of poems. Servant Jazz Quarters, 10a Bradbury Street, Dalston N16 8JN. £11. Book now.
Sat 2 November, 8pm. Natural Born Sorcerors: Poet Rebecca Tamás and Italian journalist Loredana Lipperini discuss women’s use of witchcraft. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £6. Book now.
Sat 2 November, 8pm. The New Poetics of Climate Change: Matthew Griffiths discusses his new book about modernist poetry and global warming, The New Poetics of Climate Change. Noel Coward Studio, Hampton Hill Theatre, 90 High Street, Hampton Hill, Hampton TW12 1NZ. £12/£10. Book now.
Sun 3 November, 4pm. Hot Art. Making Art in a Warming Planet: Poet-artist Alex Cecchetti and eco-curator Lucia Pietroiusti discuss the challenges of responding artistically to climate change. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £6. Book now.
Sun 3 November, 5pm-10pm. Multi Species Launch: Performances and art to launch the first issue of Multi Species Research Group Journal, in which poets, artists and writers address multi-species engagement. Featuring Alice Watkins, Clémentine Bedos, Charles Verni, Chitra Sangtani, Trev Tetra, Jules Varnedoe, Jessica Mai Walker, Mattina Hiwaizi, Rosie Dowd-Smyth, Sim Gray. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Presumably free.
Mon 4 November, doors 6pm, readings 6.30pm. Launch of Long Poem Magazine Issue 22: Readings to celebrate the new issue of Long Poem Magazine, featuring Anna Robinson, Tim Dooley, Lucy Sixsmith, Matt Martin, Terence Dooley, David Sollors, Joan Michelson, Gregory Woods, John Greening, Ian Seed & Alasdair Paterson. Barbican Library, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. Free.
Mon 4 November, 6.30pm. Contemplating: Artists’ Books Now: Rosella Black and Maria White discuss the role of contemplation in artists’ books by George Cullen, Tracey Bush, Julie Johnstone and Caroline Penn. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. Book now.
Tue 5 November, 6.30pm. Bengali Poetry Workshop: Translating Nirmalendu Goon with Shamim Azad: Translation workshop on Bangladeshi poet Nirmalendu Goon. Open to all, no knowledge of Bengali required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 5 November, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Reading group session on pataphysics. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 106, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 5 November, 7pm. My Father’s House: Readings and discussion about Caribbean fatherhood, featuring poets Raymond Antrobus and Hannah Lowe, plus historian Colin Grant. Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, Farringdon EC1R 3GA. £6; £5 for under 30s. Book now.
Tue 5 November, 7pm. Raw Power – Ted Hughes and the Archetypal Underworld: Poet Jeremy Reed lectures on the work of Ted Hughes. Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, Euston NW1 2HD. £8/£5; free for students. Booking information here.
Tue 5 November, 7pm. The Topeka School: Ben Lerner in Conversation: Poet Ben Lerner discusses his new novel The Topeka School. Foyles Bookshop, 107 Charing Cross Road, Soho WC2H 0DT. £8/£5, or £20 including a copy of the book. Book now.
Tue 5 November, 7pm. Nemeses: An Event on Collaboration and Literature: An evening of poetic collaborations, featuring SJ Fowler & Karen Sandhu, Lucy Furlong & Susie Campbell, Patrick Cosgrove & Alex Hegazy, Molly Bergin & Jennah Fletcher, SJ Fowler & Joseph Turrent, and Julia Rose Lewis & TBA. Clattern Hall, Main Building, Penrhyn Road Campus, Kingston University, Kingston upon Thames KT1 2EE. Free.
Tue 5 November, 8pm. Voices From Greece: Poetry and music with Plastikes Karekles: Musical ensemble Plastikes Karekles perform settings of modern Greek poetry by Giorgos Seferis, Odysseus Elytis, CP Cavafy, Yannis Ritsos and Nikos Kazantzakis. The Water Rats, 328 Grays Inn Road, Kings Cross WC1X 8BZ. £10.67/£9.57. Book now.
Wed 6 November, 6.30pm-8.30pm, then the same time weekly until Wed 11 December. London in Poetry: 6-session course on London poetry, covering poets like Ezra Pound, Mina Loy, Linton Kwesi Johnson and Abondance Matanda. Tutor: Ed Luker. Bishopsgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, Spitalfields EC2M 4QH. £106/£79. Book now.
Wed 6 November, 7pm. Book Launch: Fran Lock’s Contains Mild Peril: Fran Lock reads to launch her poetry collection Contains Mild Peril. Plus guest poets TBA. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £4.76. Book now.
Wed 6 November, 8pm. Dead [Women] Poets Society: Poets Zahrah Sheikh and Ruth Sutoyé discuss dead women poets who have influenced their work. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £7 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 7 November, 6pm. Poets in the Library: Poets L Kiew, Astra Papachristodolou, Alice Hiller, Serge Neptune, Martha Kapos and Isabelle Baaffi read work responding to poetry from the Westminster Reference Library’s holdings of the 1890s magazine The Yellow Book. Westminster Reference Library, 35 St Martin’s Street, Covent Garden WC2H 7HP. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 7 November, 6.30pm. Ben Lerner: The Topeka School: Poet Ben Lerner discusses his new novel The Topeka School. Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 4RG. £12/£8. Book now.
Thu 7 November, 7pm. Queers Read This (4): Readings by LGBTQI+ poets and writers Clay AD, R. Zamora Linmark, Richard Porter, Alison Rumfitt, Shola von Reinhold and Isabel Waidner. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Thu 7 November, 7pm. South X South East: Poet and sound artist Belinda Zhawi presents a performance responding to the venue’s exhibition by artist Kudzanai-Violet Hwami. Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, Oval SE11 5RH. Free.
Thu 7 November, 7pm. Goldsmiths Shorts – Launch: Readings to launch pamphlets of poetry by Momtaza Mehri, fiction by Bron Burgess and non-fiction by Will Jamieson. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. Free.
Thu 7 November, 7.15pm. The Sound Inside the Silence: Travels in the Sonic Imagination: Poet and radio documentarian Seán Street discusses how we ‘read’ the world through sound. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. Book now.
Thu 7 November, 7.15pm. Out Else #4: Poetry with Imogen Cassels, Joe Luna, Laura Elliot and Ed Luker. Plus the launch for the new issue of the little magazine Summat. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Free.
Thu 7 November, 8pm. Non Dual: Experimental art and music from Taiwan and China. Featuring Qian Geng’s calligraphy performance project The8Immortals, plus music by Scattered Purgatory and Li Yi Lei. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £12.45. Book now.
Fri 8 November, 9.30am-7.30pm. Reimagining Britain: Curating Performing Publishing Reading: Symposium in celebration of Wasafiri magazine, discussing the current climate of artistic and cultural production in Britain. Speakers include Aditi Anand, Charlie Brinkhurst-Cuff, Natasha Bucknor, Elizabeth Cooper, Corinne Fowler, Rachael Gilmour, Nadia Yahya Hafedh, Anthony Joseph, Danuta Kean, Madhu Krishnan, Sharmaine Lovegrove, Malachi McIntosh, Rachael Minott and Jeremy Poynting. Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, Mile End E1 4NS. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 8 November, 6.30pm. Care for the Soul – Jan Patočka and the Arts: Celebration of Czech philosopher Jan Patočka’s contribution to the arts, featuring a panel discussion with Ivan Chvatik, Vladimir Urbánek and Michaela Belejkaničová, readings in English translation from the work of Czech poets Vladimir Holan and Karel Hynek Mácha, visual art by Mikuláš Medek and Jiří Kolář, and a performance of music by Beethoven. Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. £11.01. Book now.
Fri 8 November, 7pm. The Happy Hypocrite 11 — Silver Bandage + Katerina Gogou: Reinstating the Dark Side: The Happy Hypocrite magazine presents a screening of Katerina Gogou: Reinstating the Dark Side, Antonis Boskoitis’ 2012 documentary about Greek anarchist poet Katerina Gogou, introduced by Boskoitis. MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, City of London EC4Y 1DH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 8 November, 7.15pm. Cy Grant at 100: An evening of tributes to celebrate the centenary of poet, actor and calypsonian Cy Grant. Speakers include Allan Charles Wilmot and Arthur Torrington. West Indian Association of Service Personnel, 161-167 Clapham Manor Street, Clapham SW4 6DB. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 9 November, 11am-12.30pm. Wasafiri Writers Workshop: Anthony Joseph: Poet Anthony Joseph leads a creative writing workshop on life writing. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £20. Book now.
Sat 9 November, 1pm-6.30pm. An Island Full of Voices: 35 Years of Wasafiri: Festival celebrating the postcolonial literature journal Wasafiri. Featuring readings, workshops and discussion with poets and writers like Bernardine Evaristo, Rachel Long, Caryl Phillips, Nikesh Shukla and more TBA. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £20/£17/£10. Book now.
Sat 9 November, 3pm-5pm. Lineage & Moments: Poet Belinda Zhawi leads a creative writing workshop on mining memories and family histories to make sense of the present. Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, Oval SE11 5RH. Free.
Sat 9 November, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Mon 11 November, 7pm-9pm, then at the same time weekly until Mon 16 December (no session Mon 2 December). Blaze: A Poetry Course Inspired by Bridget Riley: 5-week poetry-writing course inspired by the venue’s Bridget Riley exhibition, considering poets like Terrance Hayes, Kim Addonizio, Lucia Perillo, Kei Miller and Ocean Vuong. Tutor: Rachel Long. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £90 plus booking fee. Book now.
Mon 11 November, 7pm. Poetry Benefit for The Horse Hospital: Fundraising readings for excellent London venue The Horse Hospital. Featuring Jeremy Reed, MacGillivray, Paul de Muth, Damian le Bas, AR Thompson, Tom Bland, Michael Wyndham, Audrey Szasz and Liliane Lijn. The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. Donations welcome on the door or via Kickstarter.
Tue 12 November, 7pm. Richard Shillitoe on Ithell Colquhoun: Curator Richard Shillitoe presents an illustrated talk about surrealist artist and poet Ithell Colquhoun. Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, 11 Mare Street, Hackney E8 4RP. £11.37. Book now.
Tue 12 November, 7.15pm. Indigenous Futures: Mohawk artist Skawennati and experimental Canadian poet JR Carpenter discuss historical records, 3D environments, and indigenous futures in relation to First Nations materials held at the British Library. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. Book now.
Tue 12 November, 7.30pm. Shearsman Launch Reading: Readers TBC. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Wed 13 November, 7.30pm. 87.11: Launch readings for the poetry collections Very Authentic Person by Kat Sinclair and #LoveLikeBlood by Sascha Aurora Akhtar. Plus more poetry from Alison Rumfitt, Paige Murphy, Hannah Regal and Jessie Widner. The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, Borough SE1 4YG. £5/£3.
Wed 13 November, 8pm. The Imaginary Forest: Poet Amy Cutler, historian Will Ashon and writer Zakiya Mckenzie discuss the myth and folklore of Epping Forest. Plus live music by Alison Cotton. Walthamstow Trades Hall, 61-63 Tower Hamlets Road, Walthamstow E17 4RU. £8.06/£4.85. Book now.
Thu 14 November, 7pm. Ungodly Lytle Books: Susie Campbell and SS Haque read to launch new poetry chapbooks. Plus guest poets TBA. Balzalgette Room, House of St Barnabas, 1 Greek Street, Soho W1D 4NQ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 15 & Sat 16 November, 11am-7pm each day. Small Publishers Fair: Stalls selling publications books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers, featuring an exhibition from the archive of Test Centre Books, plus a programme of readings and workshops TBA. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Bloomsbury WC1R 4RL. Free.
Fri 15 November, 7pm. New Model Island: Alex Niven and Dawn Foster in Conversation: Poet Alex Niven discusses New Model Island, his book about the future of English identity, with writer Dawn Foster. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. £5. Book now.
Fri 15 November, doors 7pm, performances 7.30pm. Hospital of the Souls: An evening of experimental performances featuring music by Diastolic Murmurs with Paul Obermayer, a performance lecture by David Ellis’s Rapid Response Unit, poetry by Luke Jordan, film by Mama Baer with Kommissar Hjuler, and DJing by Paradigm Discs. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £8 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.
Sat 16 & Sun 17 November, 3pm-5pm each day. or what is (variations): Durational performance by artist Nicole Bachmann and dancers Patricia Langa, Legion Seven and Jia-Yu Corti, in response to the venue’s exhibition by visual poet Tomaso Binga. Mimosa House, 12 Princes Street, Mayfair W1B 2LL. Free but bookable. Book now for Sat or Sun.
Sat 16 November, 1pm. Raymond Antrobus: Spoken Word Poetry: Poet Raymond Antrobus reads his work. Idea Store, 321 Whitechapel Road, Whitechapel E1 1BU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 16 November, 7pm. artBLAB: An evening of talks by poets, artists and designers. Line-up TBA. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5 suggested donation.
Mon 18 – Sat 23 November, 7.30pm each night, plus a 2.30pm matinee on Sat. A Letter to a Friend in Gaza: Film-maker Amos Gitai presents a multimedia performance about the Israel/Gaza border, incorporating poetry and other writings by Mahmoud Darwish, Yizhar Smilansky, Emile Habibi, Amira Hass, Wislawa Szymborska and Albert Camus. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £30/£25, £15 for under-30s. Book now.
Mon 18 November, 7pm. With Love (And Rage), Generation Rent: Poets Theresa Lola, Amaal Said and Seraphima Kennedy, plus illustrator Olivia Twist, present their responses to the UK’s housing crisis, taking inspiration from conversations with young people and research from the charity Shelter. Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, Farringdon EC1R 3GA. £10, under-30s £7, unwaged £2. Book now.
Mon 18 November, 7pm. Blue Black Permanent: So Mayer introduces a screening of poet Margaret Tait’s 1992 film Blue Black Permanent. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5/£4. Book now.
Mon 18 November, 7pm. An Evening of Poetry and Conversation: Mimi Khalvati and Kei Miller read from and discuss their new poetry collections. Waterstones, The Grand Building, Trafalgar Square, Charing Cross WC2N 5EJ. £7. Book now.
Mon 18 November, 8pm. What We Should Have Said: An evening of poetry about words, featuring Stephen Sexton, Hannah Lowe, Richard Douglas Pennant, Stuart Silver & Peter Foggitt, plus 20 Troubadour poets. The Troubadour, 263–267 Old Brompton Road, Earl’s Court SW5 9JA. £7. Book now.
Tue 19 November, doors 5pm, readings 5.30pm. Excavating Roman Voices: Students read Josephine Balmer’s poetry inspired by Roman writing tablets found at the London Mithraeum. Plus a talk about the tablets, and access to the Temple of Mithras. London Mithraeum, Bloomberg SPACE, 12 Walbrook, City of London EC4N 8AA. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 19 November, 6.30pm. Yoruba Poetry Workshop: Translating Túbọ̀sún Ọládàpọ̀ with Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún: Translation workshop on Nigerian poet Túbọ̀sún Ọládàpọ̀. Open to all, no knowledge of Yoruba required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 19 November, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Reading group session on poet Mina Loy’s novel Insel. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 106, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 19 November, 7pm. Memento Mori: on Mortality: An evening of poetry, fiction, talks and performance on the theme of mortality, featuring Paul Booth, Sara Upstone, Simon Tyrrell, Nick Foxton, Matthew Birchwood, Kate Scott, Katerina Koulouri and James Reynolds. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Tue 19 November, 7.30pm. Shearsman Launch Reading: Readings to launch Streets Where to Walk is to Embark, an anthology of London-based, Spanish poets. Featuring editor Edurado Moga, translator Terence Dooley and more TBC. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Tue 19 November, 7.45pm. Un Nuevo Sol: British Latinx Writers: Readings and discussion with poets Leo Boix and Yara Rodrigues Fowler, plus novelist Luisa Sauma. Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £10 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 20 November, 6.30pm-9pm, then at the same time on Wed 27 November and Wed 4 December. Creative Writing – Sculpting Words: 3-week creative writing course responding to the venue’s exhibition by artist Christodoulos Panayiotou. Tutor: Ellen Wiles. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. £100/£90/£75. Book now.
Wed 20 November, 6.30pm-8pm. Our Mutual Friend the Machine: An evening of talks and performances exploring computer-generated fiction and poetry. Waterstones, 19-20 Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia W1T 1BJ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 21 November, 7pm. Launch of Plainspeak by Astrid Alben: Astrid Alben reads to launch the new poetry collection Plainspeak. Plus more poetry from Caroline Bergvall and Kathryn Maris, and animations by Zuzanna Pedrasik. Hatch, 8 Mackintosh Lane, Homerton E9 6AB. Presumably free.
Thu 21 November, 7.30pm. Don’t Land My Spaceship: An evening of poetry and music, featuring poetry by Tim Atkins, music by Thodoris Ziarkas, Maddalena Ghezzi and Tom Sochas, and DJing by Marcio Martinez. The Empire Bar, 291 Mare Street, Hackney E8 1EJ. £5.80. Book now.
Thu 21 November, 7.45pm. Vocal Classics of the Black Avant-Garde: Vocal artist Elaine Mitchener’s ensemble (including poet Dante Micheaux) perform African-American works from the 1960s/70s that combine vocals and text with experimental jazz forms. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £22.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 22 & Sat 23 November, Fri 9.30am-5.30pm, Sat 9.30am-9pm. King’s Underground: Eric Mottram and Spheres of Contexts: 2-day conference about poet-scholar Eric Mottram’s contexts among the British Poetry Revival and experimental American poetry. Featuring presentations, readings and discussion with poets Allen Fisher, Wendy Mulford, Lyndon Davies, Maggie O’Sullivan, Charles Bernstein, Pierre Joris, Redell Olsen, Paul Buck and Ulli Freer. Plus films by Colin Still about Jerome Rothenberg, Allen Ginsberg and Frank O’Hara; settings of Mottram’s poetry by John Kenny and his choir; and (7.30pm on Sat) poetry readings by Rowan Evans, David Herd, Briony Hughes, Mendoza and Karen Sandhu. The Great Hall, King’s College London, The Strand, Temple WC2R 2LS. Free, but you must book in advance. Book now.
Fri 22 & Sat 23 November, 7pm each night. The Waste Land with Nick Roth Quintet: Multimedia performance of TS Eliot’s The Waste Land, featuring live jazz accompaniment. October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury WC1N 3AL. £22. Book now.
Sat 23 & Sun 24 November, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Falling in Love With Prose Poems: Creative writing weekend on developing prose poems, inspired by poets like John Ashbery, Vahni Capildeo, Patience Agbabi, Claudia Rankine, Jorie Graham, Carrie Etter and Sarah Howe. Tutor: Jennifer Wong. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Tue 26 November, 7pm. Riveting Germans: After the Wall: Launch event for the magazine The German Riveter, with discussion about the state of German prose, poetry and translation in the wake of reunification. Featuring poet Durs Grünbein, plus writers Charlotte Collins, Julia Franck, Nino Haratischvili, Karen Leeder and Ruth Martin. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £11/£9.50/£5.50. Book now.
Tue 26 November, 7.30pm. Poetry Club: Jay Bernard and Lavinia Greenlaw read their poetry. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £12. Book now.
Wed 27 November, 5pm. Kumo (Work in Progress): Sci-Fi, Folklore and Disaster in Future Japan: Poet Kirsten Irving and artist Renee O’Drobinak share excerpts and research from their collaborative work in progress. Room TBC, SOAS University of London. Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 27 November, 6pm. Salvage at Twilight by Dan Burt: Carcanet Book Launch: US poet Dan Burt reads to launch his new collection, Salvage at Twilight. Marlborough Gallery, 6 Albemarle Street, Mayfair W1S 4BY. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 27 November, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Mae Losasso gives a talk about ‘Claustrophobia as Chromophobia and the Dream of Barbara Guest’s Blue Stairs’. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Thu 28 November, doors 6.45pm, performances 7pm. Oh Mother Where Art Thou?: An evening of poetry and music about mothers, featuring poets Wayne Holloway-Smith, Rebecca Tamás, Mary-Jean Chan and Emily Berry, plus singer-songwriter Kathryn Williams. The London Library, 14 Saint James’s Square, St James’s SW1Y 4LG. £12; £7 for under-26s. Book now.
Fri 29 November, 9.30am-12.30pm. Safeguarding Training for Poets – Children & Young People: Half-day training course on safeguarding and awareness when running creative writing sessions with children and young people. If you book this together with the course on safeguarding vulnerable adults (see below), there is a £10 discount and lunch is provided. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £20. Book now.
Fri 29 November, 1.30pm-4.30pm. Safeguarding Training for Poets – Vulnerable Adults: Half-day training course on safeguarding and awareness when running creative writing sessions with vulnerable adults. If you book this together with the course on safeguarding children and young people (see above), there is a £10 discount and lunch is provided. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £20. Book now.
Fri 29 November, 7pm. Hercules Editions at Chener Books: Readings by Hercules Editions poets Martyn Crucefix, Sophie Herxheimer, Jacqueline Saphra and Tamar Yoseloff. Chener Books, 14 Lordship Lane, Dulwich SE22 8HN. Free.
Fri 29 November, 7pm. Launch for “Contemporary Gothic Verse” and “Requiem”: Siofra McSherry reads to launch the pamphlet Requiem, and The Emma Press Anthology of Contemporary Gothic Verse is launched with readings by Cathleen Allyn, Cat Campbell, Kitty Coles, Charlotte Eichler, Suzanna Fitzpatrick, Caroline Hammond, David Keyworth and Jenny Pagdin. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 29 November, 7.30pm-10.30pm. Late at the Library: A Night of Poetry and Dub: An evening of dub poetry and dub music, with performers TBA. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £24/£20.50/£12. Book now.
Sat 30 November, 10.30am-1.30pm. The Poem as Encounter: Poetry workshop in response to the venue’s exhibition by Lebanese artist Rayyane Tabet. Tutor: Will Harris. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £9.01/£6.88. Book now.

December 2019

Mon 2 December – Fri 6 December, 10am-6pm each day. Tagore in the Light of Rembrandt: Exhibition: Exhibition by photographer Pablo Khaled, depicting Bengali modernist poet Rabindranath Tagore’s characters in the style of Rembrandt portraits. Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, Mayfair W1K 1HF. Free.
Tue 3 December, 6.30pm. Tamil Poetry Workshop: Translating Sugan with Hari Rajaledchumy: Translation workshop on Sri Lankan poet Sugan. Open to all, no knowledge of Tamil required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 3 December, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Reading group session on Irish poet Niall Montgomery. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 106, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Wed 4 December, 6pm. ‘A Camp Full of Once and Future Very Important Persons’: Fred Uhlman and Kurt Schwitters in Internment: Charmian Brinson lectures on the wartime internment of poet-artists Kurt Schwitters and Fred Uhlman. Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 4 December, 6.30pm. Coco Fusco: Cuba: Haunted by History: UK premiere of two films by Coco Fusco, both about Cuban poets: La Confesión (2015), about Heberto Padilla, and To Live in June with Your Tongue Hanging Out (2018), about Reinaldo Arenas. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £10/£7. Book now.
Wed 4 December, 7pm. Ernst Schoen – The Life of an Anti-Fascist Radio Pioneer: Esther Leslie and Sam Dolbear give a live radio presentation about the life of radio innovator, anti-fascist and poet Ernst Schoen. Bishopgate Institute, 230 Bishopsgate, Spitalfields EC2M 4QH. £7/£5. Book now.
Thu 5 December, 6.15pm. Tagore in the Light of Rembrandt: Music & Poetry: Poet Ahmed Kaysher hosts recitations from photography-inspired works by Bengali modernist poet Rabindranath Tagore, responding to the venue’s exhibition by Pablo Khaled (see above). In Bengali with English translations. Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, Mayfair W1K 1HF. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 5 December, 7pm. A Warning to the House (That Holds Me): Amina Jama reads to launch the poetry collection A Warning to the House (That Holds Me). Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, Farringdon EC1R 3GA. £6; £5 for under 30s. Book now.
Sat 7 December, 7.30pm. Raymond Antrobus & Carlos Andrés Gómez: UK Book Launch of Hijito: Carlos Andrés Gómez reads to launch his new collection Hijito. Plus more poetry from Raymond Antrobus. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free. Advance ticket ticket US$20.73, including signed copy of Gómez’s collection – book now.
Tue 10 December, 4pm. IAS Waste: De la Flâneuse à la Glaneuse – Engagements with Others’ Waste: Screening of Agnès Varda’s 2002 film Les glaneurs et la glaneuse, followed at 5pm by a panel discussion on Varda’s themes of repurposing waste, with speakers including poet and geographer Tim Cresswell, plus Lucy Bell, Carina Millstone, Jane Rendell and Rose Marie San Juan. IAS Common Ground, Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 10 December, 7pm. Literary Health: On Writing the Body: An evening of poetry, fiction, talks and performance on the themes of health and the body, featuring Joseph Devlin, Ellen Wiles, John Patrick Hughes, Lucy Furlong, Patrick Cosgrove, James Reynolds and Anna Johnson. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston KT1 1HL. Free.
Wed 11 December, 6pm. IAS Book Launch: Maxwell Street – Writing and Thinking Place: Geographer and poet Tim Cresswell launches his new book about literary representations of Maxwell Street in Chicago. IAS Common Ground, Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 11 December, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Lila Matsumoto leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Sat 14 December, 11am-1pm. London Modernism Seminar: Daniel Matore gives a talk about The Stave and the Bar: Musicology, Typography, and Verse, and Nathan Waddell speaks on The Politics of Universality: Beethoven and Anglo-American Literature, 1900-2000. Room 1.01, Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Sat 14 December, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.

January 2020

Thu 9 January, 10am-12.30pm, then at the same time weekly  until Thu 5 March (no session Thu 27 February). Prose or Poetry: 8-session, creative writing course on the prose-poem. Tutor: Agnieszka Studzinska. Centre for Short Courses and CPD, St Mary’s University, Waldegrave Road, Twickenham TW1 4SX. £160. Book now.
Sat 11 January, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Tue 14 January, 7pm. English PEN Writer-at-Risk Celebration Event: Poets and writers present new works in tribute to authors from English Pen Writers at Risk programme. Featuring performances by Sam Jordison, Paul Ewen, Sara Upstone, SJ Fowler, Adam Baron, James Miller, Ellen Wiles, Helen Palmer and Astra Papachristodoulou. The Bishop, 2 Bishop’s Hall, Kingston KT1 1PY. Free.
Tue 14 January, 7.30pm. Shearsman Launch Reading: Readers TBC. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Wed 15 January, 9am – Fri 17 January, 6pm. Between Departure and Arrival. Re-Assessing the Work of Ilse Aichinger and Helga Michie: Conference on the work of twin sisters, poet Ilse Aichinger and poet-artist Helga Michie. Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 25 January, 7.30pm. University Camarade V: Experimental collaborations by student poets from around the UK. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Wed 29 January, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Karen Sandhu gives a talk about ‘Tales of the Archive: An Exploration of Irritating Archival Practices’. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.

February 2020

Sat 8 February, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Tue 11 February, 7.30pm. Shearsman Launch Reading: Readers TBC. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Tue 18 February, 7pm. Notational Literature, the Unfinished Work: Readings and performances to launch an exhibition of ‘unfinished’ visual poetry. Launch event features Simon Brown, Agnieszka Studzinka, Kate Scott, Jamie Toy, Julia Rose Lewis, Simon Tyrrell, Astra Papachristodoulou, John Patrick Hughes, Lucy Furlong and more TBA. See the link for how to submit work to the exhibition (deadline Wed 5 February). Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Sat 22 February, times TBC. Free Verse: The Poetry Book & Magazine Fair: Stalls selling books, magazines and pamphlets from a multitude of poetry presses, plus a programme of readings and workshops. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn WC1R 4RL. Presumably free entry.
Tue 25 February, 7pm. Delusions of Grandeur: Readings and performances on the theme of delusion, and in celebration of the innovative press Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Featuring Hannah Ballou, SJ Fowler, Nadia De Vries, Christodoulos Makris, Dominic Jaeckle and Matt Birchwood. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Wed 26 February, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Georgina Colby leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.

March 2020

Tue 10 March, 7pm. Poem Brut: A performance event on the theme of mess, featuring poets, artists and writers like Helen Palmer, Simon Tyrrell, Jamie Toy, Julia Rose Lewis, Patrick Cosgrove and Sara Upstone. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Sat 14 March, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Wed 25 March, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Rowan Evans leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.

April 2020

Fri 3 April, 7pm. European Poetry Festival: Readings and performances by poets from throughout Europe, featuring Katerina Koulouri, Agnieszka Studzinka and many more. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL. Free.
Sat 11 April, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Wed 29 April, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Allen Fisher leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Thu 30 April, 10am-12.30pm, then at the same time weekly until Thu 25 June (no session Thu 28 May). Ekphrastic Writing: Creative writing course in 8 sessions, on using visual art as inspiration for poetry and prose. Tutor: Agnieszka Studzinska. The Exchange, 75 London Road, Twickenham TW1 1BE. £160. Book now.

FAQ:

  • Who updates this?
    • The listings are primarily maintained and updated by Matt Martin, Stuart Hall Research Scholar and PhD student in the CPRC at Birkbeck.
  • Haven’t I seen this page elsewhere?
    • Innovative Poetry Readings in London was initiated by the poet Peter Philpott in 2009 as part of his website, modernpoetry.org.uk. He continued to run the listings as a service to London’s poetry communities until August 2018, when he handed it on to the CPRC with his blessing. The rest of his site remains available and is of great interest.
  • What about the rest of the country?
  • How can I get my event listed?
    • Email us at cprc.readings@gmail.com with details of any readings or other events for this page. Email us if you spot any errors too, please. You can also contact us via Facebook. Bear in mind:
      • The listings may not be updated every day. To ensure that your event is posted in time to spread the word, please send information at least a week beforehand – the further in advance, the more useful the listing will be for you.
      • These listings concern performances (and some related activities) within the traditions or communities of innovative poetry – those that the CPRC exists to further. The listings aim to be inclusive, incorporating cross-cultural and internationalist currents, and extending to celebrations of modernist precursors, but there are limits to what will be publicised here.
  • What do you mean by ‘innovative poetry’?
    • Broadly speaking, poetry that challenges the traditionally accepted definitions of the art form – work which might also be dubbed ‘experimental’, ‘avant-garde’, ‘modernist’ (or ‘postmodernist’, ‘neo-modernist’ etc.). Such poetry diverges from the conservative norm in many different directions – a personal view from Peter Philpott is online here. These scenes are constantly developing. Recent years have seen more acceptance of innovative poetry by universities, major publishers, literary prize-givers and other institutions – though this remains sporadic, and much exciting activity is still down to groups of friends who organise and publish with scant resources. In the last couple of decades, the field has been enriched by increasing overlaps and intersections between different innovative poetry communities. At the same time, women, non-binary, LGBTQ+, Black British and British Asian poets, as well as UK-based poets born overseas, have all become more prominent.
  • Can you guarantee that these events will be good?
    • We hope they will be, but the CPRC cannot take responsibility for the quality of events organised by other parties, the reliability of information made available by to us by others, or any views expressed by organisers, performers and exhibitors. However, every event here is listed because it promises something of interest to those wishing to explore new possibilities for poetry. Descriptions in the listings are based on publicity material.

April 2020

Fri 3 April, 7pm. European Poetry Festival: Readings and performances by poets from throughout Europe, featuring Katerina Koulouri, Agnieszka Studzinka and many more. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL. Free.
Sat 11 April, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Wed 29 April, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Allen Fisher leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Thu 30 April, 10am-12.30pm, then at the same time weekly until Thu 25 June (no session Thu 28 May). Ekphrastic Writing: Creative writing course in 8 sessions, on using visual art as inspiration for poetry and prose. Tutor: Agnieszka Studzinska. The Exchange, 75 London Road, Twickenham TW1 1BE. £160. Book now.