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
Exhibition Thu-Sun 12pm-6pm until Sun 26 January. Performances Wed 22- Sun 26 January, 7pm each night. The Farmyard is not a Violent Place and I Look Exactly like Judy Garland: Performances of a play by poet-artist Caspar Heinemann and artist Alex Margot Arden. The stage set will also be accessible as an exhibition. Cell Project Space, 258 Cambridge Heath Road, Bethnal Green E2 9DA. Exhibition free. Performance £4.76 – book now.
Tue, Fri & Sat 10am-5pm, Thu 10am-7pm until Sat 1 February. Double Six: Boardgames Past, Present and Still to Come: Exhibition of boardgames through the ages, featuring object-poems by Astra Papachristodoulou and Stephen Emmerson. Kingston Museum, Wheatfield Way , Kingston upon Thames KT1 2PS. Free.
Tue-Wed and Fri-Sun 11am-6pm, Thu 11am-9pm until Sun 2 February. Sense Sound/Sound Sense: Exhibition of scores and records by Fluxus writers, artists and composers, including John Cage, Philip Corner, Dick Higgins, Alison Knowles, George Maciunas, Claes Oldenburg and Yoko Ono. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. Free.
10am-6pm daily until Sun 21 February. Beast Type Song: Display of Sophia al-Maria’s film Beast Type Song, based on Etel Adnan’s poem The Arab Apocalypse. Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 4RG. Free.
Mon 20 January – Sat 22 February, Mon and Wed-Sat 11am-10pm, Tue 11am-11pm. Temporary Spaces: Visual Poetry Exploring Object and Time: Exhibition of visual poetry exploring object and time, featuring work by Sarah Dawson, Stephen Emmerson, Simon Tyrrell, Silje Ree, Claire Collison, James Knight, Paul Hawkins, Matt Martin, Michelle Penn, Stephen Mooney, Paul Hawkins, Nic Stringer and Astra Papachristodoulou. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. 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 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, 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.
January 2020
Mon 20 – Wed 22 January, 7.45pm each night. Broken English: Staging of Jahmar Ngozi’s poetic play about the development of the English language. The Actors Centre, 1a Tower Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9NP. £12. Book now.
Mon 20 January, 6.30pm. Curator’s Talk: Dora Maar: Emma Lewis discusses the work of artist and poet Dora Maar. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £10, or £20.50 including private view of the venue’s Dora Maar exhibition. Book now.
Tue 21 January, 6pm-8.30pm (private view), then 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.
Tue 21 January, 10am-5pm, then the same time every Tuesday until Tue 20 February. Drawing, Collage and Poetry: 5-week art course on combining drawing and poetry through collage, inspired by figures like Hannah Hoch, Max Ernst, George Braque, Lee Krasner and John Hartfield. Tutors: Mark Cazalet and Rosie Vohra. Royal Drawing School Shoreditch Studios, 19-22 Charlotte Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3SG. £220. Book now.
Tue 21 January, 6.45pm-8.45pm, then the same time weekly until Tue 24 March. Reading Course: Those Various Scalpels – Four Modernist Women: 10-week reading course about the poetry of Marianne Moore, Mina Loy, Lola Ridge and HD. Tutor: Matthew Caley. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £180. Book now.
Tue 21 January, doors 6.30pm, readings 7pm. Lumen Poetry Series: Poetry with Michele Roberts, Roisin Tierney, William Palmer and Nicholas Murray. Plus open mic. Lumen, 88 Tavistock Place, Bloomsbury WC1H 9RT. £5/£4; all money raised goes towards cold weather shelters for the homeless.
Tue 21 January, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Poet Paul Ingram leads a discussion of Fluxus writers and artists like George Brecht, Dick Higgins, Yoko Ono, Nam June Paik, George Macunias and Chieko Shiomi. 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.
Wed 22 January, 6.30pm. Lusophone Music and Poetry at the Chapel: Readings from the work of Brazilian poet João Cabral de Melo Neto, and of other Lusophone poets addressing related themes. In Portuguese; English translations available as handouts. The Chapel, Strand Campus, King’s College London, The Strand, Temple WC2R 2LS. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 22 January, 7pm. Repeater Takeover: New Model Island: Poet Alex Niven and writer Juliet Jacques discuss New Model Island, Niven’s new book that challenges the concept of Englishness. Housmans Books, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 9DX. £5/£3/£1, redeemable against purchases. Book now.
Wed 22 January, 7pm. Ananda Devi, Nisha Ramayya and Lara Pawson in Conversation: Poet Nisha Ramayya and writers Ananda Devi and Lara Pawson discuss their work. Pages, 5 Cheshire Street, Shoreditch E2 6ED. £5/£4.50. Book now.
Wed 22 January, 7pm. Walden: Screening of poet and film-maker Jonas Mekas’ diaristic, 1969 film about the New York avant-garde scene. Close-Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater Street, Shoreditch E1 6HR. £12.90/£10.75. Book now.
Thu 23 January, 6pm. The Poetry Contest in Six Hundred Rounds: Thomas McAuley launches his new translation of the 12th-century Japanese Poetry Contest in Six Hundred Rounds. Followed by drinks reception. Daiwa Foundation, 12/13 Cornwall Terrace, Outer Circle, Regent’s Park NW1 4QP. Free; booking required. Book now.
Thu 23 January, 6.30pm. Crater Event: Readings from new and forthcoming Crater Press publications. Jackqueline Frost launches The Third Event: Part Three, Philip Terry and James Davies launch When Two Are In Love or As I Came To Behind Frank’s Transporter, Emily Critchley and Eric Langley launch THESE. INSUING. SONNETS. calls and responses, and Jessica Pujol Duran previews The Enveloping Field. Keynes Library, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Thu 23 January, 7pm. The Ritual Turn from Tarot to Tantra: Poet Nisha Ramayya, artist Candida Powell-Williams and writer Sarah Shin present their work and discuss the ritual turn in contemporary poetry and art. Terrace Shop, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £5. Book now.
Thu 23 January, 7pm. Anne Robinson: Wakeful with Mairéad McClean: Artist Anne Robinson screens her new film Wakeful and will be in conversation with poet Cherry Smyth. Plus short films by Mairéad McClean. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. £9.50/£7.50. Book now.
Thu 23 January, 8.30pm. Nocturno 29 + No compteu amb els dits: Screening of two films by Catalan director Pere Portabella, co-scripted by poet Joan Brossa. Close-Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater Street, Shoreditch E1 6HR. £12.90/£10.75. Book now.
Sat 25 January, 10am-4pm. Homer Day 2020: Conference about Homer and his epic poems, featuring papers by Gonda Van Steen and Antony Makrinos about Homer’s influence on modern Greek poets like Yannis Ritsos and CP Cavafy. UCL Institute of Education, 20 Bedford Way, Bloomsbury WC1H 0AL. £6/£4 on the door. Register now.
Sat 25 January, 2pm-5pm. New Writing with New Contemporaries: Readings of experimental writing by artists Jude Browning, Lucy Rose Cunningham, Freya Dooley, Malachy Harvey, Leo Hermitt and Ruby Lewis. South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, Peckham SE5 8UH. £6/£4. Book now.
Sat 25 January, 2pm-4pm. Radical Women of the West End: Guided walk about Fitzrovia’s history of radical women, including writers like poet Una Marson. Walk leader: Sue McCarthy. Meeting point: Warren Street Underground Station, Tottenham Court Road, Fitzrovia NW1 3AA. £12/£9. Book now.
Sat 25 January, 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 25 January, 7pm. Τραγουδώντας Σαραντάρη – Singing the Poetry of Sarantaris: Pianist Nikos Laliotis and soprano Angeliki Ralli perform settings of the poetry of Giorgos Sarantaris. In Greek; English translations supplied. Hellenic Centre, 16-18 Paddington Street, Marylebone W1U 5AS. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 25 January, 7.30pm. University Camarade V: Experimental collaborations by student poets from around the UK featuring Maria Omena & Shehzar Doja, Freya Hope & Lucy Wilkinson, Jessica Faith Cooper & Emily Pritchard, Danielle Moles & Humaira Pandor, Lucy Duffell & Emily Fisher, Lucy Barrett & Elizabeth Hudson, Adam Ditchburn & Jessica Toye, Kieran Johns & Jessica Hill, Joseph Marsh & Ella Cunningham, Jasmine Barrett & Chloe Ozkan, and Gabriella Buckner & Scott Barnard. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Sat 25 January, 8pm. Yaldebaoth: Stewart Home launches his collected poems Send Ca$h, Bridget Penney launches her novel Licorice, and Paul Holman reads new poetry from The Memory of the Drift. Plus more poetry and performance from Johnny Pulp, Jacqui Ennis Cole, Simon Pomery, Martin Wakefield and Matt Martin, and visual art by Richard Marshall. The Kenton Pub, 38 Kenton Road, Homerton E9 7AB. Presumably free.
Sun 26 January, 1pm-3.30pm. A Walk with TS Eliot: Guided walk about modernist poet TS Eliot in London. Walk leader: Niall McDevitt. Meeting point TBA. £10.
Mon 27 January, 6.30pm. Astrology Rising: 2020 as Told by the Stars: Poet Francesca Lisette and Ignota Books publisher Ben Vickers discuss astrology’s potential in the modern world. Waterstones, 82 Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6EQ. £10/£8; or £22.40 including a copy of the Ignota Diary 2020Book now.
Mon 27 January, 7.30pm. Baltica Literature Event: An evening of poetry and readings responding to Baltic literature, featuring Michelle Madsen, Dino Mahoney, Matthew Caley, Filips Ruff, Alfred Hitchcock, Lisa Alexander, Eze Chimalio, Sophie Duggan, Triinu Soikmets and Amy Cutler. Plus a display of illustrated Baltic children’s literature. V.23, Old Biscuit Factory, 100 Clements Road, Bermondsey SE16 4DG. Presumably free.
Tue 28 January, 6.45pm-8.45pm, then the same time fortnightly until Tue 24 March. “Between the Shadow & the Soul”: Exploring Latin American Poetry: 5-session course about the development of Latin American poetry during the 20th century. Tutor: Adam Feinstein. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £95. Book now.
Tue 28 January, 6.30pm. Portuguese Poetry Workshop: Translate Brazilian Poet Carla Diacov with Annie McDermott: Translation workshop on Brazilian poet Carla Diacov. Open to all, no knowledge of Portuguese required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 28 January, 8.15pm. Umbracle + Mudanza: Screening of two films by Catalan director Pere Portabella; Mudanza is a tribute to poet Federico García Lorca. Close-Up Film Centre, 97 Sclater Street, Shoreditch E1 6HR. £12.90/£10.75. Book now.
Thu 29 January, 6.30pm-9pm (opening event), then Thu 30 January – Sun 8 March, Thu-Sun 12pm-6pm. 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. The opening event features Chris McCabe reading from Blake’s epic poem Jerusalem. Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free.
Wed 29 – Fri 31 January, 7.15pm each night. Between the Stones: World premiere of the Noh play Between the Stones by poet Jannette Cheong and composer Richard Emmert, preceded by a performance of the classical Noh drama Takasago. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £22 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 29 January, 10.30am-1.30pm. A Ballad of Transformation: Ella Frears leads a poetry-writing workshop in response to the venue’s exhibition by artist Christine Rebet. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £9.01/£6.88. Book now.
Wed 29 January, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Karen Sandhu gives a talk about ‘Tales of the Archive: An Exploration of Irritating Archival Practices’. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Wed 29 January, 7pm. Europeans: Dora Maar: An evening of performances and discussion in celebration of artist and poet Dora Maar. Featuring poet Victoria Adukwei Bulley, musician Marouf Majidi and curators Karolina Lewandowska and Damarice Amao. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 29 January, 7.30pm. Temporary Spaces: Performances to launch the venue’s visual poetry exhibition Temporary Spaces (see above). Performers TBC, but likely to include exhibition contributors like Sarah Dawson, Matt Martin, Stephen Mooney, Silje Ree, Claire Collison, Paul Hawkins, Stephen Emmerson, James Knight, Michelle Penn, Simon Tyrrell, Nic Stringer and Astra Papachristodoulou. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £3 suggested donation on the door.
Thu 30 January, 6.45pm-8.45pm, then at the same time fortnightly until Thu 26 March. Radical Resistances: Writing Against Sense: Creative writing course on avant-garde poetry that resists making sense, including consideration of Russian Futurism, Dada, OuLiPo and Concrete Poetry. Tutor: Mischa Foster-Poole. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £95. Book now.
Thu 30 January, 5pm. Immediate Writing: Pavel Büchler and the Untimely Use of Letterpress: Conceptual poet Nick Thurston gives a talk about the letterpress works of artist Pavel Büchler. Research Forum Seminar Room, Courtauld Institute of Art, Vernon Square, Penton Rise, Kings Cross WC1X 9EW. Free.
Thu 30 January, 7pm. Hyper Functional, Ultra Healthy | Florence Peake: CAVE: Artist Florence Peake gives a spoken word performance about cave exploration on the Jurassic Coast. Lancaster Rooms, New Wing, Somerset House, The Strand, Temple WC1R 2LA. Pay what you can. Book now.
Thu 30 January, 7pm. Getting to Noh: Noh Performance Highlights: Performances of excerpts from poet Jannette Chong’s modern Noh drama Between the Stone, and from the classic Noh play Takasago. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £20/£18/£10. Book now.
Thu 30 January, 7pm. Disappearing Wormwood: Screening of poet SJ Fowler and film-maker Tereza Stehlikova’s new film about northwest London. Plus readings by Fowler and Stehlikova from texts written as part of the project. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. £9.50/£7.50. Book now.
Fri 31 January, 6pm-10pm. Tate Lates: Dora Maar: An evening of performances, discussions and activities inspired by the venue’s exhibition of work by artist and poet Dora Maar (see ‘Ongoing Exhibitions and Shows’, above). Includes readings by poets Bhanu Kapil, Sasha Dugdale, Daisy Lafarge, Grace Nichols and Shirley May. Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. Free.
Fri 31 January, 6.30pm. Blake Now: Panel discussion of 21st-century perspectives on the art and poetry of William Blake. Featuring poet/artist/novelist Brian Catling, poet Mr Gee and musician Nabihah Iqbal. Clore Auditorium, Tate Britain, Millbank, Pimlico SW1P 4RG. £12/£8 (or £27/£23 with private view of the venue’s William Blake exhibition). Book now.
February 2020
Sat 1 & Sun 2 February, 12.30pm-3pm each day. One Fold, Two Fold, Ten Fold, Manifold: Two days of interdisciplinary research talks and participatory workshops presented by artist Gina DeCagna, poet Orchid Tierney and mathematician Mehdi Yazdi. Exposed Arts Projects, 6 Drayson Muse, Kensington W8 4LY. Activities within the event are bookable separately; some are £15, others are free. Book now.
Sat 1 February, 10.30am-4.30pm. Writing the Self: Performance & Sacrifice: Poetry workshop exploring what it means to perform aspects of the self, including consideration of poems by Anne Boyer, Bhanu Kapil, Momtaza Mehri, Holly Pester and M Nourbese Philip. Tutor: Nisha Ramayya. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £75. Book now.
Sun 2 February, doors 3pm, performances 3.30pm-8pm. Different People Doing Different Things Together 2: Multi-modal event comprising poetry, theatre performance, music, movement. Featuring poets Antony John, Ghazal Mosadeq and Soft Play (Iris Colomb & Paul Ingram), plus Andrew Ciccone, Blanc Sceol (Hannah White & Stephen Shiell), Edward Shipsey, Emmanuelle Waeckerle, Lou Barnell, Martin Clarke, Mirei Ya, Stephan Barrett and Vanessa Griffin. Plus open mic. The Raven Tower Bridge, 218 Tower Bridge Road, Southwark SE1 2UP. Presumably free.
Mon 3 February, 6.30pm. Artists’ Books Now: Discussion of the possible futures for artists’ books. Speakers TBA. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £9/£7.50/£4.50. Book now.
Mon 3 February, 7pm. Poetry is Communication: Graham Fawcett gives a performance lecture about how poetry communicates to its audiences. Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. £15. Book now.
Tue 4 February, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Evi Heinz leads a discussion about the role of dolls in avant-garde art, including texts by poet Rainer Maria Rilke. 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 4 February, 7pm. These Silent Mansions: Jean Sprackland & Chris McCabe: Poets Chris McCabe and Jean Sprackland discuss their recent books about graveyards. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Wed 5 February, 7pm. Debut Zine Launch Sawti #01: Launch of Sawti, a new zine of poetry and art from East Africa and its diaspora. Featuring poetry readings by Ada B, Eljae, and Ola Elhassan, a discussion between Rehema Chachage and Amaal Said, and a screening of a newly commissioned film. Autograph, Rivington Place, Shoreditch EC2A 3BA. £8/£7 (includes a copy of the zine). Book now.
Wed 5 February, 7pm. Poetry Against Homelessness: I Am Not Who You Think I Am Performances: Poetry readings by people who have experienced homelessness and the poets who have tutored them. Housmans Bookshop, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 9DY. £3, redeemable against book purchases.
Wed 5 February, 8pm. Spanish Poetry in London: Spanish poet Eduardo Moga and translator Terence Dooley read from the new anthology Streets Where to Walk is to Embark: Spanish Poets in London 1811-2018. In Spanish and English. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 6 February, 7pm. RENDANG: Will Harris & Rachael Allen: Will Harris reads to launch his poetry collection RENDANG. Plus more poetry from Rachael Allen. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Thu 6 February, 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).
Sat 8 February, 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 9 February, 10.30am-4.30pm, then Sun 15 March, 10.30am-4.30pm. Her Voracious Stare: Inspiration from the Eye & Art of Dora Maar: 2-session poetry writing course inspired by Tate Modern’s exhibition of art by Dora Maar. Tutor: Rachel Long. Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG (Sun 9 February); The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU (Sun 15 March). £150. Book now.
Mon 10 February, 6.30pm. Bengali Poetry Workshop: Translating Poet Nirmalendu Goon: Translation workshop on Bengali poet Nirmalendu Goon. Open to all, no knowledge of Bengali required. Workshop leader: Shamim Azad. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Mon 10 February, 6.30pm. Curator’s Tour: Dora Maar: Provocateur: Emma Jones leads a guided tour of the venue’s exhibition on artist and poet Dora Maar. Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £20.50/£18 (presumably includes exhibition entry). Book now.
Mon 10 February, 8pm. Poems of Love & Death: Reading by US poet Thomas Lynch, plus 25 Troubadour poets. The Troubadour, 263-267 Old Brompton Road, Earl’s Court SW5 9JA. £7. Book now.
Tue 11 February, 6pm-7.30pm. Literary London Reading Group: Evi Heinz leads a reading group session on modernist poet John Rodker’s depictions of London. To access reading materials, see the link. Seminar Room 11, Institute of Advanced Studies, Wilkins Building South Wing, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free.
Tue 11 February, 6.30pm. Yorùbá Poetry Workshop: Translating poet Túbọ̀sún Ọládàpọ̀ with Kọ́lá Túbọ̀sún: Translation workshop on Nigerian Yorùbá poet Túbọ̀sún Ọládàpọ̀. Open to all, no knowledge of Yorùbá required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 11 February, 7.30pm. Shearsman Launch Reading: Poets TBC. Swedenborg Hall, 20/21 Bloomsbury Way, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TH. Free.
Wed 12 February, 7pm. Beethoven: The Poets’ Take: Raymond Antrobus, Anthony Anaxagorou and Ruth Padel read and discuss their recent poetry responding to the work of Beethoven. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Thu 13 February, 7pm. O scroungers, o gasoline: Collective Reading of/for Sean Bonney: Open group reading in celebration and memory of poet Sean Bonney. ‘Bring poems or excerpts of Sean’s writing, work of your own inspired by him or memories to share.’ Freedom Bookshop, 84B Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. Presumably free.
Thu 13 February, 7.30pm. Tinted Window: Katalin Ladik & Cara Tolmie: Tinted Window magazine presents performances by sound poet Katalin Ladik and artist-musician Cara Tolmie. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £10 advance, £12 on the door. Book now.
Fri 14 – Sun 16 February, 7.30pm each night. Moor Mother – Three-Day Residency: 3 nights of performances by US poet Moor Mother. Also featuring ONO on Friday; Galya Bisengalieva, ONO and Elaine Mitchener on Saturday; and Brother May on Sunday. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. Each night £12.50 advance or £15 on the door; £35 for all 3 nights. Book now.
Fri 14 February, 7pm. Nástio Mosquito: No.One.Gives.A.Mosquito’s.Ass.About.Us: Artist and poet Nástio Mosquito presents a participatory, multimedia performance exploring the political potential of dreams and visions. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £10/£8. Book now.
Sat 15 & Sun 16 February, 10.30am-4.30pm each day. X-Lit: Ways into Memoir: Creative writing course on writing poetic and experimental memoirs, inspired by writers like Lyn Hejinian, Maggie Nelson and Ta-Nehisi Coates. Tutor: Hannah Lowe. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £150. Book now.
Sat 15 February, 2pm. The Surreal Nature of Reality: Panel discussion about surrealist influences on the street photography of artist and poet Dora Maar. Featuring Naomi Stewart, Dawn Ades and Lauren Elkin. Starr Cinema, Tate Modern, Bankside SE1 9TG. £12/£8. Book now.
Sun 16 February, 12pm-5pm. Lambeth LGBTQ+ Zine Fair: Zine and small publishing fair of LGBTQ+ makers, artists and writers. See the link for how to request a stall. Brixton Library, Brixton Oval, Brixton SW2 1JQ. Presumably free.
Mon 17 February, 7.30pm. Samuel Beckett: Fail Better: Poetry, performance and discussion responding to the role of failure in the work of Samuel Beckett. Wiltons Music Hall, 1 Graces Alley, Whitechapel E1 8JB. £8-£17. Book now.
Tue 18 February, 7pm (opening event), then until 10 March, days and times TBC. Notational Literature, the Unfinished Work: Exhibition of ‘unfinished’ visual poetry. Launch event features poetry and performance by Simon Brown, Agnieszka Studzinka, Kate Scott, Jamie Toy, Julia Rose Lewis, Simon Tyrrell, Astra Papachristodoulou, John Patrick Hughes, Lucy Furlong and Eugene Kim. See the link for how to submit work to the exhibition (deadline Wed 5 February). Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Tue 18 February, 10am-11.30pm. Under 5s Session: Play in the Sky: Guided tour of the venue’s exhibition of works by Italian Futurist painter and visual poet Tullio Crali, plus a flight-themed play session. Only for under 5s and their parents/carers. Estorick Collection of Modern Italian Art, 39a Canonbury Square, Canonbury N1 2AN. Free but bookable; booking details here.
Tue 18 February, 7pm. Thing of Beauty: Apartment House Performs Jackson Mac Low: Experimental music ensemble Apartment House performs works by Fluxus poet Jackson Mac Low. Performance Space, College Building, City University of London, St John Street, City of London EC1V 4PB. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 19 February, doors 6.30pm, readings 7pm. Poets in Response to Blake: Poets Chris McCabe, Niall McDevitt, Karen Sandhu and Iain Sinclair perform work in response to the venue’s exhibition of art by William Blake. Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 19 February, 7.30pm. Ber/Lon – A Tale of Two (Gentrifying) Cities: Readings, music and visual art responding to urban transformation in Berlin and London. Featuring poets Joshua Idehen and Adelaide Ivánova, writer Johny Pitts and photographer Joanna Legid. Candid Arts Trust, 3 Torrens Street, Islington EC1V 1NQ. £5.98/£3. Book now.
Wed 19 February, 8pm. Coalesce: Chinese poet Yu Yoyo and translator AK Blakemore perform alongside musicians Cheng Yu, Wang Xiao, Charlie Cawood, DJ QuestionMark and An-Ting Chang. Kings Place, 90 York Way, Kings Cross N1 9AG. £9.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 19 February, 8pm. Experimenta Salon: Un Chant d’Amour: Screening and discussion of novelist and poet Jean Genet’s experimental film Un Chant d’Amour (1950). BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XT. £6.50 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 20 February, 7pm. ignitionpress London Launch: Mia Kang, Majella Kelly and Alycia Pirmohamed read to launch their new poetry pamphlets from ignitionpress. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 21 February, 9.30am-5.45pm. Liminal London: Symposium on real and unreal spaces in 20th-century London. The call for papers is open until Thu 9 January – the convenors are open to proposals for papers on avant-garde performance spaces. Keynes Library, School of Arts, Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Booking arrangements TBC.
Fri 21 February, 7.30pm. Bird Radio & Jeremy Reed Live: An evening of poetry and music featuring Jeremy Reed & The Ginger Light, Bird Radio and pig7. Horse Hospital, Colonnade, Bloomsbury WC1N 1JD. £8/£6 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.
Sat 22 February, 9am-6pm. Japan Now: A day of readings and talks with Japanese writers, translators and artists. Featuring poet Hiromi Itō, plus fiction writers Yukiko Motoya and Hiroko Oyamada. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. £20/£17/£10. Book now.
Sat 22 February, times TBC. Free Verse: The Poetry Book & Magazine Fair: Stalls selling books, magazines and pamphlets from a multitude of poetry presses, plus a programme of readings and workshops. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn WC1R 4RL. Presumably free entry.
Sat 22 February, 11am-1pm. Workshop: A Small Press Publishing How-to with Bad Betty Press: Amy Acre of Bad Betty Press hosts a practical workshop on how to establish a small press. Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £35/£30. Book now.
Sat 22 February, 2pm-4.30pm. Workshop: A Mini Editing Workshop: Poetry editing workshop led by Will Harris. Poetry Society, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £35/£30. Book now.
Sun 23 February and Sun 1 March, 7.30pm each night. 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 23 February, 1pm-3pm. Blake Walk of Peckham: Poets Chris McCabe and Niall McDevitt lead a guided walk themed around William Blake’s explorations of Peckham. Meeting point: Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free but booking essential. Book now.
Tue 25 February, 6.30pm. Translating Spanish Poetry: Translating Silvina Giaganti with Leo Boix: Translation workshop on Argentinian poet Silvina Giaganti. Open to all, no knowledge of Spanish required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 25 February, 7pm. Delusions of Grandeur: Readings and performances on the theme of delusion, and in celebration of the innovative press Dostoyevsky Wannabe. Featuring Hannah Ballou, SJ Fowler, Nadia De Vries, Christodoulos Makris, Dominic Jaeckle and Matt Birchwood. Museum of Futures, 117 Brighton Road, Surbiton KT6 5NJ. Free.
Wed 26 February, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Georgina Colby leads a seminar about contemporary innovative poetry. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RF. Free.
Wed 26 February, 6.30pm. Launch of Alphabet Poem: Emily Critchley and Michael Kindellan launch Alphabet Poem, their collaborative, illustrated poetry book for both children and adults. Pickled Pepper Books, 10 Middle Lane, Crouch End N8 8PL. Presumably free; see here for how to RSVP.
Wed 26 February, doors 6.30pm, readings 7pm. Poets in Response to Blake: Poets Keith Jarrett, Chris McCabe, Robert Montgomery and Tamar Yoseloff perform work in response to the venue’s exhibition of art by William Blake. Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 26 February, doors 6.45pm, event 7pm. Europeans: Günter Grass: An evening of performances and discussion in celebration of novelist and poet Günter Grass. Featuring poet Ulrike Almut Sandig, scholar Rebecca Braun and theatre directors Oliver Reese and Carl Grose. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. £5 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 28 February, 8pm. The Whole Story: Readings of poetry and prose by Rachel Long and Mazin Saleem, plus music by Mungrul. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5/£4 or pay what you can on the door.
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.
March 2020
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.
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. Room TBC, Birkbeck School of Arts, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
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).
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.
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.
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. Pricing TBC. Booking not yet open.
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 Entanglments: 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.
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, 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.
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.
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.
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, 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).
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.
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, 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, 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.
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.
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.
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.
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).
Fri 3 April, 7pm. European Poetry Festival: Readings and performances by poets from throughout Europe, featuring Katerina Koulouri, Agnieszka Studzinka and many more. Rose Theatre, 24-26 High Street, Kingston upon Thames KT1 1HL. Free.
Sat 11 April, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, Shoreditch EC2A 3BX. Free.
Mon 13 April, 7.30pm. European Poetry Festival: Latvian Poets in Collaboration: An evening of collaborations between Latvian and British poets. Featuring Luīze Marija Meļķe, Henriks Elias Zēgners, Lote Vilma Vītiņa, Krišjānis Zeļģis, SJ Fowler 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.
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, 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
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.
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.
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 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.
June 2020
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, time TBC. 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. The call for papers is here – deadline Mon 27 January 2020. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road, Kings Cross NW1 2DB. Pricing TBC.
July 2020
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 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.
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.