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
Tue-Fri 11am-5pm until Fri 28 February. Joseph Kosuth ‘(A Grammatical Remark) #11’ 2019 Seamus Farrell ‘Britain, A Horizon Line Alined’ 2019: Exhibition of textual installations by conceptual artists Joseph Kosuth and Seamus Farrell. Chelsea Space, Chelsea College of Art and Design, 16 John Islip Street, Pimlico SW1P 4JU. Free.
Mon-Sat until Sat 29 February, performances 2.30pm or 7.30pm depending on the date. La Casa de Bernarda Alba: Staging of the classic play by poet Federico García Lorca. Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, Old Union Arches, 229 Union Street, Southwark SE1 0LR. £13.50-£26. Book now – note that many performances are sold out.
Wed, Fri & Sat 11am-5pm, Thu 11am-8pm until Sat 29 February. Technical-Adjacent: Exhibition of intermedia diagrams by Taylor Le Melle and Ima-Abasi Okon. Turf, 46-47 Trinity Court, Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR0 1UQ. Free.
Wed – Sat until Sat 29 February; finissage Sat 29 February, 4pm-7pm. The Wraiths of Golgonooza: Artists Jill Laudent and Sarah Cliff present an exhibition inspired by poet William Blake’s spiritual fourfold city of Golgonooza. no format Gallery, Studio NF01, Casting House, Moulding Lane, Deptford SE14 6BN. Free.
Wed-Sun 12pm-5pm until Sun 1 March. Domain_Material Presents: Reference Point: Multimedia exhibition by Amy Gillies and Chloe Hurst, inspired by testimony from poet Donald Ward, surgical appliance maker Stanley William Renwick, and miner Joseph McQueen. One Paved Court, 1 Paved Court, Richmond-upon-Thames TW9 1LZ. Free.
Thu-Sun 12pm-6pm until Sun 8 March. The Bard: William Blake at Flat Time House: Exhibition of William Blake’s illustrations for Thomas Gray’s poems The Bard and The Fatal Sisters. Includes contributions from contemporary poets Keith Jarrett, Chris McCabe, Niall McDevitt, Robert Montgomery, Karen Sandhu, Iain Sinclair and Tamar Yoseloff. Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free.
Until Tue 10 March, days and times TBC. Notational Literature, the Unfinished Work: Exhibition of ‘unfinished’ visual poetry. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Mon-Fri 10am-6pm until Fri 13 March. Art & Language: Picasso’s Guernica in the Style of Jackson Pollock (Essay II): Installation by textual artists Art & Language. Spovieri Gallery, 23 Heddon Street, Mayfair W1B 4BQ. Free.
Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm until Sun 15 March. Dora Maar: Exhibition of work by artist and poet Dora Maar. Tate Modern, Bankside, Southwark SE1 9TG. £13/£12. Book now.
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).
Tue-Sun 11am-8pm until Sun 29 March. Library of the Unwords: Exhibition of writings/drawings by Joo Yeon Park, responding to Samuel Beckett’s 1935 poetry collection Echo’s Bones and Other Precipitates. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. Free.
Wed-Sat 11am-6pm until Sat 4 April. Expectations: Exhibition featuring poetry by Pedro Neves Marques, and art by Leda Bourgogne, Daiga Grantina, Patrick Staff and Jessica Vaughn. Emalin Gallery, Unit 4, Huntingdon Estate, Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6JU. Free.
Wed-Sat 11am-6pm, Sun 12pm-5pm, first Thu of each month 11am-9pm until Sat 11 April. Tullio Crali: A Futurist Life: Exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. £7.50/£5.50, free for students.
Opening times vary by location. Extended to Thu 30 April. Sticky Dusty Car Park Witch: Installations of poster poems by Flora Hunt. Various public sites around Croydon. A map is here (PDF). Free.
February 2020
Fri 28 February, 6pm-10pm. Tate Lates: Steve McQueen – Artists and the City: An evening of performances and activities to celebrate artist and film-maker Steve McQueen. Includes at 7pm a poetry reading by Jay Bernard. Tate Modern, Bankside, Southwark SE1 9TG. Free. Bernard’s reading is free but ticketed, with tickets collectable from the Level 0 ticket desk on a first-come, first-served basis from 5pm.
Fri 28 February, 7pm. The Artist Dining Room | Etel Adnan: Dinner with a menu inspired by the poetry and art of Etel Adnan, accompanied by readings and discussion of her poems, led by artist Sophia Al-Maria. Guest Projects, Sunbury House, 1 Andrews Road, Hackney E8 4QL. £48. Book now.
Fri 28 February, doors 7pm, performances 7.30pm. The Whole Story: Readings of poetry and prose by L Kiew and Chris Power, plus music by Kits Coty. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5/£4 (or pay what you can) on the door.
Sat 29 February, 10.30am-1.30pm. A Ballad of Transformation: Ella Frears leads a poetry-writing workshop inspired by the venue’s exhibition by artist Christine Rebet. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £9.01/£6.88. Book now.
Sat 29 February, 2.30pm-4pm. Groundwerk 6.5// Learn to Mis-Use English Grammar: Taylor Le Melle leads a workshop on writing with non-standard grammar. Turf Projects, 46-47 Trinity Court, Whitgift Centre, Croydon CR0 1UQ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 29 February, 3pm. Saturday Gallery Tour: Curator Barbara Mantorelli leads a tour of the venue’s exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. Free with exhibition entry (£7.50/£5.50, free for students).
Sat 29 February, 6pm. A Leap in the Dark: An evening of poetry, prose, music, performance and talks to celebrate Leap Year Night. Featuring writers Tony White, Jen Hodgson, Michael Hughes and David Collard, musician Melanie Pappenheim, artist Natalia Zagorska-Thomas, theatre director Tim Etchells, and more TBC. Paddington Conservative Association, 1 Hormead Road, Paddington W9 3NG. £11. Book now.
Sat 29 February, 7pm. The Queer Shuffle: Keith Jarrett, Cherry Smyth, Maureen Duffy, Richard Scott, Greg Woods, Martha Sprackland and Max Wallis read their poetry. Plus surprise guests. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £7/£5 on the door.
Sat 29 February, 7.30pm. Love Love Magazine #2 London Launch Party: Launch event for the new issue of Love Love magazine, featuring poetry from Sascha Aurora Akhtar, Virna Texeira, Ghazal Mosadeq, Scarlett Sabet, Safa Fati, Petra Kamula and Niall McDevitt, fiction by Nik Perring, and music by Kim Logan & The Silhouettes. The Prince Albert, 163 Royal College Street, Camden NW1 0SG. Presumably free.
March 2020
Sun 1 March & Sun 15 March, 12pm-4pm each day. Memory Cloud: Family Montage: Anne-Marie Fyfe leads a 2-session workshop on creating poetry by splicing together fragmentary memories of family. ArtsEd, 14 Bath Road, Turnham Green W4 1LY. £65. Book now.
Sun 1 March, 12pm. John Cage 33 1/3 (1969) – Matinee: Interactive Agents (Robin McGinley & Philip Arnold) host an enactment of John Cage’s participatory Fluxus event 33 1/3. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. Free.
Sun 1 March, 12.30pm. Translation Matters: Panel discussion on translation featuring poet Anna Blasiak, translator Peter Filkins (biographer of sound poet and Holocaust scholar HG Adler), and writer Sylvie Weil. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £9.50. Book now.
Sun 1 March, 4.30pm. Salt Poets: Poetry from Salt Publishing authors Peter Daniels, Kirsten Irving, Tony Williams and Eleanor Rees. Boulevard Soho, 6 Walker’s Court, Soho W1F 0BT. £12. Book now.
Sun 1 March, 7.30pm. They Shall Not Pass: The Battle of Cable Street: Steven Berkoff performs his new verse work about the 1936 Battle of Cable Street, and discusses this historic event. With live music by Mark Glentworth. Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £10-£20. Book now.
Sun 1 March, 7.30pm. Torriano Poetry Reading: Poetry with Hannah Lowe and Miranda Pearson. Plus open mic. Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town NW5 2RX. £5/£4 on the door.
Sun 1 March, 7.30pm. Braublff #9: An evening of performances by poets, musicians and artists operating at the frontier between language and music. Featuring Gerard Herman, Maja Jantar, Peter Fengler and Ute Wasserman. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £10 on the door, £8 advance. Book now.
Tue 3 March, 6pm. Bachmann – Celan – Bachmann: Poet and translator Peter Filkins discusses the relationship between poets Ingeborg Bachmann and Paul Celan. Room G21A, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 3 March, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Study group session on George Oppen’s poetic sequence Discrete Series. See the link to sign up for a mailing list to receive materials in advance. CANCELLED in solidarity with UCU industrial action.
Wed 4 March, 6.30pm-9pm, then at the same time on Wed 11 and Wed 18 March. Creative Writing – Immersive Word Forests: 3-week creative writing course exploring the representation of forests in literature and art, inspired by the venue’s exhibition by Vivian Suter. Tutor: Ellen Wiles. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. £100/£75. Book now.
Wed 4 March, 5pm or 7pm (sources vary). Critical Lives of Rabindranath Tagore: Bashabi Fraser gives a talk about Bengali modernist poet and polymath Rabindranath Tagore. Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing (Senate House), SOAS University of London, Torrington Square, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 5 March, 7pm. First Thursdays Late Opening Night with Curatorial Tour: Curator Christopher Adams leads a tour of the venue’s exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. Free with exhibition entry (£7.50/£5.50, free for students).
Thu 5 March, 7pm. Ailbhe Ni Bhriain: Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre: Artist Ailbhe Ni Bhriain presents a screening of her 2018 film Inscriptions of an Immense Theatre, and afterwards is in conversation with poet Sarah Hayden and the film’s soundtrack composer, Susan Stenger. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. £9.50/£7.50. Book now.
Thu 5 March, 9pm. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: The New Black Film Collective presents a screening of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ 2019 film about late novelist Toni Morrison. The film features poets Sonia Sanchez and June Jordan, and will be introduced with a reading by the Black Girls Book Club. Genesis Cinema, 93-95 Mile End Road, Stepney E1 4UJ. £5.50. Book now.
Fri 6 March, 1pm. Keith Arnatt’s Conceptualist Critique of Conceptual Art: Christian Berger gives a talk about the work of textual and conceptual artist Keith Arnatt. Paul Mellon Centre, 16 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3JA. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 6 March, 7pm-9pm. Write Ahead: Free Introductory Workshop: Introductory poetry-writing workshop, led by Sam Walton. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 6 March, 7pm. British Sign Language Tour: Dora Maar: Edward Richards leads a British Sign Language tour of the venue’s exhibition about artist and poet Dora Maar. Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. Free.
Fri 6 March, 7pm. Lorna Goodison and Linton Kwesi Johnson: Lorna Goodison and Linton Kwesi Johnson perform and discuss their poetry. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Fri 6 March, 7pm. You Burn Me: The Subjectivity and Feminisms Research Group at Chelsea College of Arts present an evening of immersive performance and film inspired by Sappho’s poetry on the theme of burnout. Featuring Rosemary Cronin, Anat Ben David Film, Stuart McKenzie, Gaby Sahhar, Lana Locke, Mo Throp, Denise Ackerl, Fran Cottell, Roshni Bhagotra (Rounded Radio), Ocean Baulcombe-Toppin, Secondeditions (Elizabeth Peebles and Markus Eisenmann), Christine Stewart, TwoOneEight Collective, Foreign Investments (FI) Collective + FEMMETASIA, Anna Ricciardi, LMB Performance, and Lora Garni. Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead NW3 5SX. £15/£12. Book now.
Sat 7 March, 2pm. Overtaki – Her Life and Art: Mia Lejsted gives a talk about the life and work of Danish artist and poet Overtaki. Bethlem Museum of the Mind, Bethlem Royal Hospital, Monks Orchard Road, Beckenham BR3 3BX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 7 March, 4pm. Materials Reading Series: Peter Gizzi and Denise Riley read their poetry. SET, 27A Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Free.
Sat 7 March, 7pm. artBLAB: An evening of short talks featuring poet Nick Murray, visual artist Ania Jochymek, photographer Maroussia Mbaye and painter Yein Son. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Suggested donation £5 on the door.
Sat 7 March, 7.30pm. Piano, Noise, Music and Toys: Steve Beresford at 70: Improvising musician Steve Beresford celebrates his 70th birthday by joining musician Tania Caroline Chen and comedian Stewart Lee for a performance of John Cage’s celebrated text Indeterminacy. Plus more music from Mark Sanders & John Butcher, Angharad Davies & Max Eastley, and Najma Akhtar, with DJing by Howard Williams. Beresford also plays (with different line-ups and sets) on Fri 6 and Sun 8 March; see the link for details. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £10 advance, £12 on the door (or £24 for all 3 of Beresford’s gigs). Book now.
Sun 8 March, 12.30pm. Al Alvarez, Elaine Feinstein and Clive Sinclair: A Tribute: Panel discussion in praise of three recently departed, Anglo-Jewish writers: poet Elaine Feinstein, short story writer Clive Sinclair and critic Al Alvarez. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £9.50. Book now.
Mon 9 March, 6.15pm. Crnjanski and London: Discussion about Serbian novelist and poet Miloš Crnjanski’s time in London. Featuring translators Christina Pribičević-Zorić and Will Firth, scholar David Norris and actor Vesna Stanojević. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £11/£9.50/£5.50. Book now.
Mon 9 March, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Words in Freedom: Experimental Writing Workshop: Creative writing workshop in response to Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali’s manifesto Musical Words: Alphabet in Freedom. Workshop leader: Ellen Wiles. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. £20/£17. Book now.
Mon 9 March, 7pm. Charlotte Geater / Susannah Dickey Pamphlet Launch: Readings to launch 2 Bad Betty Press pamphlets, Poems for My FBI Agent by Charlotte Geater and Bloodthirsty for Marriage by Susannah Dickey. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Presumably free.
Mon 9 March, 7.30pm. 87 Spring Special: Poetry with Porochista Khakpour, Katherine Angel, Golnoosh Nour and Hannah Regel. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. £5/£3 on the door.
Tue 10 – Wed 12 March, London Book Fair: This book fair and its accompanying programme of events seem primarily focussed on the commercial publishing trade, but there are also readings and talks by poets like Eley Williams, SJ Fowler, Afra Atiq, Greta Bellamacina and Shalim M Hussein. Olympia London, Hammersmith Road, Kensington W14 8UX. Prices start at £50. Book now.
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.
Tue 10 March, 7pm. Irreversible Entanglements: Jazz and poetry from the collective Irreversible Entanglements, featuring poet Moor Mother, saxophonist Keir Neuringer and bassist Luke Stewart. EartH, 11-17 Stoke Newington Road, Dalston N16 8BH. £17.50. Book now.
Wed 11 March, 6.45pm. Traces of the Soul: Screening of Martin Cooper’s new film about contemporary artists experimenting with calligraphy. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone W1G 7LP. £10/£8, free for students. Book now.
Wed 11 March, 7pm. Public Knowledge: Performance writer Cally Spooner reads from her new score Dead Time. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. Free, booking essential. Book now.
Wed 11 March, 7.30pm. 87.15: Readings to launch Rob Kiely’s poetry collection simmering of a declarative void, and Stuart Bell’s translation of Anne Goscinny’s novel the softest sleep. Plus more poetry from Jay G Ying, Maria Sledmere, Amy De’Ath and Petero Kalulé. The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, Southwark SE1 4YG. £5/£3 on the door.
Wed 11 March, 8.30pm. Spineless Authors’ Night: Open mic night for new and emerging writers; tonight’s special guest is poet and writer Jen Calleja. See the link for how to request an open mic slot. The Clapton Hart, 231 Lower Clapton Road, Clapton E5 8EG. Free.
Thu 12 March – Sat 2 May, Mon-Fri 10am-6pm, Sat 11am-5pm. Dom Sylvester Houédard: tantric poetries: Exhibition of Dom Sylvester Houédard’s concrete poetry inspired by tantric spirituality. Lisson Gallery, 67 Lisson Street, Marylebone NW1 5DA. Free.
Thu 12 March, 6.30pm. Art of Escape by Mina Gorji: Carcanet Book Launch: Mina Gorji reads to launch her poetry collection Art of Escape. Daunt Books, 61 Cheapside, City of London EC2V 6AX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 12 March, 7pm. Poetry Against the System: Vasyl Stus and the Ukrainian Dissidents: Scholars Bohdan Tokarsky and Uilleam Blacker discuss the writings and activism of Ukrainian poet Vasyl Stus. Plus readings of new translations of Stus into English, and a short screening of documentary footage. Ukrainian Institute, 79 Holland Park, Notting Hill W11 3SW. £10/£5. Book now.
Thu 12 March, 7pm. Many Places to Call Home: An evening of poetry, music and discussion exploring the concept of nomadic existence. Featuring poets Bejan Matur, Leo Boix and Amir Darwish, poet-translator Jen Hadfield and musician Haymanot Tesfa. Room TBC, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. £6.12. Book now.
Thu 12 March, 7.30pm. Bernardine Evaristo in Conversation: Poet Bernardine Evaristo reads from and discusses her novel Girl, Woman, Other. National Theatre, Upper Ground, Lambeth SE1 9PX. £35/£25/£15. Book now.
Thu 12 March, 8pm. Emirati Poets in London: Readings and discussions with poets from the United Arab Emirates (poets TBA). National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 13 March, 6.30pm. Poetry: Megan Fernandes, Emily Critchley, Polly Atkin and Will Harris: Megan Fernandes, Emily Critchley, Polly Atkin and Will Harris read their poetry. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. Free.
Fri 13 March, 7pm. Poetry against Homelessness: Readings by poets who have experienced homelessness. Pentameters Theatre, The Horseshoe pub, 28 Heath Street, Hampstead NW3 6TE. £10 on the door, £8/£4 advance. Book now.
Fri 13 March, 7pm. Volume II: Five Poems for Toni Morrison: Ifeanyi Awachie, Victoria Adukwei Bulley, Leo Hermitt, Selina Nwulu and Kareem Reid read new poems in tribute to late novelist Toni Morrison. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 10am-3pm. A Deptford Creek Walk & Poetry Workshop: Poet Ella Frears leads a guided walk and mudlarking expedition around Deptford Creek, followed by a creative writing workshop inspired by the group’s finds from the river mud. Creekside Discovery Centre, 14 Creekside, Deptford SE8 4SA. £20. Book now. A limited number of free places are available for the impecunious; see here for how to apply (deadline Fri 7 February).
Sat 14 March, 10.30am-1.30pm. Dissembling Nature: Jamie Hale leads a creative writing workshop exploring a radical nature poetry that centres a diversity of bodies, inspired by urban nature in Deptford. May include a short walk, weather permitting. Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. £10. Book now. A limited number of free places are available for the impecunious; see here for how to apply (deadline Fri 7 February).
Sat 14 March, 10.30am-4.30pm. This Goes There, That Comes After: List Poems: Creative writing workshop about approaches to the list poem, inspired by poets like Caroline Bergvall, Miles Champion and Matthew Welton. Tutor: James Davies. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 10.30am-4.30pm. Window, Mirror, Knife, Disaster, & Reinvention: Poetry of Glass: Creative writing workshop on poetry using imagery of glass, inspired by poets like Charles Tomlinson, Claire Crowther, Peter Redgrove and Michael Ondaatje. Tutor: Judy Brown. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 11am-3pm. “Pintando el Valle in London” (Painting the Valley in London): Launch event for the project Painting the Valley in London by the Colombian artists’ collective Xamundi, featuring poetry readings (in Spanish and English) by Rubén Prado Plaza and Sonia Quintero, plus dance by Group Fundacion Catufa. Newham Poetry House, Stratford Park, Densham Road, Stratford E15 4DA. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 1pm-4pm. Culture Matters Presents Witches: Warriors, Workers. Launch!: An afternoon of readings from Witches, Warriors, Workers, an anthology of contemporary working women’s poetry, featuring Amy Acre, Julia Bell, Becky Bone, Jane Burn, Kimberly Campanello, Michelle Diaz, Sarah Doyle, Julie Hogg, Lisa Kelly, Fran Lock, Golnoosh Nourpanah, Kathy Pimlott, Joelle Taylor and Sarah Wedderburn. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Presumably free.
Sat 14 March, 2pm-6pm. The Power of Our Ancestors: Latin American Women’s Aid and Migrants in Action host an afternoon of music, poetry, dance and rituals in celebration of Latin American women. Tate Exchange, Tate Modern, Bankside, Southwark SE1 9TG. Free.
Sat 14 March, 2.30pm-4pm. Writing the Past: Black Archives and Activism: Poet Jay Bernard, campaigner Leila Howe and writers Tej Adeleye and Rex Obano lead a creative writing workshop inspired by Black archives and activism. Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. £5. Book now. A limited number of free places are available for the impecunious; see here for how to apply (deadline Fri 7 February).
Sat 14 March, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sat 14 March, 4pm-6.30pm. Born::Free: Malakai Sergeant and Belinda Zhawi lead a poetry and sound workshop on themes of home and change. Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 4pm-5pm. Poetry and the Machine: Machine-Generated Poetry in Translation: Poets Tice Cin and Khairani Barokka lead a workshop on translating the poetry of machines into other languages or codes. Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 5.30pm. Somewhere We Can Take Refuge: Kurdish poet Bejan Matur and poet-translator Jen Hadfield read in Turkish and English from Matur’s new collection Akin to Stone. Villages Brewery, 21-22 Resolution Way, Deptford SE8 4NT. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 14 March, 6pm. Toni Morrison: The Pieces I Am: Screening of Timothy Greenfield-Sanders’ 2019 film about late novelist Toni Morrison. The film features poets Sonia Sanchez and June Jordan, and is followed by a Q&A with Farah Jasmine Griffin, Avery Gordon and Ellah P Wakatama. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £13/£11. Book now.
Mon 16 March, 12pm-1pm. 1960s Avant-Gardes Reading Group: Reading group session on surrealist artist and poet Ithell Colquhoun’s novel Goose of Hermogenes. Terrace Café, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. Free, but please register interest first – details here.
Mon 16 March, 7.30pm. The Little Green Notebook of Che Guevara: Performances of Che Guevara’s favourite poems, featuring work by Pablo Neruda, Nicolás Guillén, César Vallejo and León Felipe. In Spanish and English. Wiltons Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel E1 8JB. £8-£17. Book now.
Mon 16 March, 7.30pm. Hard Work: Music, poetry and performance with Sarah Gail Brand, Serena Braida, Chris Hill, Sarah Dawson and Ulli Freer. The Beehive, Stoneleigh Road, Tottenham N17 9BQ. £5; free for those with no funds.
Tue 17 March, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Study group session on Gertrude Stein and Literary Cubist Theatre. See the link to sign up for a mailing list to receive materials in advance. Room G17, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 17 March, 7.30pm. James Baldwin: Nobody Knows My Name: Poetry and discussion in tribute to novelist James Baldwin. Wiltons Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel E1 8JB. £8-£17. Book now.
Thu 19 March, 6.30pm. Patrician Press – Launch of Northern Alchemy by Christine De Luca: Christine De Luca reads to launch her bilingual (Shetlandic-English) poetry collection Northern Alchemy. Plus more poetry with Philip Terry and MW Bewick. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Fri 20 – Sun 29 March, Sun-Thu 10am-6pm, Fri-Sat 10am-10pm. A schedule of special performances is here; Tanya Lukin Linklater performs her poetry on Fri 27 & Sat 28 March, 8.30pm, and Sun 29 March, 4.30pm. Tate Live Exhibition: Exhibition of performances and installations, featuring women: iskwewak, Tanya Lukin Linklater’s poetry performances inspired by her Cree and Alutiiq heritage, plus more work by Faustin Linyekula and Okwui Okpokwasili. ‘Performances and installations can be explored for free during the day. Additional ticketed performances will take place at night.’ Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. Exhibition free. Special performances £15/£12; book now.
Sat 21 & Sun 22 March, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Soundtext Weekender: 2-day workshop on sound experimentation and text generation, using audio equipment, samplers and editing software. Tutor: Antosh Wojcik. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Sat 21 March, 10am-5pm. Twisted World: Writing Surrealist Poetry: Katherine Lockton leads a workshop on writing surrealist poetry. Dulwich Picture Gallery, Gallery Road, Dulwich SE21 7AD. £60. Book now.
Sat 21 March, 11am-4.30pm. R:Fest Poetry Day: Poetry by the Crested Tit Collective (Briony Hughes and includes Laura Hellon, Emily Jenkins and Royal Holloway’s Poetic Practice MA students), Lucy Mercer, Nadira Wallace, Agnieszka Studzińska, Ed Luker, Francesca Lisette, Matt Martin, Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain and SJ Fowler. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Sat 21 March, 1pm-4pm. Poetry x Class Reading Group: The Master’s Tools: Poet Andrew McMillan leads a close-reading workshop on working-class poetry about work, considering texts by Peter Robinson, Martin Hayes and Geoff Hattersley. Also featuring an opportunity for participants to workshop their own poetry. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. Free, but booking is essential. Book now.
Sat 21 March, 3pm. Saturday Gallery Tour: Curator Barbara Mantorelli leads a tour of the venue’s exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. Free with exhibition entry (£7.50/£5.50, free for students).
Mon 23 March, 7.30pm. F(r)ictions .4: An evening of film and video, featuring work by poet Edmund Hardy, plus Summer M, April Lin and more TBA. DIY Space for London, 96-108 Ormside Street SE15 1TF. Entry by donation (£5/£2 suggested amount, no one turned away for lack of funds). Book now.
Tue 24 March, 6.30pm. Tamil Poetry Workshop: Translating the Poet Sugan with Hari Rajaledchumy: Translation workshop on Sri Lankan Tamil 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 24 March, 7pm. Launch: I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For by Jen Calleja: Poet Jen Calleja reads to launch her debut short story collection I’m Afraid That’s All We’ve Got Time For. Plus readings by Oliver Zarandi, Maike Hale-Jones and more TBC. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Free.
Tue 24 March, 7pm. Bad Betty Press Poets and Poetry Open Mic: Bad Betty Press poets Antonia Jade King, Charlotte Geater and Gita Ralleigh perform their work. Plus an open mic for unpublished poets. See the link for how to register to read. Pages Cheshire Street, 5 Cheshire Street Shoreditch E2 6ED. £5/£4. Book now.
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.
Wed 25 March, 7.15pm. FAKE: An evening of poetry about fakeness, with special guests Will Harris, Amy Key, Phoebe Stuckes and Luke Kennard, plus Fiona Larkin, Mark Chamberlain and Fractured Strings. October Gallery, 24 Old Gloucester Street, Bloomsbury WC1N 3AL. £8. Book now.
Wed 25 March, 8pm. National Poetry Library Lates: Anna Selby and others read poetry responding to the venue’s exhibition Among the Trees. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £10 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 26 March, 6pm-8pm (opening event), then Tue-Sat 11am-7pm until Fri 10 April. A Horizon is not Straight: Exhibition to launch a queer anthology of wilderness, featuring work by poet Eileen Myles, Siobhan Liddell, Paul P, Mary Manning, Jimmy DeSana, Princess Julia, GB Jones, Hamish Chapman, Richard Porter and Camp Books. Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, Charing Cross WC2N 4HE.
Thu 26 March, 6.30pm. Dead White Anarchists: Paul Case performs his spoken word theatre show about anarchism in Paris during 1892. Housmans Books, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 9DX. Free entry, donations welcome.
Thu 26 March, 7pm. The Discomfort of Evening: Marieke Lucas Rijneveld & Sophie Collins: Dutch poet Marieke Lucas Rijneveld discusses their novel The Discomfort of Evening with poet and translator Sophie Collins. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloosbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Thu 26 March, 7.30pm. Xing the Line: Poetry with Johan de Wit, Rachel Levitsky, Francesca Lisette, Christopher Twigg and Sally-Shakti Willow. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £5/£3.
Fri 27 & Sat 28 March, Fri 4pm-6.30pm, Sat 10am-5pm. Cutting Edge: Collage in Britain, 1945 to Now: 2-day conference on collage in British art, featuring papers by Nicola Simpson on concrete poet Dom Sylvester Houédard, and Andrew Hodgson on surrealist collage. Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 4RG. £15/£10. Book now.
Fri 27 March, 8.30pm. O Horizon: Screening of the Otolith Group’s 2018 essay-film about the educational philosophy of Bengali modernist poet Rabindranath Tagore. With an introduction by historian Partha Mitter. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £13/£11. Book now.
Sat 28 March, 2pm-5pm. Poetry & Spoken Word Group Panel: Activism in Poetry: Khairani Barokka, Jacqueline Saphra and Will Forrester discuss activism in poetry, followed by readings by Eric Gregory Award winners Mary Jean Chan, Dominic Leonard and Phoebe Stuckes. Society of Authors, 24 Bedford Row, Holborn WC1R 4EH. £15. Book now.
Sat 28 March, 7pm. Idolaters – Ειδωλολάτρες: Natalie Katsou launches her new poetry collection Idolaters (Ειδωλολάτρες). The event also features poets Charilaos Nikolaidis and Haris Psarras, poetry scholar Liana Giannakopoulou, theatre director Anastasia Revi, actor Konstantinos Chatzikypraios, and visual art by Vivian Chalkidi. Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone W1U 5AS. Free bur bookable. Book now.
Sat 28 March, 7.30pm. Chelsea Opera Group: Murder in the Cathedral: Chelsea Opera Group gives an English-language performance of Pizetti’s opera based on TS Eliot’s poetic drama Murder in the Cathedral. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £17-£45 plus booking fee. Book now.
Sun 29 March, 1pm-3.30pm. Poets of the Embankment: Guided walk about London’s history of poetry beside the River Thames, including modern figures like the Beat poets. Walk leader: Niall McDevitt. Meeting point TBC. £10.
Sun 29 March, 2.30pm. Cycles of Inheritance: Panel discussion with the exhibitors at the venue’s Tate Live exhibition. Featuring poet Tanya Lukin Linklater, plus artists Faustin Linyekula and Okwui Okpokwasili. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside, Southwark SE1 9TG. £12/£8. Book now.
Sun 29 March, 7.30pm. Long Poem Magazine Reading: Readings by contributors to Long Poem Magazine (poets TBA). Plus open mic. Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town NW5 2RX. £5/£4 on the door.
Mon 30 March, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Adult Art Class: Art in Orbit: Art workshop responding to Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali’s manifesto Orbital Art. Workshop leader: Giles Bunch. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. £20. Book now.
Mon 30 March, 7.45pm. City Central: An Express Tour of Europe: Poet Joshua Idehen, writer Johny Pitts and musicians Tom Leaper and Shanaz Dorsett present a multimedia tour of urban Europe. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £15 plus booking fee. Book now.
April 2020
Wed 1 April, 8pm. Crossing Boundaries: Readings by UK-based poets of East Asian heritages and identities, featuring Natalie Linh Bolderston, L Kiew, Jennifer Lee Tsai, Jennifer Wong, Nina Mingya Powles and Jay G Ying. Plus a talk on East Asian visibility by David Tse Ka-Shing. Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £7 plus booking fee. Book now.
Tue 2 April, 6.30pm. Book Launch: Our Late Familiars by Ian Wilkinson and Iain Sinclair: Launch event for the book Our Late Familiars, a collaboration made by photographer Ian Wilkinson and poet Iain Sinclair in the catacombs of Palermo. Includes a short film, talks and a drinks reception. Swedenborg Hall, 20-21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free; see here for how to RSVP.
Thu 2 April, 7pm. First Thursdays Late Opening Night with Curatorial Tour: Curator Christopher Adams leads a tour of the venue’s exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. Free with exhibition entry (£7.50/£5.50, free for students).
Thu 2 April, 7pm. Book Launch: No Modernism without Lesbians with Diana Souhami: Diana Souhami launches her book No Modernism without Lesbians, a survey of how the lesbian community fostered modernist art and literature. Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury WC1N 1AB. Free.
Thu 2 April, 7pm. Queers Read This (5): Readings of poetry and prose by Sophia Al-Maria, Danielle Brathwaite-Shirley, Harry Burgess, Richard Porter, Tai Shani and Isabel Waidner. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Thu 2 April, 7.30pm. All Saints Session: Poet Cheryl Moskowitz and electronic musician Alastair Gavin host a fusion of poetry and sound with special guests TBC. All Saints’ Church Edmondton, Church Street, Edmondton N9 9PB. £5 on the door; free to N9 and N18 residents.
Fri 3 April, 7pm. European Poetry Festival: Readings by poets from throughout Europe. Max Höfler, Robert Prosser, Franziska Füchsl, Laurensia Puia, Gabriella Buckner and Jamie Toy launch new publications; also performing are Bjørn Vatne, Katerina Koulouri, Agnieszka Studzinska, Maria Celina Val, Maria Omena, Djahane Zair and Silje Ree. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL. Free.
Fri 3 April, 7.30pm. Classic Album Sundays present Laurie Anderson: Poet, musician and artist Laurie Anderson discusses her work with Colleen ‘Cosmo’ Murphy. Plus a vinyl playback on an audiophile hi-fi sound system. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £16/£14/£8. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sat 4 April, 7.30pm. European Camarade 2020: An evening of collaborations between European poets, featuring Bård Torgersen & Robert Prosser, Iris Colomb & Maria Malinovskaya, Serena Braida & Baptiste Gaillard, Clea Chopard & Nadia de Vries, Stella Voskaridou & Simona Nastac, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė & Anna Serra, Linn Molineux & Livia Franchini, Mathias R Samuelsen & Stepan Hobza, Zuzana Husárová & Sara Torres, SJ Fowler & Max Höfler, Alessandro Burbank & Bjørn Vatne, and more TBA. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Sun 5 April, 2pm-4pm. Cerebellum with Florence Peake: Artist Florence Peake leads a workshop combining movement, creative writing and sound, inspired by touch-based experiences. OTO Project Space, Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £20/£15. Book now. (Also see the link for details on how to register if cost is an issue.)
Sun 5 April, 7.30pm. Sound Poetry and Performance: Performances of sound poetry and conceptual poetry from across Europe, featuring Xelis de Toro, Bård Torgersen, Iris Colomb & Yourknots, Zuzana Husárová, Alessandro Burbank, Stella Voskaridou, Gabrielė Labanauskaitė, Anna Serra, Dovydas Laurinaitis, and more TBA. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. Free.
Mon 6 April, 7.30pm. Swiss Poetry Focus: An evening of collaborations between Swiss and UK-based poets, featuring Laura Accerboni & Serena Braida, Baptiste Gaillard & Ryan Ormonde, Linn Molineaux & SJ Fowler, Cléa Chopard & Ghazal Mosadeq, and Raphael Urweider & TBA. Plus solo performances by Mathias R Samuelsen, Maria Malinovskaya, Endre Ruset and more TBA. Candid Arts Basement Gallery, 3 Torrens Street, Islington EC1V 1NQ. Free.
Tue 7 April, 7pm-9.30pm, then the same time weekly until Tue 12 May. Where Words Meet Music: Ben See leads a 6-week course on combining poetry and music. With guest tutors Rowan Evans, Alice Zawadzki, Samantha Whates and Richard Scott. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £100. Book now.
Wed 8 April, 6pm. Poetry Night: Timothy Thornton and Verity Spott: Timothy Thornton and Verity Spott read their poetry as part of the venue’s exhibition A Horizon is not Straight (see above) Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, Charing Cross WC2N 4HE. Presumably free.
Wed 8 April, 7pm. Klang Farben Text: German & British Concrete Poetry: An evening of performance, exhibition and discussion with German and British concrete poets. Featuring Michael Lentz, Angelika Janz, Chris McCabe, Kimberley Campanello, Barrie Tullet, Robert Montgomery, Victoria Bean and SJ Fowler, plus short readings by Landa Wo, Ana Seferovic, Madalina Zaharia, Daniel Kramb, Ana Brnadic, and more TBA. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. Free.
Wed 8 April, 7pm. Public Knowledge: The 87 Press: The 87 Press presents readings by poets Sascha Aurora Akhtar, Mira Mattar, Sandeep Parmar and Nisha Ramayya. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 9 April, 7pm. Austrian Poetry Focus: An evening of collaborations between Austrian and UK-based poets, featuring Robert Prosser & SJ Fowler, Franziska Füchsl & Ollie Evans, and Max Höfler & TBA, plus solo readings by Landa Wo, Tomica Bajsic, Michal Piotrowski, Tomasz Mielcarek, Ana Brnadic and more TBA. Austrian Cultural Forum, 28 Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge, London SW7 1PQ. Free.
Thu 9 April, 7.30pm. Out Else 6: Poetry with Sam Keogh, Amy De’Ath and Caitlin Doherty, launching a new issue of the little magazine summat. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. 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, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sat 11 April, 7.30pm. Polish Poetry Focus: An evening of collaborations between Polish and UK-based poets, featuring Ilona Witkowska & Eley Williams, Radoslaw Jurczak & SJ Fowler, Bartosz Sadulski & Luke Kennard, and Maciej Topolski & TBA, plus solo performances by Ewa Frączek, Adam Leszkiewicz, Nadia de Vries, Astrid Alben, Tomica Bajsic, Mathura, Marina Kazakova and more TBA. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Mon 13 April, 7.30pm. Latvian Poetry Focus: An evening of collaborations between Latvian and UK-based poets, featuring Krišjānis Zeļģis & Nadia de Vries, Luīze Marija Meļķe & SJ Fowler, Henriks Elias Zēgners & Amy Cutler, and Lote Vilma Vītiņa & David Spittle, plus solo performances by Mathura, Kostya Tsolakis, Daniel Kramb, Christopher Cusack, Silje Ree and more TBA. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Mon 20 April, 7.30pm. The Unofficial Countryside: Nature writer Richard Mabey and poet Iain Sinclair discuss resurgent nature in urban wastelands. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £12.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 22 April, 6pm. Encounters: Andrea Grill and Tess Lewis: Austrian poet Andrea Grill discusses her recent novels with her translator, Tess Lewis. Room 243, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Booking opens Sun 1 March.
Wed 22 April, 8pm and 8.30pm. Leaving the City: Poets on Trees: 10 poets perform new work in response to the venue’s exhibition Among the Trees. Readers include Anna Selby, L Kiew, Mona Arshi and Seán Hewitt. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £15 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 24 April, 10am-3.30pm. The Personal as Political: Creative Writers on Form, Theme, and Practice: The Open University hosts a conference on strategies that writers use to engage with personal or public politics. Featuring a keynote by poet-novelist Bernardine Evaristo, plus presentations by playwrights Tanika Gupta and Paul Sirett; a panel on the natural world with Sally O’Reilly, Siobhán Campbell and Sarah Butler; and a panel on oral history and creative writing with Erica Masserano, Emma Sweeney and Shanta Everington. Friends House, 173-177 Euston Road, Bloomsbury NW1 2BJ. £10; booking essential. Book now.
Tue 28 April, 7.15pm. Citadel: A Reading by Martha Sprackland: Martha Sprackland reads from her poetry collection Citadel. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £6/£5/£3. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Tue 28 April, time TBC. Something Other – On Circularity: Performances of new writing on the theme of circularity. The call for submissions is here (deadline Mon 23 March, 10am). Live Art Development Agency, The Garrett Centre, 117A Mansford Street, Bethnal Green E2 6LX. Price (if any) TBC.
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.
Wed 29 April, 7pm. Pablo Neruda: Graham Fawcett gives a lecture on the life and work of Chilean poet Pablo Neruda. Sutton House, 2-4 Homerton High Street, Homerton E9 6JQ. £15. Book now.
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.
Thu 30 April, 7pm. Un Nuevo Sol: Latinx Writers and Resistance: Performances and talks by politically-engaged, British and US-based Latinx writers, featuring poets Janel Pineda, Maia Elsner, Leo Boix, Patrizia Longhitano and Antonio Lopez. Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, Farringdon EC1R 3GA. £10; £7 under-31s, £2 unwaged. Book now.
Thu 30 April, 8.30pm. Audre Lorde – The Berlin Years 1984–1992: Screening of Dagmar Schultz’s documentary about poet Audre Lorde’s time in West Berlin during the 1980s. Peckhamplex, 95a Rye Lane, Peckham SE15 4ST. £4.99. Book now.
May 2020
Fri 1 May, 7.15pm. Modernism Probably Wouldn’t Have Happened Without Lesbians in Paris: Biographer Diana Souhami discusses her new book No Modernism without Lesbians, which looks at the role of lesbians in developing modernism in early 20th century Paris. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £13/£11/£6.50. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sun 3 May, 2pm. The Earth Asleep: Screening of Clara Casian’s new silent film about the aftermath of the 2011 Oshika Peninsula earthquake in Japan, accompanied by poetry, plus a live soundtrack by composer Robin Richards. Barbican Cinema 1, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £12.50/£11.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Tue 5 May, 7.30pm. Sophie Seita & Naomi Woo – Beethoven Was a Lesbian, and Other Pieces: Poet Sophie Seita and musician Naomi Woo present the performance pieces Beethoven Was a Lesbian and Reveille, homages to composer Pauline Oliveros and artist Theresa Hak Kyung Cha respectively. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £8 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.
Wed 6 May, 7pm. Liberating Languages: Readings and discussion about political resistance through language, with a focus on Gypsy, Traveller and Roma (GTR) languages, Ga and Yorùbá. Featuring poet Victoria Adukwei Bulley, writer Damien Le Bas and linguist Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún. Free Word, 60 Farringdon Road, Farringdon EC1R 3GA. £10; £7 under-31s, £2 unwaged. Book now.
Sat 9 May, 10.30am-4.30pm. May the Verse be with You: Poetry Inspired by Star Wars: Chrissy Williams leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry inspired by the Star Wars films. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 9 May, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sun 10 May, 7.30pm. Shabaka and the Ancestors + Maâlem Houssam Guinia: Live music by jazz group Shabaka and the Ancestors and Gnawa maestro Maâlem Houssam Guinia, interspersed with readings by poet Anthony Joseph. Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £20/£17.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 13 & Thu 14 May, times TBC. Lydia Davis: Writing, Reading and Translation: Conference about prose poet, experimental writer and translator Lydia Davis. Rooms TBC, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Pricing TBC.
Wed 13 May, 7pm. Sophie Mackintosh and Avni Doshi in Conversation with Octavia Bright: Poet Sophie Mackintosh and writer Avni Doshi discuss their new novels with scholar-poet Octavia Bright. Pages of Hackney, 70 Lower Clapton Road, Clapton E5 0RN. £5/£4. Book now.
Wed 13 May, 7pm. The International Dylan Thomas Prize 2020: A Shortlist Celebration: Readings by nominees for this year’s International Dylan Thomas Prize. Readers TBC, but the shortlist includes poets like Jay Bernard, Mary Jean Chan, Meena Kandasamy and Ocean Vuong. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £13/£11/£6.50. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Fri 15 May, 7.30pm-10.30pm. Late at the Library: Rough Trade Books Presents: A night of poetry and live music by women, featuring Martha Sprackland, 4 BROWN GIRLS WHO WRITE, Briony Bax, Charlotte Newman, Salena Godden, Ren Aldridge (Petrol Girls) and more TBA. Ticket includes entry to the venue’s exhibition Unfinished Business: The Fight for Women’s Rights. British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £16/£14/£8. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sat 16 May, 10.30am-4.30pm. Out of the Wreckage: Eleanor Penny leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry about shipwrecks and ghost ships, inspired by poets like Ilya Kaminsky, Warsan Shire and Aimee Nezhukumatahil. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Mon 18 May, 7.30pm. Peter Gizzi – Poetry Reading: Peter Gizzi reads to launch his poetry collection Sky Burial. Room 1-01, Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Presumably free.
Wed 20 May, 5.30pm. Night Refuge: A Collaborative Public Writing Event: Poet and artist Caroline Bergvall curates a collaboration between 7 UK-based, multilingual poets who will compose a poem with her over the course of a day, in a workshop open to the public. The collaboration will be performed at the evening event, with music by Jamie Hamilton British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. Free.
Thu 21 May, 6.45pm-8.45pm, then the same time fortnightly until Thu 16 July. The Many Voices of Poetry: Becky Varley-Winter leads a 5-session course on using different voices when writing poetry. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £95. Book now.
Sat 23 May, 10.30am-4.30pm. Stealing, Copying & Arguing: Ali Lewis leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry through textual appropriation, inspired by poets like David Melnick, Chrissy Williams and Roger Robinson. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Wed 27 May, 9am-6pm. Life Writing in Translation: Conference on life writing in translation. Line-up TBA, but the organisers seem interested in poetry as a mode of life writing. Strand Campus, King’s College London, The Strand, Temple WC2R 2LS. Booking details TBA.
Tue 26 May, 7.15pm. Meena Kandasamy: Exquisite Cadavers: Poet Meena Kandasamy reads from her new novella Exquisite Cadavers. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Wed 27 May, times TBC. Telepoetics Symposium: Symposium on the interface between telephony and literature. Speakers include Mara Mills, Eric Prenowitz, Nicholas Royle and Will Self. The call for papers (including a call for contributions to a public evening event) is here – deadline Tue 10 March. Dana Research Centre, 165 Queen’s Gate, South Kensington SW7 5HD. Ticketing information TBC.
Sat 30 May, 10.30am-4.30pm. Lying Holds the Pleasure / of Ruining a Form: Elaine Kahn leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry through lying, inspired by poets like Kamau Brathwaite, Gerard Manley Hopkins and Julian Talamantez Brolaski. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
June 2020
Tue 2 June, 6.45pm-8pm, then the same time weekly until Tue 30 June. ‘The Ladder is Always There’ – What makes a Feminist Poem?: Jacquline Saphra leads a five-session reading course on the history of feminist poetry. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £95. Book now.
Tue 2 June, 7pm. The Very Witching Hour of Night + Live Tarot: An evening of discussion and performance about witchery, featuring poet Rebecca Tamás, scholar Ronald Hutton, live mapper Emma Carroll and tarot reader Leona Nichole Black. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £13/£11/£6.50. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sat 6 June, 10.30am-4.30pm. Writing Love in a Second Language: Meena Kandasamy leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry between two or more languages, inspired by poets like Sandra Cisneros, George Szirtes and Sujata Bhatt. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 13 June, 10.30am-4.30pm. ‘The Gaps Between the Stories’: White Space, Redaction, & Erasure: Tamar Yoseloff leads an all-day workshop on writing poetry by using omission, erasure and negative space, inspired by poets like Tom Philips and Raymond Antrobus. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 13 June, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sat 20 June, 10.30am-4.30pm. Euphony: Poetic Sound & the Subconscious: Martha Sprackland leads an all-day workshop on using the sounds of words to complicate the apparent meaning of a poem. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sat 20 June, 9am-6.30pm. Creative Activism Now!: Andrew Salkey and Today’s Diasporic Cultural Networks: Conference about novelist and poet Andrew Salkey, focusing on his relevance for the Black diaspora today. Featuring keynotes by Robert A Hill and Nadia Ellis. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £40/£34/£20. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sat 20 June, 7.30pm. Poets Stand Up: Poet Dorothea Smartt hosts an evening of poetry, readings and discussion inspired by the legacy of writer Andrew Salkey. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £11/£9.50/£5.50. On general release Wed 4 March, 11am.
Sat 27 & Sun 28 June, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Fighting the Tyrant: A Creative & Critical Weekend: Leah Umansky leads a two-day workshop on using poetry to resist tyranny. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Sat 27 June, 12pm-6pm. London Radical Bookfair 2020: Stalls representing over 130 radical booksellers, publishers, zine makers, artists and activist groups. Goldsmiths University of London, Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14 6NW. Presumably free entry.
July 2020
Sat 4 – Sun 12 July, times TBC. TS Eliot International Summer School: 9 days of lectures, seminars, workshops and field trips to explore the work of modernist poet TS Eliot. Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. £600 (including lunches, tea/coffee and field trip costs). Book now. Note that some scholarships are available – details here.
Sun 5 July, 7.30pm. Search Party: Poet and playwright Inua Ellams performs an audience-led reading from his archive of work. Arcola Theatre, 24 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £5-£12. Book now.
Sat 11 & Sun 12 July, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. The Language Art: Modern Art & Poetry: SJ Fowler leads a two-day workshop on using exploring the intersections between modern art and avant-garde poetry. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Sat 11 July, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sat 18 & Sun 19 July, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Magic Weekender: the Poet as Seer, Witch, & Shaman: Sascha Aurora Akhtar leads a two-day workshop on writing experimental poetry inspired by magical and occult traditions. Poetry School, Unit 1, Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Mon 20 July, 7.30pm. Dead [Women] Poets Society:  Poets Nina Mingya Powles and Bridget Minamore discuss dead women writers who have influenced their work. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5/£3. Book now.
Sun 26 July, 1pm-3.30pm. The Kensington Modernists: Were They Antisemites?: Guided walk about Kensington-based modernist writers like Ezra Pound, TS Eliot, Wyndham Lewis and Virginia Woolf, considering their antisemitism. Walk leader: Niall McDevitt. Meeting point TBC. £10.
August 2020
Sat 8 August, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
September 2020
Sat 12 September, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sun 27 September, 1pm-3.30pm. Poets of Hammersmith: Guided walk about poets in Hammersmith, including modern writers like WH Auden, Aleister Crowley and David Gascoyne. Walk leader: Niall McDevitt. Meeting point TBC. £10.
October 2020
Sat 10 October, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
November 2020
Sat 14 November, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Wed 18 November, 5.30pm. Crossing Languages: Poet Carmen Bugan gives a talk about writing poetry in an adopted language. Institute of Advanced Studies Forum, South Wing, Wilkins Building, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 28 November, 10.15am-4pm. Advent Quiet Day: Poet and Thomas Merton expert Bonnie Thurston leads a day of religious reflection. The Royal Foundation of St Katharine, 2 Butcher Row, Limehouse E14 8DS. £40 (or £120 with overnight accommodation). 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’, ‘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. However, 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.