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-Sat 11am-late until Sat 27 October. The Practical Visionary: Exhibition of collaged dialogues between Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe and their luminary inspiration, William Blake. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
12pm-6pm daily until Sun 28 October. Words are Angular Sharp, Tenant: Exhibition of new works in text, sound and video by Rebecca Lennon. Matt’s Gallery, 92 Webster Road, Bermondsey SE16 4DF. Free.
Wed and Fri-Sun 11am-6pm, Thu 11am-9pm until Sun 4 November. Ivor Cutler: Good Morning! How Are You? Shut Up!: Exhibition of art and documents from the archive of poet and songwriter Ivor Cutler. Goldsmiths Centre for Contemporary Art, St James’, New Cross SE14 6AD. Free.
Tue-Sat 11am-6.30pm, Sun 2pm-6pm until Sun 11 November. Art + Revolution in Haiti: Exhibition exploring the 1945 encounter between Haitian artists and the surrealist poet André Breton. The Gallery of Everything, 4 Chiltern Street, Marylebone W1U 7PS. Free.
Sat-Wed 10am-6pm, Thu-Fri 10am-9pm until Sun 27 January. Modern Couples: Art, Intimacy & the Avant-garde: Exhibition exploring the role of coupledom in the development of modern art. Contributors include poets like Jean Arp, Federico García Lorca, Claude Cahun, Nancy Cunard, André Breton, Paul Eluard, Roland Penrose and Gertrude Stein. Barbican Centre Art Gallery, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £16/£12/£10, free for under 14s. Book now.
Tue-Sun 11am-8pm until Sun 31 March. Constructing Spaces: Exhibition celebrating WS Graham’s centenary year with an interactive reconstruction of the Scottish poet’s creative space. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free.

 

October 2018

Sun 21 October from 12pm. National Poetry Library Open Day: Odysseys: A selection of curated displays about odysseys. Themes include: the development of photopoetry; poetry by refugees; poetry about the NHS; and a look at the past year’s poetic highlights. St Paul’s Roof Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free.
Sun 21 October, 12pm and 3pm. Poetry against Slavery: Matt Martin leads a one-hour guided tour exploring how poetry has inspired resistance against the oppression of African, Caribbean and Black British people. Repeated at the same times on Thu 25 October, Sun 18 November, Thu 22 November and Sat 24 November. Museum of London Docklands, No. 1 Warehouse, West India Quay, Poplar E14 4AL. Free.
Sun 21 October, 3pm-5.30pm. Class Wargames: Experience The Game of War, a tabletop wargame devised by situationist author Guy Debord. Part of the ‘Not the Anarchist Bookfair’ festival. LARC (London Action Resource Centre), 62 Fieldgate Street, Shadwell E1 1ES. Presumably free.
Sun 21 October, 4pm. The Odyssey Live Reading: Authors and actors present a live reading from Emily Wilson’s new translation of Homer’s text. Queen Elizabeth Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £20/£15 plus booking fee. Book now.
Sun 21 October, 6pm. In Honour of the Greats: Discussion of the achievements of Somali artists who have recently passed away. Discussants include poet Said Salah, while the evening concludes with a poetry recital by Hibo Nura. In Somali. Part of Somali Week Festival. Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green E2 6HG. £7, or £6.88 in advance. Book now.
Mon 22 October, 9.30am-3.30pm. Arabic Language and Culture: One-day course introducing teachers to a new resource for Arabic language and teaching, with a focus on the work of writer and calligraphic artist Ali Omar Ermes. All participants will receive a free copy of the resource with further information and support available through the project website. Goldsmiths, University of London, 8 Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14 6NW. £30. Book now.
Mon 22 October, 6.30pm. Greetings to the People of Europe!: Exiled Ethiopian poet Alemu Tabeje and friends read to launch his new collection, Greetings to the People of Europe. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free but ticketed. Book now.
Mon 22 October, 6.30pm. Poets of the Harlem Renaissance: The National Poetry Library Book Club considers the work of Harlem Renaissance poets Countee Cullen, Langston Hughes, Georgia Douglas Johnson, Helene Johnson and Claude McKay. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Mon 22 October, doors 6.30pm, readings 7pm. Everyone Knows I Am a Haunting: Launch & Celebration: Trinidadian poet Shivanee Ramlochan reads to conclude her UK tour. Plus more poetry from Abigail Parry. Blenheim Saloon.Marlborough House, Pall Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5HY. Presumably free, but you must RSVP by midday Friday 19 October to hq@renaissanceone.co.uk.
Mon 22 October then weekly until 19 November, each session 6.45pm-8.45pm. About Time: Creative Writing around the Clock: First session of a five-week creative writing course. Christian Marclay’s 24-hour film The Clock will be the springboard for experiments in writing inspired by film, time, repetition and everyday life. Participants will benefit from out-of-hours opportunities to view Marclay’s work, plus visits to other works in Tate’s collection. Tutor: James Wilkes. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. Sold out.
Mon 22 October, 6.45pm. An Evening with Jenny Hval: Norwegian musician and poet Jenny Hval presents her debut novel. Plus a performance by artist Last Yearz Interesting Negro. Portico Rooms, South Wing, Somerset House, The Strand WC2R 1LA. £8. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Translate Arabic Poet Najwan Darwish: Poetry Translation Centre workshop on Darwish’s work. Open to all, no knowledge of Arabic required. Workshop leader: Atef Alshear. The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 6.30pm-9pm. In Yer Ear Anthology Book Launch: Party for the debut of a new anthology. Event content not confirmed, but the book features lots of excellent poets. New Evaristo Club – Trisha’s, 57 Greek Street, Soho W1D 3DX. Presumably free.
Tue 23 October, 6.30pm. An Evening with Rumi: The Anglo-Turkish Society welcome composer and singer Esbe to perform her settings of Raficq Abdulla’s reinterpretations of Rumi’s poems. With guitarist Jeff Rodrigues. Royal Anthropological Institute, 50 Fitzroy Street, Fitzrovia W1T 5BT. £14.06/£11.37. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 7pm. Jenny Hval and Laura Snapes: Paradise Rot: Norwegian poet and musician Jenny Hval presents her debut novel. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 7pm. Reading Samizdat: An evening of talk and discussion with Josephine von Zitzewitz, considering the circulation of samizdat literature in the USSR. Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £10/£7. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 7pm-9pm. Avant-garde Study Group: Alex Grafen leads a session on Hugh MacDiarmidh’s ‘Three Hymns to Lenin’. Sign up to the group’s mailing list to receive materials in advance. Room 317, School of Arts, Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 23 October, 7pm. Shared Spaces: A Reading with Lambeth Poets: Lambeth-based poets read and discuss their poems about how a community shapes and is shaped by those who share its public spaces. Featuring Karen McCarthy Woolf, Sophie Herxheimer, Shazea Quraishi and more. South Lambeth Library, 180 South Lambeth Road, Oval SW8 1QP. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 23 October, 7.30pm. Poetry @ the Print Room: Readings including Iraqi poet Fawzi Karim with his translator, fellow poet Anthony Howell. Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB. £10. Book now.
Wed 24 October, 2pm. Children of Windrush: Explore how Caribbean children settled into London life in the 1950s/60s. Includes consideration of poetry collections by writers from Caribbean backgrounds. London Metropolitan Archives, 40 Northampton Road, Farringdon EC1R 0HB. Free but bookable. Sold out.
Wed 24 October, 5pm. What is an Author’s View of Noh?: Poet and playwright Jannette Cheong discusses her experience of writing Noh drama in the 21st century. Khalili Lecture Theatre, SOAS Russell Square College Buildings, 10 Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG. Free.
Wed 24 October, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: David Grundy on ‘”In the Memory of Love”: John Weiners and Dana Durkee’. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 24 October, 6pm. Launch of 10th Anniversary Somali/English Anthology: Launch of So at One with You, a bilingual anthology to celebrate the 10th Somali Week Festival. Readers include Dheeg, Weedhsame, Asha Lul Mohamed Yusuf and Maxamed Haykal, plus British poets. In Somali and English. The Chamber, City Hall, The Queen’s Walk, Southwark SE1 2AA. £7, or 6.88 in advance. Book now.
Wed 24 October, 6pm. PaperWork Issue 3: iilwimi lipsing: Launch of a new issue of the art writing journal, featuring performances by Ntiense Eno Amooquaye, Daniella Valz Gen, Katharina Ludwig, Madeleine Stack and Frank Wasser. PEER Gallery, 99 Hoxton Street, Hoxton N1 6QL. Presumably free.
Wed 24 October, doors 6.45pm, 7.30pm start. West London Poetry with Trevor Joyce: Experimental, Irish poet Trevor Joyce reads his work. Plus more poetry from Niall McDevitt and Fergal Gaynor. Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black’s Road, Hammersmith W6 9DT. £7, or £8.14 in advance. Book now.
Wed 24 October, 8pm. Emirati Poets in London: UAE poets Nujoom Alghanem, Ali Al Shaali and Salam Al Attas perform their work. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 25 October, 5pm. Laura Grace Ford: Open Your Palm, Feel the Dust Settling There: Artist Laura Grace Ford presents a pair of recent sonic/visual works made from field recordings, spoken text and fragments of found music. Followed by a conversation between Ford and  Louis Moreno about ’radical spectrality’. Room 304, Richard Hoggart Building, Goldsmiths, University of London,

Lewisham Way, New Cross SE14 6NW. Presumably free.

Thu 25 October, 6pm. Gresham College Lecture: Haunted by Christ: Richard Harries and Alec Ryrie discuss the role of faith in the lives of modern novelists and poets, including modernists like Samuel Beckett and TS Eliot. Barnard’s Inn Hall, Holborn EC1N 2HH. Free.
Thu 25 October, doors 6pm, 6.30pm start. Whitechapel History Fest: This local history festival runs 25-27 October; the Thursday night session has the most poetic content. Rachel Lichtenstein gives a talk about modernist Yiddish poet Avram Stencl, followed at 7.30pm by poetry readings, including a set by Bernard Kops. Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road E1 1BU. £5/£2.99. Book now.
Thu 25 October, 7pm. Somali Women Poets: The Next Generation: Hear emerging female Somali poets Suhaama Elmi, Fatima Diriye, Aisha Nuri, Deqa Abdi and Yasmin Osman, followed by a panel discussion on the changing role of women in Somali culture. Part of Somali Week Festival. Blue Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £10/£7.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 25 October, 7pm. Test Centre Launch: Wayne Holloway-Smith debuts his new poetry collection, I Can’t Wait for the Wending. Plus Jack Underwood launching Solo for Mascha Voice/ Tenuous Rooms, and more poetry from Theis Anderson and Kandace Walker. Hannah Barry Gallery, 4 Holly Grove, East Dulwich SE15 4DF. Presumably free.
Thu 25 October, 7pm. ignitionpress launch: ignitionpress launches two new pamphlets with readings by Belinda Zhawi and Natalie Whittaker. The Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free but RSVP to niall.munro@brookes.ac.uk.
Thu 25 October, doors 7pm, readings 7.30pm. Hesterglock/Prote(s)xt, HVTN, & Friends: An evening curated by Hesterglock/Prote(s)xt and HVTN Press. Includes a launch reading for David Spittle’s B O X, plus more poetry from Matti Spence, Katy Wareham Morris, James Knight, Jen Calleja, Gboyega Odubanjo and Iris Colomb. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Dalston, E8 4AA. Free.
Thu 25 October, 7.30pm. An Intimate Evening with Linton Kwesi Johnson: Join Johnson for an exploration of his life and poetry as he shares his experiences of growing up in Britain during the Windrush era. Refreshments included. New Beacon Books, 76 Stroud Green Road, Finsbury Park N4 3EN. £16.31. Advance bookings only – Book now.
Thu 25 October, 8.30pm. Words & Jazz: Poetry by Jonathan Catherall, Tristram Saunders and  Dino Mahoney, with music by singer Emilia Martenssen. Vortex Jazz Club, Gillett Square, Dalston N16 8AZ. £5 on the door.
Fri 26 October, 9.30am-6pm. Our (Queer) Caribbean: A One-Day Open Forum on Caribbean Queerness: Papers and discussion to celebrate the 10th anniversary of Our Caribbean, the first anthology of LGBTQI fiction, poetry and essays from the Antilles. Speakers include poet Dorothea Smartt. Room G4, Ground Floor, Senate House (room TBC), University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but booking is essential. Book now.
Fri 26 October, 6.45pm. Lemn Sissay Presents Creative Future Literary Awards: Readings by the twelve award-winning poets and writers. The awards are open to writers and poets under-represented in mainstream publishing, including those with mental health issues, disability, neurodiversity, ex-offenders, survivors of abuse, care leavers, and people from the LGBTQ+ and black, minority ethnic and refugee communities. Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 26 October, 7pm. ΠατρΕίδα – Home – A Seen-land: Greek poet Yannis Efthymiadis discusses (in English) his new composition. The Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone W1U 5AS. Free but booking required – email press@helleniccentre.org.
Fri 26 October, 7pm. People Like Us & Gwilly Edmondez: A double-bill of horror-themed content from conceptual film-maker and writer People Like Us (a.k.a. Vicki Bennett) and musician Gwilly Edmondez. The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. £10 on the door, £7.50 (plus booking fee) in advance. Book now.
Fri 26 October, 8pm. London to Gaza: An evening of live music and poetry in solidarity with the Palestinian people of Gaza, featuring Camp X-Ray, Thurston Moore, Big Joanie, Kirsty Allison (Cold Lips), Kareem Samara, GANX, 52girls and more TBA. New River Studios, Ground Floor Unit E, 199 Eade Road, Harringay N4 1DN. £6.88. Book now – funds raised will be donated to Gaza Children Cinema, an initiative to create ‘a space where a child can live joyful moments while surviving the bitter reality of siege loss, hardship and war’.
Sat 27 October, 10am-5pm. Baraza: Swahili Studies Conference: Dedicated to Dr Farouk Topan, who pioneered the study of Swahili poetry and culture. Wolfson Lecture Theatre, Paul Webley Wing (SOAS), Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Register now.
Sat 27 October, 10.30am-4.30pm. Working with Collage: One-day course exploring collage and re-appropriation. Learn how these processes can help you to create exciting and original poems of your own. Tutor: Linda Black. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £72. Book now.
Sat 27 October, 2pm-4pm. Writers Forum Workshop: Workshop focused on innovative and experimental poetry. Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, Covent Garden WC2N 4HE. Free.
Sat 27 October, 2.15pm. The Politics of Translation: Poet Sophie Collins is on this panel to discuss literary translation as a political act. Part of the Festival of Italian Literature in London. Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB. £5. Book now – 10% off if you book more than one Festival event in the same transaction.
Sat 27 October, doors 5pm, performances from 7pm. Altogether Elsewhere – A Memorial Tribute Event for Jazzman John: Readings and performances in memory of Jazzman John, a stalwart of London’s poetry scenes. Please bring food and drink to share. Kingsley Hall, Powis Road, Bromley-by-Bow E3 3HJ. Free.
Sat 27 October, 6pm-10pm. Somali Books Day: The only book fair in Europe for Somali writers. Part of Somali Week Festival. Oxford House, Derbyshire Street, Bethnal Green E2 6HG. Free entry.
Sat 27 October, doors 7.15pm, 8pm start. Some Other Place: Screening of Patrick Bergin’s 1999 trilogy of film adaptations of plays by WB Yeats. Plus a Q&A with Bergin. The Irish Cultural Centre, 5 Black’s Road , Hammersmith W6 9DT. £8, or £9.21 in advance. Book now.
Sat 27 October, 7.30pm. The Autumn Shuffle: Poetry with Fran Lock, Annie Freud, Angela Kirby, Richard Osmond, Alex Bell and more. The Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £7/£5.
Sat 27 October, 8.30pm. Wretched Strangers: Performances by authors from Wretched Strangers, an anthology of innovative, foreign-born poets who write in the UK. Featuring Caroline Bergvall, Giovanna Coppola, Livia Franchini, Ariadne Radi Cor, George Szirtes, Jane Yeh and the anthology’s editor Agnes Lehoczky. Part of the Festival of Italian Literature in London. Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB. £5. Book now – 10% off if you book more than one Festival event in the same transaction.
Sun 28 October, 3pm. London as a Second Language: Swiss-Italian poet Vanni Bianconi is among the authors on this panel about living as a foreign-born writer in London. Part of the Festival of Italian Literature in London. Print Room at the Coronet, 103 Notting Hill Gate W11 3LB. £5. Book now – 10% off if you book more than one Festival event in the same transaction.
Mon 29 October, doors 5.30pm, readings 6pm. Launch of Long Poem Magazine Issue 20: Celebrate Long Poem Magazine’s 10th birthday with readings by Mimi Khalvati, Annie Freud, Lisa Fannen, Terence Dooley, Penelope Shuttle, Joan Michaelson, Robert Vas Dias, Martin Stannard, John Greening, Mark Goodwin and Agieszka Studzinska. Refreshments available. Barbican Library, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. Free.
Mon 29 October – Sat 1 December, 7.30pm Mon-Sat, plus 2.30pm matinêe on Wed. Yerma: Production of poet Federico García Lorca’s classic play. Some performances are in Spanish, others in English. Cervantes Theatre, Arch 26, 229 Union Street, Southwark SE1 0LR. £25/£20/£15. Book now.
Tue 30 October, 6.30pm. Chris Kraus: Social Practices: Chris Kraus reads from her new collection of essays and stories, and will be in conversation with poet Kristen Kreider. ICA, The Mall, St. James’s SW1Y 5AH. Sold out.
Tue 30 October, 7pm. The Sex of the Angels. The Saints in Their Heaven: A Breviary: Austrian poet and novelist Raoul Schrott reads from his work and discusses it with Karen Leeder. Austrian Cultural Forum, 28 Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge SW7 1PQ. Free but you must book by 29 October. Book now.
Tue 30 October, 7pm. Ampersand Hallowe’en Night: Readings and Hallowe’en-themed fun and games with Ampersand Publishing. Readers TBA. The Dog House Pub, 293 Kennington Road, Kennington SE11 6BY. Presumably free.
Wed 31 October, 7pm. Ezra Pound: Making it New — Poet in the City: Reflections on Ezra Pound’s ground-breaking work. With  modernism scholar Helen Carr, Daniel Swift (author of The Bughouse: The Poetry, Politics and Madness of Ezra Pound), poet Will Harris on Pound’s Chinese influences, and live performance from RSC actor Geoffrey Streatfeild. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £12.50/£9.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 31 October, 7pm. Magic, Myth and Madness: Occult and Psychoanalytical Theory in the Art of Surrealism: Nadia Choucha analyses the creative strategies of surrealist artists and writers whose work combined occult symbolism with psychoanalytical and mythological themes. Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead NW3 5SX. £15/£12. Book now.
Wed 31 October, 7pm. Launching Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry: Launch event for a new anthology of magickal poetry, featuring readings from Emily Berry, Amy Key, Rebecca Perry and ‘Bhanu Kapil’s spectre’. Plus special rituals, and music from TTB and Lia Mice, with more TBA. The Deadhouse, South Wing, Somerset House, The Strand WC2R 1LA. £7. Book now.
Wed 31 October, doors 7pm, event starts 7.30pm. Dead [Women] Poets Society: Halloween Edition: Astra Papachristodoulou discusses Mina Loy, and Jasmine Simms talks about Elizabeth Siddall. Plus open mic – for every poem of your own that you perform, you must also share something by a dead woman poet. ‘Feel free to come dressed as a dead woman poet or in other ghoulish gear.’ Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5 on the door.

 

November 2018

Thu 1 November, 7pm. Poetry London: Autumn 2018 Readings: Readings from the new issue of Poetry London, featuring Robert Herbert McClean, Laura Elliott and Kwame Dawes. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £6.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 2 November, 7pm. Peake Under the Covers: The Master of Gormenghast: Celebration of novelist, poet and artist Mervyn Peake. Discussion with Neil Gaiman, Liz Jensen and Chris Riddell, plus readings by Miranda Richardson. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £15/£12/£10. Book now.
Fri 2 November, 7.30pm. Chik White: Jaw harp experiments from the Canadian musician and sound poet. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £10/£8. Book now.
Sat 3 and Sun 4 November, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Mondo: The Global Avant-Garde: Two-day course covering the ASA and VOU groups from Japan,  Canada’s The Four Horsemen, Nigeria’s Mbari Club, Noigandres from Brazil, and the Tammūzī poets from Syria and Iraq. Tutor: SJ Fowler. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £144 for the course. Book now.
Sat 3 November, 11am-6pm. New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival: A day of talks, workshops, screenings and feminist discussion. There will be over thirty publishers stalls and book signings across the venue. See below for some events of poetic interest taking place during the festival. Level G, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. Free entry (but there are charges for some ticketed events within the festival – see below).
Sat 3 November, 2pm. Worlds of Ursula K Le Guin: Screening of Arwen Curry’s new documentary about the life and legacy of feminist author Ursula K Le Guin. Followed by discussion with science fiction writer Pat Cadigan and poet So Mayer. Part of New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival (see above). Barbican Cinemas 2 & 3, Beech Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £10.50/£9.50, plus 60p booking fee. Book now.
Sat 3 November, 3.30pm. Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry: A Reading: Khairani Barokka, Karen McCarthy Woolf, Nisha Ramayya and Sophie Robinson perform to launch the anthology Spells: 21st Century Occult Poetry. Part of New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival (see above). Level G Studio, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. Free. ‘Admittance will be on first come, first served basis.’
Sat 3 November, 4.30pm. After #MeToo: Panel about power, consent, trauma and feminist futures after #MeToo. Discussants include poet and film scholar So Mayer. Part of New Suns: A Feminist Literary Festival (see above). Level 4, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £10.50. Book now.
Sat 3 November, 6.30pm. Sjón: Moonstone and the Spanish Flu: Icelandic poet Sjón presents a literary exploration of the 1918 Spanish Flu epidemic. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Sat 3 November, 7pm. S A L O N – LONDON presents Carla Harryman in conversation with Redell Olsen: Carla Harryman reads from her recent works including Sue in Berlin and Hannah Cut-In. Redell Olsen discusses and shows extracts from her recent performance and film works. Fyvie Hall, University of Westminster, 309 Regent Street, Westminster W1B 2HT. Free but booking is required. Book now.
Mon 5 November, 5.30pm. Artists’ Books Now: Place: Discussion of the meanings and pleasures of artists’ books, focusing on the theme of place. Participants include book-artists Chris Taylor, Nancy Campbell, Vėronique Chance and Leonie Lachlan, plus curator Clive Philpot. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £8/£6/£5. Book now.
Tue 6 November – Fri 14 December, opening hours not publicised. Private view Thu 8 November, 6pm-8pm. A Mythic Understanding: Inspired by David Jones: Exhibition of work by contemporary illustrators who are inspired by modernist poet and artist David Jones. Also features material about Jones’ life and work. Camberwell College of Art, Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UF. Free.
Tue 6 November, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Translate Hebrew Poet Batsheva Dori-Carlier: Poetry Translation Centre workshop on Dori-Carlier’s work. Open to all, no knowledge of Hebrew required. Workshop leader: Micha Meyers. The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 6 November then weekly until 27 November, each session 7pm-9pm. Surrealism and Cinema: 4-week course about the history of surrealist cinema from Luis Buñuel to David Lynch, including consideration of films by poets like Antonin Artaud, Jean Cocteau and Alejandro Jodorowsky. Tutor: Virginie Sélavy. Close-up Film Centre, 97 Sclater Street, Shoreditch E1 6HR. £60/£50 (plus booking fee) for the whole course. Book now.
Tue 6 November, 7.30pm. Shearsman Reading Series: Poetry with María Ferencuhová and James Sutherland-Smith. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Wed 7 November, 7pm. Voices from the Dark: An event highlighting the situation of disappeared people in Turkmenistan, exemplified by poet and political prisoner Batyr Berdyev. Features the launch of Parting Song, James Womack’s translation of Berdyev’s poetry, plus discussion with Womack and Turkmenistan specialist Ivar Dale. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 7 November 7.30pm. Points of Listening with AGF: E-poet and multimedia artist AGF gives a presentation about her work, followed by a Q&A. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. Free.
Wed 7 November, 8pm. No Enemies: Performance based on the love poetry of Chinese dissident writers Liu Xiaobo and Liu Xia. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free but ticketed. Book now.
Thu 8 November, doors 6.30pm, reading from 7pm. Poetry Playback: Venus as a Bear by Vahni Capildeo: Capildeo reads from her latest collection. Light refreshments served from 6.30pm. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £5, or £5.82 in advance. Book now.
Thu 8 November, 7pm. Jeremy Reed and The Ginger Light: Reed performs with sound artist Itchy Ear, blurring the boundaries between spoken word, music, sound design and song. Keats House, 10 Keats Grove, Hampstead NW3 2RR. £6. Book now.
Fri 9 and Sat 10 November, 10am-7pm each day. Small Publishers Fair 2018: Annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers. Featuring an exhibition by Laurie Clark. Programme of readings and talks TBC. Conway Hall, Red Lion Square, Bloomsbury WC1R 4RL. Free entry.
Fri 9 November, 7pm. Adonis: Translation, a Second Act of Creation: The great Syrian poet Adonis gives a lecture on the translation of poetry. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £12/£10/£8. Book now.
Sat 10 and Sun 11 November, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. Poem of the Air: Marina Tsvetaeva Translation Weekend: Two-day course exploring the extraordinary poetry of Marina Tsvetaeva, working with her previously untranslated ‘Poem of the Air’. No Russian is needed for this workshop – literal translations will be provided for all the extracts. Tutor: Sasha Dugdale. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £144 for the course. Book now.
Sat 10 November, 10.30am-1.30pm. Peeling: A poetry workshop that starts from ideas of tactile play, and considers the writing of Warsan Shire, Kathryn Maris and Lydia Davis. Workshop leader: Rachel Long. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £8/£6, or £9.01/£6.88 in advance. Book now.
Sat 10 November, 11am-1pm. Reading Group : iilwimi lipsing: Reading group convened by PaperWork magazine to consider the theme of their latest issue: ‘iilwimi lipsing’. Read, listen and speak about art, writing and poetry together, thinking about a feminist ear. No advance reading required. PEER gallery, 99 Hoxton Street, Hoxton N1 6QL. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 10 November, 6.30pm. Marina Tsvetaeva Poetry Evening: Works of Russian poet Marina Tsvetaeva (and works of authors she admired) will be read by Natalia Maeva of The Moscow New Drama Theatre. The talk will be conducted in Russian and English with the help of poet and translator Sasha Dugdale. Pushkin House, 5A Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £10/£7. Book now.
Sat 10 November, 7.30pm. Poem Brut / Rich Mix IV: Performances celebrating the visual, visceral, messy, handwritten and colourful in poetry, featuring Susanna Crossman, Nathan Walker, Sarah Dawson, Peter Surkov, Ryan Mihaly & Karolina Zapal, Martin Wakefield, Arturo Desimone, Alban Low & Kevin Acott, Dovydas Laurinaitis. James Caley and Abi Palmer. Plus launches for SJ Fowler’s Memoirs of Hypocrit (o gandia) and James Caley’s 4 steps from the wire. Rich Mix, 35–47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Sat 10 November, 8.30pm. Enemigos: Transmedia Borders: Performances by poets and artists from Mexico and the UK, exploring how migration, both geographical and disciplinary, can open dialogue not only between nations but between artistic languages. Featuring poets SJ Fowler, Caroline Bird, Anthony Anaxagorou and Rocío Cerón; visual artist Rubén Gil; and sound artists Abraham Chavelas and Iris Garrelfs. Rich Mix, 35–47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Mon 12 November, 5pm. Yehuda Amichai Festival: Poets including Erez Biton read from the work of the great Hebrew poet Yehuda Amichai, as well as from their own collections. Free Word Centre, 60 Farringdon Road EC1R 3GA. £10/£8. Book now.
Mon 12 November, 7pm. Serhiy Zhadan: Ukraine’s Enfant Terrible: An evening with Ukrainian poet Serhiy Zhadan. In Ukrainian with live translation into English. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Tue 13 November, 6pm-8.30pm. Futura Poesia: A new, site-specific performance by Italian artist Reverie, inspired by FT Marinetti’s magazine Poesia and Aldo Palazzeschi’s poem The Arsonist. Estorick Collection, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. £15, £16.31 in advance. Book now.
Tue 13 November, 7pm. Lev Ozerov’s Portraits without Frames Readings: Robert Chandler and Boris Dralyuk read from their new translation of Ukrainian, Russian-language poet Lev Ozerov’s posthumously published poetry collection. Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £10/£7. Book now.
Tue 13 November, 7pm. World Poets – Anna Akhmatova: Celebration of Russian modernist poet Akhmatova. The Treehouse at The Greenwich Tavern, 1 King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9JH. £12.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 14 November, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Alex Niven leads a session on Basil Bunting and The Cantos. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 14 November, 7pm. Beyond the Body: Orlando Issue 03 Launch: Event to celebrate a new issue of this journal. With readings and performances from Octavia Bright, Rebecca Jagoe, Rosa Johan Uddoh, and Josh Leon; short films from Bryony Gillard, Sade Mica, and Josie Rae Turnbull; an audio intervention from Jennifer Boyd; music and live DJ set from Gabi; and more TBA. ‘Each ticket includes a free copy of Issue 03’. The Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. £13.52. Book now.
Wed 14 November, doors 7.30pm, performances 8pm. Klinker Club: Experimental music and sound poetry featuring: ‘Batmanic free rock band’ Fanny Octavia Batman (Hugh Metcalfe, Jim Le Bague, Lynda Beast and Ryan Jordan); Finnish banjo and loopist L Don Ōkam; vocalist Nicola Woodman; and Cornelius Cardew descendants Walter Cardew, Androniki Cardew, Horace Cardew and Nima Gousheh. Bethnal Green Working Men’s Club, 42-44 Pollard Row, Bethnal Green E2 6NB. £7/£4.
Thu 15 November, 7pm. Launch of The Triumph of Cancer by Chris McCabe: McCabe reads from his new collection in unique and macabre surroundings. Pathology Museum, St Bartholomew’s Hospital, West Smithfield, City of London EC1A 7BE. Presumably free. RSVP to info@pennedinthemargins.co.uk.
Fri 16 November, 7pm. Launch Party! for The Weather in Normal: London launch of Carrie Etter’s new collection, with guest readers James Brookes, Mary Jean Chan and Kathryn Maris. King and Queen, 1 Foley Street, Fitzrovia W1W 6DL. Free.
Fri 16 November, 7pm. This Reads Queer: An evening of readings and performance by Dodie Bellamy, Natasha Lall, Richard Porter, Verity Spott and Isabel Waidner, plus music by Charlie Porter. The event celebrates the launch of A queer anthology of rage (Pilot Press). ICA, The Mall, St. James’s SW1Y 5AH. £7/£5. Book now.
Sat 17 November, 9am-5pm. Complexities, Appeals, and Paradoxes of Language: Interdisciplinary conference about the role of language in modern thought. Preliminary programme includes papers by Ailor Porat on Hezi Leskali, and by Karmarkar Goutam on Indian poets in English. Birkbeck, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury, WC1E 7HX. £100, Book now.
Sat 17 November, 2pm-4pm. Writers Forum Workshop: Workshop focused on innovative and experimental poetry. Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, Covent Garden WC2N 4HE. Free.
Sat 17 November, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. Featuring an extended performance plus Q&A with Johan de Wit. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Sat 17 November, 5.30pm Surge: Side A: Jay Bernard memorialises the New Cross Massacre of 1981, writing in the voices of those killed, and using archive film, video and audio. Idea Store Whitechapel, 321 Whitechapel Road E1 1BU. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 17 November, 6pm. Dodie Bellamy in Conversation with Paul Clinton: Poet and art writer Dodie Bellamy discusses her work. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Sat 17 November, 7.30pm. Anthony Joseph & Friends – Windrush: A Celebration: 70 years on from the HMT Empire Windrush’s arrival at Tilbury, British/Trinidadian poet, novelist and musician Anthony Joseph celebrates the seismic impact the Caribbean diaspora has had on UK culture. With music, song, poetry and visuals by Jason Yarde, Calypso Rose, Mighty Sparrow, Brother Resistance, Derek Richards and more TBA. Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £35/£20 plus booking fee. Book now.
Sat 17 November, 7.30pm. Corpora Aliena: The Digital Voice: A concert of experimental music performances that digitise the human voice. Featuring live work by Iris Garrelfs, Liz Helman, Steph Horak and Bernhard Living, plus films by Patrick Stevens a.k.a. Hypnoskull. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £10 on the door, £8 in advance. Book now.
Sun 18 November, 2pm then 7pm. Inua Ellams Pit Party: Double bill. At 2pm a Poetry + Film / Hack: before and after a screening of Walter Hill’s cult film The Warriors, poets respond to its themes of tribes and territory, poverty and struggle. Followed at 7pm by an Open Rhythm Lab and Poetry Party: sprinkled with nostalgia and a sense of community, poetry and hip-hop songs alternate, all reflecting Hill’s film. The Pit, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £15/£10 per event, plus booking fee; 20% discount if you book both. Book now.
Tue 20 November, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Translate Pashto Poet Abdul Ghafoor Liwal: Poetry Translation Centre workshop on Afghan poet Liwall’s work. Open to all, no knowledge of Pashto required. Workshop leader: Dawood Azami. The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 20 November, 7pm-9pm. Avant-garde Study Group: Discussion of the Scapigliatura and Futurism movements in Italy. Sign up to the group’s mailing list to receive materials a week in advance. School of Arts (Room TBC), Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 20 November, 7pm. Brecht’s Collected Poems: David Constantine and Tom Kuhn introduce their new edition of translations from the work of radical German poet Bertolt Brecht. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Wed 21 November, 7.30pm. 87.2: The 87 Press presents the launch readings for Callie Gardner’s “naturally it is not.” and Pratyusha’s night waters, plus more poetry from Nisha Ramayya + Edmund Hardy, Casper Heinemann, Jenny Mitchell and Gloria Dawson. The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, Borough SE1 4YG. £5/£4/£3.
Fri 23 November, 7pm. Open: Titilope Sonuga UK Tour: Nigerian poet Titilope Sonuga performs her work with support from Yomi Sode and Ruth Sutoyé. Boondocks, 205 City Road, Hoxton EC1V 1JN. £12. Book now.
Sat 24 November, 7.30pm. Kingston Camarade: Writers’ Centre Kingston presents an event which asks pairs of creative writing students and staff from Kingston University to collaborate on short new works of poetry or text, for performance. With Nick Foxton, Mark Harris, Alison Baverstock, John Hughes & Mandy Ure, Catherine Humble, Diran Adebayo, Albert Pellicer, Janice Miller, Joanne Addison, Adam Baron, Sara Upstone, Andrew Benjamin, SJ Fowler and more TBA. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Sun 25 November, 7.30pm. Torriano Poetry: An evening of readings organised by SJ Fowler. Details TBC. Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town, London NW5 2RX. £5/£4 on the door.
Mon 26 November, 7.15pm. What Makes a Classic?: Readings and discussion to launch the new Carcanet Classics series. Includes Philip Terry reading from Dictator, his experimental translation of Gilgamesh. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Tue 27 November, 6.45pm. The Advent of Poetic Robots: Are They Welcome?: Debate about the potential of AI-generated poetry, featuring Abol Froushan, Eran Hadas and Yasuhiro Yoshimoto. Asia House, 63 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone W1G 7LP. £10/£8, free for students. Book now.
Wed 28 November, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Daniel Katz on ‘”Unpublishing Jack Spicer”: On Editing an Edition of Spicer’s Uncollected Poetry and Plays’. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 28 November, 6.30pm. Mengham & Langley: Double Book Launch: Poets Rod Mengham and Eric Langley read to launch their new collections. Daunt Books, 112-114 Holland Park Avenue, Holland Park W11 4UA. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 28 November, doors 6.30pm, starts 7pm. David Gascoyne’s Journey through Madness: Temenos Academy presents a lecture by Jeremy Reed about English surrealist poet David Gascoyne. Royal Asiatic Society, 14 Stephenson Way, Kings Cross NW1 2HD. £8/£5, or free with student ID. Book by emailing temenosacademy@myfastmail.com.
Wed 28 November, 7.30pm. Mysts and Mellow Fruitfulness: Sophie Herxheimer, Shazea Quraishi and others read their poetry at this autumnal event. Plus jazz from Michal Ish-Horowicz. Tara Theatre, 356 Garratt Lane, Earlsfield SW18 4ES. £12.50/£10. Book now.
Thu 29 November, 5pm. Bernardine Evaristo: Mongrel Tongues/Mongrel Nation: Poet and novelist Evaristo gives this year’s William Matthews lecture for Birkbeck, exploring how and why writers create voices and narratives that challenge the predominance of Standard English as the literary and cultural norm. Senate House (room TBC), University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but booking is essential. Book now.

 

December 2018

Tue 4 December, 6.30pm-8.30pm. Translate French Verse by Mauritian Poet Umar Timol: Poetry Translation Centre workshop on Timol’s Creole poetry. Open to all, no knowledge of Mauritian Creole or French required. Workshop leader: Delaina Haslam. The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 4 December, 7pm-9pm. Avant-garde Study Group: Discussion of Amos Tutuola’s poetic novel The Palm-wine Drinkard. Sign up to the group’s mailing list to receive materials a week in advance. School of Arts (Room TBC), Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 4 December, 7.15pm. Getting to Noh: From Page to Stage: Discussion about writing and producing Noh drama, with a reading from Between the Stones, a new Noh play by poet Jannette Cheong. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Wed 5 December, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Opening Eyes and Reaching Audiences: Translation Workshop: Workshop on translating Swiss literature. No foreign language knowledge required. Workshop leaders include poet Jen Calleja. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £18/£16/£15. Book now.
Wed 5 December, 7pm. Come to the Cabaret: Poetry and Prose from Switzerland: Readings by Swiss poets Michelle Steinbeck and Michael Fehr, with translators Jen Calleja and Shaun Whiteside. Entrance Hall, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Thu 6 December, 7.30pm. Cherry Smyth: Famished: Smyth performs Famished, a long, poetic sequence exploring the Irish Famine (1845-51) and the role of colonialism in causing the largest migration of the nineteenth century. A collaboration with composer Ed Bennett and vocalist Lauren Kinsella. Toynbee Studios, 28 Commercial Street, Whitechapel E1 6AB. £5. Book now.
Fri 7 December, 6pm. Avant-garde Film Night: Screening of René Clair’s film Entr’acte (1924), co-written with Dada artist and poet Francis Picabia, plus other avant-garde short films. Birkbeck Cinema, School of Arts, Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 8 December, 2pm-4pm. Writers Forum Workshop: Workshop focused on innovative and experimental poetry. Tenderbooks, 6 Cecil Court, Covent Garden WC2N 4HE. Free.
Sat 8 December, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Sun 9 December, 11am-7pm. Artist Self-Publishers’ Fair (warning: the linked site features flashing graphics that might make some readers unwell): Fair for self-publishing artists to display and sell their work. A few stalls, with no charge for stallholders, are allocated by open submission (the submissions page is free from flashing graphics) – deadline Fri 2 November. ICA, The Mall, St. James’s SW1Y 5AH. Admission price TBC.
Mon 10 December, 7pm. Poetry Pamphlets Celebration: Celebrating ten years of the Michael Marks Awards for Poetry Pamphlets. Readers TBC, but past winners and nominees have included many publishers of innovative poetry. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £8/£6/£5. Book now.
Sun 16 December, 7.30pm. Torriano Poetry: An evening of readings organised by Linda Black. Details TBC. Torriano Meeting House, 99 Torriano Avenue, Kentish Town NW5 2RX. £5/£4 on the door.

 

January 2019

Sat 12 January, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Sun 13 January, 2pm. TS Eliot Prize Preview with Jeremy Noel-Tod: On the day of the TS Eliot Prize Readings, poetry critic Jeremy Noel-Tod shares a detailed overview of this year’s shortlisted books. What do they say about the past year in poetry? Level 5 Function Room, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £10/£7.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Sun 13 January, 7pm. TS Eliot Prize Readings: Hear the poets shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize reading from their own work on the eve of the award ceremony. Nominees TBA. Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £15/£11.25. Book now.
Mon 14 January then fortnightly until Mon 25 March, 7pm-9pm each day. A Manual for Dreaming Women: Six-week poetry course for women, exploring dreams: night-time narratives constructed and experienced in image. Texts include the writings of Claudia Rankine, Anne Carson, Audre Lorde and Lydia Davis. Tutor: Rachel Long. The first five sessions take place in the Sunley Pavilion, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. The final session takes place in the White Room in the same building. Pricing not specified. Application by email required (details here) – deadline Mon 5 November.
Wed 16 January, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Henry Mead leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto LXXVI’. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Mon 21 January, 7pm. Warsan Shire in Conversation: On a rare visit from the US, Warsan Shire joins Sheila Ruiz in conversation to discuss her work, process and inspiration. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £15/£12/£10. Limited places available. Book now.
Thu 24 January, 7pm. English PEN Modern Literature Festival: Writers’ Centre Kingston hosts British writers who will present new works, each in tribute to an author who is part of the English PEN Writers at Risk programme. With Sam Jordison, Ellen Wiles, Gareth Evans, Ghazal Mosadeq, James Miller, Helen Palmer, Adam Baron, Albert Pellicer, Sara Upstone and more. The Bishop, 2 Bishop’s Hall, Kingston KT1 1PY. Free.
Wed 30 January, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Peter Middleton on a topic TBA. Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.

 

February 2019

Sat 9 February, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Sat 9 February, 7.30pm. University Camarade: Poetic collaborations between Kingston University students and comrades from other university creative writing programmes around the UK. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Wed 13 February, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Roxana Preda leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto XCIII’. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Tue 19 February – Wed 13 March, timings TBC. Phoetry & Photolit: Exhibition of visual poetry, focusing on explorations of handwritten poetry and analogue photography. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Thu 21 February, 7.30pm. Visual Literature Exhibition Opening: Private view for the Phoetry & Photolit exhibition (see above). Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Wed 27 February, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Sophie Seita on a topic TBA. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 27 February, 7pm. National Poetry Library Late Salon: MacGillivray and Hannah Lowe present their new collections. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £10/£7.50. Book now.

 

March 2019

Thu 7 March, 7.30pm. Poem Brut: Writers’ Centre Kingston hosts an exploration of artistic creative writing – poetry and colour, handwriting, composition, abstraction, scribbling, illustration. With poets and artists including Patrick Cosgrove, Nise McCullough, Lisa Kiew, mjb and more. The Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Sat 9 March, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Wed 13 March, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: A session on Pound’s ‘Canto XCIV’. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Thu 14 March, 8pm. Indonesian Poets in London: Readings by poets from Indonesia – poets TBC. National Poetry Library, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 27 March, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Andrew Duncan on a topic TBA. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Fri 29 and Sat 30 March, timings TBC. Memories of the Future: Conference exploring what it means to remember the future. What roles do memory, history and the past play in our consciousness as citizens of the early twenty-first century? Confirmed speakers include concrete poetry expert Stephen Bann. Venue and pricing TBC – presumably at a site within the University of London.

 

April 2019

Thu 4 April, 7pm. European Poetry Festival: Writers’ Centre Kingston hosts poets from around Europe. With Maja Jantar and many more. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston KT1 1HL. Free.
Sat 6 April, 7pm. Somewhere In Between: Borders and Borderlands: International conference seeking to identify and analyse the processes of border-making and border permeability in contemporary societies through aesthetic forms. Call for papers open until 10 December 2018 – the convenors are interested in proposals from the field of literature, and in those concerning ‘border poetics’. Provisional venue: Birkbeck, University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. £100 – registration not yet open.
Wed 10 April, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: David Moody leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto CVIII’. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Sat 13 April, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Tue 16 April, 6pm. Gresham College Lecture: Text Mining: A Test of Character: Richard Harvey lectures on the history of automated text processing, including possibilities for computer-generated poetry. Museum of London, 150 London Wall, City of London EC2Y 5HN. Free.
Wed 17 April, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Svetlana Ehtee leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto LXXII’ and ‘Canto LXXIII’. Room 234, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 24 April, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Alison Gibb on a topic TBA. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.

 

May 2019

Sat 11 May, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Tue 14 May, 6pm. Literary London Reading Group: Robert Hampson leads a session on ‘”Urban Poetics”: London Poetry in the 1970s’. Reading materials will be posted in advance on the linked site. Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 15 May, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: John Gery leads a session. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 22 – Sat 25 May, timings TBA. Four Quartets: Collaborative, multimedia performance of TS Eliot’s Four Quartets, with choreography by Pam Tanowitz, music by Kaija Saariaho, visuals by Brice Marden and narration by Kathleen Chalfant. Thu 23 May has a members-only pre-show talk at 6pm; Fri 24 May is a captioned performance and includes a post-show talk. Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £25-£45. Currently bookable by members only; public bookings open Fri 26 October, 10am.
Wed 29 May, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Vincent Broqua on a topic TBA. Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.

 

June 2019

Sat 8 June, 4pm-6pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Workshop for poets to share new work that pushes the boundaries of their art. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX.
Sun 9 June, 6pm. Kate Whitley & The Multi-Story Orchestra: A concert intertwining spoken word and music about love, exploring relationships between sound and text through both sung poetry and live readings interspersed with music. Featuring new music by Kate Whitley, Ravel’s settings of Mallarmé, and poetry by Sabrina Mahfouz and more. KIngs Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £16.50/£9.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 12 June, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Nick Selby leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto XCV’. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Thu 20 – Sat 22 June, timings TBC. Troublesome Modernisms: British Association for Modernist Studies International Conference 2019, exploring what can be drawn from modernism’s troubled relationship with its own pasts, presents and futures. Keynote speakers include Douglas Mao. Call for papers open until 31 January 2019 for papers, or 28 February 2019 for other proposals. Institute of English Studies, Senate House, University of London, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Pricing TBC.
Wed 26 June, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Georgina Colby on a topic TBA. Room 246, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.

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.
  • 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 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.