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

Wed-Sun 12pm-6pm until Sun 16 June. Pedro Neves Marques: It Bites Back: Exhibition of entomology-themed films, sound art and poetry by Pedro Neves Marques, in collaboration with music producer HAUT. Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, Oval SE11 5RH. Free.
Tue and Thu-Sun 10am-6pm, Wed 10am-9pm until Sun 23 June. A Tale of Mother’s Bones: Grace Pailthorpe, Reuben Mednikoff and the Birth of Psychorealism: Exhibition of work by surrealist artists and writers Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. Free.
Tue-Fri 11am-6.30pm, Sat 12pm-5.30pm until Thu 27 June. Calligraphic Rhythms: Exhibition of innovative work by Syrian calligrapher Mouneer Al Shaarani. Stories Art Gallery, 51-53 South Audley Street, Mayfair W1K 2AA. Free.
Mon-Fri 8am-10pm, Sat 9am-5pm, Sun 10am-5pm until Fri 28 June. The Practical Visionary: Exhibition of collages by poets Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe, in dialogue with the work of William Blake. Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. Free.
Mon-Sat 10am-6pm, Sun 11am-5pm until Sun 30 June. The News Pressed: Exhibition of Kate Lewis’s botanical collages made directly from newsprint. Railings Gallery & Framing, 5 New Cavendish Street, Marylebone W1G 8UT. Free.
Tue-Sun 11am-8pm until Sun 30 June. The Typographic Dante: Exhibition of Barrie Tullett’s typographic illustrations responding to Dante’s Divine Comedy. National Poetry Library, Royal Festival Hall, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. Free.
Mon-Fri 10am-5pm, Sat 1pm-6pm until Sat 6 July. Sophie Seita: My Little Enlightenment Plays: Multimedia exhibition by poet Sophie Seita, presenting imaginary meetings with Enlightenment figures. SPACE, 129-131 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3RH. Free.
Daily until Sun 4 August, 10am-5.30pm, open Fri until 8.30pm. The World Exists to be Put on a Postcard: Artists’ Postcards from 1960 to Now: Exhibition of artists’ postcards, including textual works from the Fluxus and conceptual art movements. Room 90, British Museum, Great Russell Street, Bloomsbury WC1B 3DG. Free.
Tue-Sun, 12pm-9pm until Sun 4 August. I, I, I, I, I, I, I, Kathy Acker: Exhibition of responses to the work of avant-garde novelist Kathy Acker, including contributions from poets like Paul Buck, Caspar Heinemann, Bhanu Kapil and Precious Okoyomon. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £3; free on Tue.
Wed-Sun 12pm-11pm until Sat 14 September. Mervyn Peake, an Exhibition of Certain Rare Dreams: Exhibition of works by artist, novelist and poet Mervyn Peake. Viktor Wynd Museum of Curiosities, Fine Art & Natural History, 11 Mare Street, Hackney E8 4RP. Exhibition £6 (or £2.50 by request on Thu evenings).
Tue-Sun 10am-5pm until Sun 15 September. Haiku Adventure: The Craft of Games: Display about the poetic video game Haiku Adventure. William Morris Gallery, Lloyd Park, Forest Road, Walthamstow E17 4PP. Free.
Sat-Tue 10am-6pm, Wed-Fri 11am-8pm until Sun 15 September. Exceptions: Thu 11 – Sun 21 Jul & Thu 8 – Wed 21 Aug, 10am-6pm daily. Get Up, Stand Up Now: Art exhibition celebrating the past 50 years of Black creativity in Britain and beyond. Featuring contributions from poets like Anthony Joseph, Caleb Femi, Grace Nichols, Jay Bernard and Linton Kwesi Johnson. West Wing Galleries, Somerset House, The Strand, Westminster WC2R 1LA. £12/£9, under 12s free. Book now.

June 2019

Fri 14 & Sat 15 June, Fri 9.30am-7pm, Sat 9.30am-6pm. Canon? Practice? Commodity? The Past, Present and Future of the Literary Anthology: Conference on anthologies’ role in forming and challenging canons. Includes a panel on poetry anthologies in schools, and papers by Solène Méhat on Native American poetry, David Evans on Breton poetry, Andrey Lugotov on rock poetry, Marta Arnaldi on Italian-American poetry, Tine Kempenaers on trans and genderqueer poetry, Lyn Marven on poetry about Berlin, Leah Budke on modernist anthologies and magazines, Nina Parish on bilingual poetry anthologies, Ellen Wiles on poetry in Myanmar, Alexandra Smith on Evgenii Evtushenko, Katharine Hodgson on 20th-century war poetry from Russia, Ameya Tripathi on Spanish Civil War poetry, Matthew Beber on the 1930s Radical Anthology, and John Dunn on George Oppen. Graduate Centre, Queen Mary University of London, Mile End Road, Stepney E1 4NS. £80/£40. Book now.
Fri 14 & Sat 15 June, Fri 6pm-10pm, Sat 11am-6pm. Strange Perfume: LGBTQIA book fair. Saturday has a programme of talks, workshops and readings, including at 12pm poet Sophie Seita discussing her new book about little magazines, Provisional Avant-Gardes. South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UH. Free.
Sat 15 & Sun 16 June, 10.30am-6.30pm each day. Zee Jaipur Literature Festival: London incarnation of the South Asian literature festival. Sat morning features Reba Som performing songs by Bengali modernist poet Rabindranath Tagore, then discussing Tagore with poet Bashabi Fraser. British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. Weekend pass £35/£32/£25, day passes £25/£22/£14. Book now.
Sat 15 & Sun 16 June, 12pm-4pm each day. Reflect Remember Reclaim Heal: Zethu Zizwe Ruby Maseko leads two half-day practical workshops in art, music and experimental poetry for women of colour. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £4 (covers both days). Book now.
Sat 15 June, 11.15am. Bernardine Evaristo, in Conversation with Diana Evans: Poet and novelist Bernardine Evaristo discusses her work. Room QA063 (Council Room) of Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich SE10 9LS. £7/£6. Book now.
Sat 15 June, 11.15am. Writers on Campus: Poet SJ Fowler and writers Isabel Waidner and Paul Ewan discuss the role of the writer in university life. Room QA075 (Edinburgh Room), Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College. Greenwich SE10 9LS. £6/£5. Book now.
Sat 15 June, 12.30pm-5pm. DreamsID Workshop: Interactive talk and workshop with psychologist Mark Blagrove and text-artist Julia Lockheart. Participants’ accounts of dreams will be used as the basis for artworks by Lockheart. Freud Museum, 20 Maresfield Gardens, Hampstead NW3 5SX. £12 (includes museum entry). Book now.
Sat 15 June, 12.30pm. English PEN: Writers at Risk: UK-based writers perform new works in tribute to authors facing persecution worldwide. Featuring Paul Ewen on Behrouz Boochani, Ellen Wiles on Dina Meza, Sam Jordison on Narges Mohammadi, SJ Fowler on Oleg Sentsov, Sara Upstone on Dawit Isaak, and James Miller on Nedim Turfent. Room QA080, Queen Anne Court, University of Greenwich, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich SE10 9LS. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 15 June, 1pm-3pm and 4pm-6pm. My Heart, My Heart: Live Poetry Jukebox: Choose a jar containing a miniature artwork that embodies the themes of a poem, then hear the poem itself. With poet-artist Adie Mueller and designer Trui Malten. Live Poetry Jukebox Tent, Old Royal Naval College Lawn, King William Walk, Greenwich SE10 9NN. Free.
Sat 15 June, 2pm. New Daughters of Africa Anthology: A Celebration: Event for New Daughters of Africa, an anthology of writing by women of African heritage. Featuring poet Bridget Minamore, author Malorie Blackman, novelist Diana Evans, and the anthology’s editor Margaret Busby. Lecture Theatre QA065, Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, Greenwich SE10 9LS. £7/£6. Book now.
Sat 15 June, 4pm. Public Reading: Sex as Care and Other Viral Poems: Artist Pedro Neves Marques reads his poetry against the backdrop of his exhibition It Bites Back. Gasworks, 155 Vauxhall Street, Oval SE11 5RH. Free.
Sat 15 June, 5.15pm. Writing from the Edge of Avant-Garde: Performances of poetry by James Goodwin and concrete prose by Rosie Šnajdr. QA075 (Edinburgh Room), University of Greenwich, Queen Anne Court, Old Royal Naval College, Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9LS. £5/£4. Book now.
Sun 16 June, 10.30am-9.30pm. Bloomsday Celebration: A day of activities in celebration of James Joyce’s novel Ulysses, including a 12pm guided walk about Joyce’s time in London, led by Niall McDevitt and covering Joyce’s friendships with other modernists like TS Eliot, Ezra Pound and Ford Madox Ford. Various locations; walk starts from High Street Kensington Underground Station, Kensington High Street, Kensington W8 5SA. Prices depend on activities booked; the walk is £11.25. Book now.
Sun 16 June, 1.30pm. Sara Collins & Bernardine Evaristo: Sara Collins and poet Bernardine Evaristo discuss their new novels. The Ballroom, Balham Bowls Club, 7-9 Ramsden Road, Balham SW12 8QX. £10. Book now.
Sun 16 June, 2pm-5pm. Talking Ghosts: A Collaborative Hoarding Novella: Alberto Duman leads a workshop on creating a collaborative, literary work by applying speech bubbles to an advertising hoarding. East London location to be confirmed on registration. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sun 16 June, 4.30pm. More than Just an Order of Word: TS Eliot and the Life of Prayer: Jonathan Baker gives a talk about TS Eliot and Christianity, followed by afternoon tea. St Stephen’s Church, Gloucester Road, Kensington SW7 4RL. Presumably free.
Mon 17 June, 6.30pm. Brazilian Poetry Book Launch: Readings and discussion with Natan Barreto to launch his poetry collection Um Quintal e Outros Cantos (A Backyard and Other Corners). In English and Portuguese. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Mon 17 June, 6.45pm. TANK Book Talks: Victor Burgin and Leslie Dick: Conceptual writer and artist Victor Burgin is in conversation with novelist Leslie Dick. Piazza Pavilion, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £12/£10/£8 (includes copy of TANK magazine). Book now.
Mon 17 June, 7pm. The Spider’s Stratagem: Screening of Bernardo Bertolucci’s 1970 adaptation of the short story by poet Jorge Luis Borges. Introduced by Gareth Evans. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £15. Book now.
Mon 17 June, 7pm. Metabolize, If Able – An Evening of Readings: Clay AD reads to launch the reissue of their novel Metabolize, If Able. Plus poetry with Francesca Lisette and Laurel Uziell, and performance by Leah Clements. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. Presumably free.
Tue 18 June, 10am-6pm. A Day with Rosi Braidotti: Talks and discussions about the work of philosopher Rosi Braidotti, including presentations by poets Redell Olsen and Calum Hazell. Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free. To register, email publicresearch.mediaarts[at]rhul.ac.uk.
Tue 18 June, 12pm. Tarot at Lunchtime in the Art Museum, a Pop-Up Homage to Kathy Acker: Poet Bhanu Kapil performs pop-up tarot readings using the Shining Tribe Tarot, an art deck created by Rachel Pollack. See the link for details on what to bring with you. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 18 June, 6.30pm. Translating Mexican Poetry by David Huerta: Translation workshop on David Huerta’s poetry. Open to all, no knowledge of Spanish required. Workshop leader: Adam Feinstein. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 18 June, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Paul Ingram leads a study group session on Austrian poet Ernst Herbeck. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 221, School of Arts, Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 18 June, 7pm. Inside the Gift of Work: Adam Fergus gives a talk about poet Marina Tsvetaeva’s commentary on the paintings of Natalia Goncharova. Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £10/£7. Book now.
Tue 18 June, 7.15pm. Guillotine 6: Poetry with Ulli Freer, Emma Bennett and Montenegro Fisher. Includes the launch of no title by Ulli Freer. The Beehive, Stoneleigh Road, Tottenham N17 3BQ. £4ish.
Tue 18 June, 7.30pm. The Practical Visionary: Sophie Herxheimer and Chris McCabe read their poetry against the backdrop of their collage exhibition (see ‘Ongoing Exhibitions and Shows’, above). Deptford Lounge, 9 Giffin Street, Deptford SE8 4RJ. Free.
Wed 19 June, 6pm. Contemporary Innovative Poetry Research Seminar: Stephen Fredman on ‘Laurie Anderson in the Reagan Eighties’. Room G21A, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free.
Wed 19 June, 6pm. Reading Room Launch: Ishwari Bhalerao, Sally Plowman, Leonie Rousham and Bea Macdonald give readings and performances to launch Reading Room, a mobile library of small-press publications. Plus open mic. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Holborn WC1R 4RL. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 19 June, 7pm. How to Wash a Heart: A new collaboration between poet Bhanu Kapil and artist Rohini Kapil, responding to the work of avant-garde novelist Kathy Acker. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. £5/£4. Book now.
Wed 19 June, 7pm. Hope Wolf: Talk: Hope Wolf gives a talk about surrealist artists and writers Grace Pailthorpe and Reuben Mednikoff. Camden Arts Centre, Arkwright Road, Hampstead NW3 6DG. £5/£4. Book now.
Wed 19 June, 7.30pm. 87.7: Minoli Salgado reads to launch Broken Jaw. Plus more readings with Madhushala Senaratne, Samantha Walton, Hamja Ahsan, Nell Perry and Juha Virtanen. The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, Southwark SE1 4YG. £5/£3.
Wed 19 June, doors 8pm, performance 8.30pm. London Experimental Ensemble & Iain Sinclair: Dark Before Dark: Poet and writer Iain Sinclair reads from his recent book Dark Before Dark, with musical accompaniment by the London Experimental Ensemble. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £8 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.
Thu 20 – Sat 22 June, Thu 12pm-7pm, Fri & Sat 9am-6pm. Troublesome Modernisms: British Association for Modernist Studies International Conference 2019, exploring modernism’s troubled relationship with its own pasts, presents and futures. Featuring papers on modernist and modernist-influenced poets like Mina Loy, Louis Zukofsky, Nan Shepherd, Sylvia Townsend Warner, Hart Crane, TS Eliot, DH Lawrence, Blaise Cendrars, Ezra Pound, David Jones, Donald Davie, Geoffrey Hill, Gertrude Stein, Gwendolyn Brooks, Kurt Schwitters, Yoko Ono, Ishmael Reed, HD, Elsa von Freytag-Loringhoven, Muriel Rukeyser, Basil Bunting, Langston Hughes, GV Desani, Anna Mendelssohn, Nancy Cunard, Anne Carson, Marianne Moore, Iris Tree, Claude McKay, FS Flint, Fumiko Hayashi, Frank O’Hara, Rachel Annand Taylor, John Cage, Richard Aldington and Andrei Bely. Keynote speakers are Douglas Mao and Isabel Waidner. King’s College London, The Strand, Westminster WC2R 2LS; and the St Bride Foundation, 14 Bride Lane, City of London EC4Y 8EQ. £60/£45 per day, or £150/£105 for all three days (extra discounts for BAMS members). Book now.
Thu 20 – Sat 22 June, 7.30pm each night. Surge: World premiere of Jay Bernard’s multimedia poetry show about the 1981 New Cross Massacre. The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £14/£10. Book now.
Thu 20 June, 6.30pm-8pm. Poetry as Self Care for Queer and Trans Folk: Workshop for queer and trans folk to write as a form of self-care. Impact Hub Islington, 27 Dingley Place, Islington EC1V 8BR. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 20 June, doors 6.30pm, event 7pm. On Shahrzad and the Eternal Feminine: Artist and essayist Sam Samiee gives a talk on the traditional Persian concept of ‘Adab’ and its influence on modern Iranian art and poetry. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £8.93/£6.82. Book now.
Thu 20 June, 7pm. Kathy Acker Reading Group: Poet D Mortimer leads a close-reading workshop on avant-garde novelist Kathy Acker. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Thu 20 June, 7.30pm. Original Plus Dub Launch: Launch readings for Original Plus Dub, a Hesterglock Press anthology of ‘dubwise’ poetry collaborations. Featuring Christian Patracchini, Liz Zumin, Richard Skinner, Iris Colomb, Lucy Harvest Clarke, Sally-Shakti Willow, Dolly Turing, Paul Hawkins, Roy McFarlane, Lizzy Turner, Steven Mooney, Neil Sparkes, Larry Bartley, Rishi Dastidar, Katie Griffiths, Patrick Davidson Roberts and Astrid Alben. The Peckham Pelican, 92 Peckham Road, Peckham SE15 5PY. Presumably free.
Thu 20 June, 7.30pm. Xing the Line: Poetry with Michael Heller, Katherine Bash and Mischa Foster Poole. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £5/£3.
Thu 20 June, 7.45pm. Out-Spoken: Poetry with Ilya Kaminsky, Kei Miller and Sabrina Mahfouz, plus DJing by Sam ‘Junior’ Bromfield. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £10 plus booking fee. Book now.
Fri 21 June, 6pm-8pm. Writing the Dictionary of Neoliberal Terms: Hear readings from the first two volumes of the Dictionary of Neoliberal Terms, and contribute to the third. MayDay Rooms, 88 Fleet Street, City of London EC4Y 1DH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 21 June, 6.30pm. A Modernist Revue: Evening event for the Troublesome Modernisms conference (see above). Featuring a set by singer and poet Amit Chaudhuri, live artist Deborah Pearson performing Hope Mirrlees’ long poem Paris, music with Olivia Boen and Lana Bode, dance by Isabella McGuire Mayes, and songs from the Suffragette opera Rhodda Rips it Up! performed by Stacey Wheeler, Kate Woolveridge and Satoshi Kubo. The Chapel, King’s College London, Strand Campus, The Strand, Westminster WC2R 2LS. £10. Book now.
Fri 21 June, 6.30pm-9pm, readings at 7.30pm. Launch Party for Legsicon by Laure Prouvost: Launch event for Laure Prouvost’s new book work Legsicon, with readings by Prouvost and collaborating writers Paul Buck, Melissa Gronlund, Nav Haq, Elisa Kay, Barbara Stevini, Maija Timonen, and Mark Webber. Flat Time House, 210 Bellenden Road, Peckham SE15 4BW. Free but bookable. Book now.
Fri 21 June, 7pm. Race and Poetry Reviewing: Panel discussion about race and poetry criticism, with readings by participating poets. Featuring Fred D’Aguiar, Bhanu Kapil, Ilya Kaminsky, Parul Seghal, Sandeep Parmar and Sarah Howe. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. SOLD OUT.
Fri 21 June, doors 7pm, performances 7.30pm. Jazz Verse Jukebox: Poets Gboyega Odubanjo, HKB FiNN, Agnes Meadow, Grim Chip and Rachel Nwokoro perform with live jazz accompaniment. Plus open mic. Hoxton Hall, 130 Hoxton Street, Hoxton N1 6SH. £9/£8. Book now.
Fri 21 June, 7.30pm. Murder in the Cathedral: Students from the St Paul’s Schools perform TS Eliot’s verse drama. St Peter’s Church, Southfield Road, Chiswick W4 1BB. £10. Book now.
Sat 22 June, 5pm-6pm (preview) and 7pm-3am, then Tue-Sun 10am-5pm until Sun 30 June. Threads of Faith: Exhibition featuring short films by poet Khaled Hakim, plus art by Matthew Krishnau, Moustafa Hassan, Hassan Vawda and Rezia Wahid. One Hoe Street, 1 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4SD. Free.
Sat 22 & Sun 23 June, 11am-6pm or 11am-9pm each day (sources vary). Uncorrected Independent Publisher’s Fair: Stalls of wares from independent publishers, including innovative poetry presses. Readings at 12pm on Sun. The Peckham Pelican, 92 Pelican Road, Peckham SE15 5PY. Free.
Sat 22 June, 11am-1pm. We Go In a Circle and End Up Writing a Book Residency: Collective DIY writing residency to take place during one lap of the Circle Line. Starting at Edgware Road Underground Station, Chapel Street, Marylebone NW1 5DH. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 22 June, 2pm – 6.30pm. Rum, Rhyme and Liming: Celebration of Caribbean culture for Windrush Day, featuring poetry from John Agard, Grace Nichols and Hannah Lowe, music by Tobago Crusoe and The Camilla George House Band, an exhibition on Black British Music, and special guests. Alexandra Palace, Alexandra Park N22 7AY. Adults £5, children £2; seniors, unwaged, disabled, students and under 5s free. Book now.
Sat 22 June, 5pm-10pm. Transpositions: Multimedia installation by poet Sophie Seita, based on a performance inspired by ‘jumping genes’ in maize. Francis Crick Institute, 1 Midland Road, Kings Cross NW1 1ST. Free.
Sat 22 June, 6pm. The Light of Consciousness: Poet Katherine E Bash presents a still-film screening and site-specific performance. King’s Library Café, Floor 1, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. Free.
Sat 22 June, 7pm-8pm, 8.15pm-9.15pm, 9.30pm-10.30pm, 10.45pm-11.45pm. Shell Like: Sound installation playing an hour-long programme of audio works, including pieces by poets Caroline Bergvall and Nisha Ramayya. Rhapsody Room, Harmony Hall, 10 Truro Road, Walthamstow E17 7BY. Free.
Sat 22 June, 7pm-12am. I was, but just awake: An evening of performances that turn care and harmony into resistance. Participants include poet Precious Okoyomon. Location TBC, Walthamstow. Free.
Sat 22 June, 7pm-3am. The Magic Flute: Text-artist Frances Stark presents a video-based reworking of Mozart’s The Magic Flute. Mirth, Marvel and Maud, 186 Hoe Street, Walthamstow E17 4QH. Free.
Sat 22 June, doors 8pm, performances 8.30pm. Touch Presents… People Like Us + Daniel Menche: Film collagist and conceptual writer People Like Us presents the immersive cinema performance The Mirror. Plus more performance by sound artist Daniel Menche. Iklektik, Old Paradise Yard, 20 Carlisle Lane, Lambeth SE1 7LG. £10 advance, £12 on the door. Book now.
Sun 23 June, 11am-1pm. In the Footsteps of Fred Uhlman: Art and Refugees in Hampstead: Guided walk about artist and prose-poet Fred Uhlman’s life in north London. Meeting point: Hampstead Underground Station, Hampstead High Street, Hampstead NW3 1QG. £12/£9. Book now.
Sun 23 June, 12pm-4pm. Memory Cloud: Retracing Steps: Poetry workshop about accessing and writing with fragments of personal memory. Tutor: Anne-Marie Fyfe. The Troubadour, 263-267 Old Brompton Road, Earl’s Court SW5 9JA. £35. Book now.
Sun 23 June, 4pm. Poetry Reading: Raymond Antrobus: Raymond Antrobus reads from his recent collection The Perseverance. East Wing Gallery, Somerset House, The Strand, Westminster WC2R 1LA. Free.
Sun 23 June, 6.30pm. Radio Activity: An evening of electronic music, featuring an interpretation of John Cage’s voice-based work Speech, plus more music from DJ Food, Howlround and Kumo. Antenna Studios, Bowyers Yard, 19 Haynes Lane, Crystal Palace SE19 3AN. Free.
Mon 24 June, 6.30pm. New Writings: Re-Enter the Dragon with Stewart Home: Novelist and poet Stewart Home discusses his cultural history book Re-Enter the Dragon: Genre Theory, Bruce-sploitation and the Sleazy Joys of Lowbrow Cinema. BFI Southbank, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XT. £6.50. Book now.
Mon 24 June, time TBA. Writers Gathering: Discussion group for performance writers. Live Art Development Agency, The Garrett Centre, 117A Mansford Street, Bethnal Green E2 6LX. Presumably free. To attend, email info[at]somethingother.io.
Tue 25 June, 6.30pm. Book Launch & Dance Performance: Jaya Mehta performs to launch her new collection of dance-poems, The Poetic Saree. Nehru Centre, 8 South Audley Street, Mayfair W1K 1HF. Free but bookable. Book now.
Tue 25 June, 7pm. The Life and Work of Yuri Dombrovsky (1909-1978): David Brummell gives a talk about Russian poet and novelist Yuri Dombrovsky. Plus a recital of Dombrovsky’s poems in Russian with English translation. Pushkin House, 5a Bloomsbury Square, Bloomsbury WC1A 2TA. £10/£7. Book now.
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.
Wed 26 June, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: Nick Selby leads a session on Pound’s ‘Canto XCV’. Room 239, Foster Court, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free.
Wed 26 June, 7pm. Malina Book Launch: Heinz Bachmann and Philip Boehm read from and discuss Boehm’s new translation of poet Ingeborg Bachmann’s novel Malina. Austrian Cultural Forum, 26 Rutland Gate, Knightsbridge SW7 1PQ. Free but bookable. Book now.
Wed 26 June, 7.30pm. Out Else #2: Poetry with Sarah Crewe, Gizem Okulu, Nisha Ramayya and Tom Betteridge, plus the launch for issue 2 of the little magazine Summat. SET, 27a Dalston Lane, Dalston E8 3DF. Free.
Wed 26 June, 7.30pm. F(r)ictions 1: Screenings of short, experimental films, including a piece by poet Edmund Hardy. Also featuring works by Sopo Ramischwili-Schäfer, Małgorzata Sarzyńska, Sarah Ibrahim, Tre’Shunn Harlan, Anuka Ramischwili-Schafer, Erin Liu, Umi Ishihara and Jawara Alleyne. The Flying Dutchman, 156 Wells Way, Camberwell SE5 7SY. Booking by donation. Book now.
Wed 26 June, 7.30pm. Hard Work: Poetry and performances by Eddie Bolger, Dominique Golden, Ghazal Mosadeq, and Laura Sampson & Adam Kinsey, plus short films TBA. The Beehive, Stoneleigh Road, Tottenham N17 9BQ. £5/£3/free.
Wed 26 June, 8pm. National Poetry Library Lates: Poetry reading by Mary Jean Chan. Hayward Gallery, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road SE1 8XX. £10 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 26 June, time TBC. The Golden Boat: Screening of Raoul Ruiz’s 1990 film about the New York art scene, featuring experimental writers like Vito Acconci and Kathy Acker. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. Booking not yet open.
Thu 27 June, 7.30pm. Façade / Carnival of Animals: Sam West and the London Mozart Players perform Façade, the collaboration between poet Edith Sitwell and composer William Walton, plus Carnival of the Animals by Saint-Saëns. St Lawrence Jewry, Guildhall Yard, City of London EC2V 5AA. £20/£10 (includes interval drinks). Book now.
Thu 27 June, 8.30pm. Words & Jazz: Poetry with Kathy Pimlott, Serge ♆ Neptune and Anas Hassan, plus live jazz from Tom Ollendorff and guests. Vortex Jazz Club, 11 Gillett Square, Dalston N16 8AZ. £5.
Fri 28 June, 7pm. Launch: Try To Be Better: Readings and reflections to launch Try To Be Better, an anthology of responses to poet WS Graham. Featuring Astrid Alben, Edwina Attlee, Tom Betteridge, Holly Corfield Carr, Lauren Doughty, Aisha Farr, Natalie Ferris, Lucy Mercer, Aimée Parrott, Denise Saul, Sam Buchan-Watts and Lavinia Singer. Burley Fisher Books, 400 Kingsland Road, Haggerston E8 4AA. Presumably free.
Fri 28 June, 7.15pm. Talawa Firsts: Mixed Bill 2: A trio of new works, featuring Olivia Douglass’ experimental performance-poem Palm as Portal, plus performances by Aminita Francis and Vanessa Macauley. Shoreditch Town Hall, 380 Old Street, Shoreditch EC1V 9LT. £8/£5. Book now.
Fri 28 June, time TBC. Paul Buck: After the Battle… The Feast: Performance work by poet Paul Buck, in response to the work of avant-garde novelist Kathy Acker. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. Booking not yet open.
Sat 29 June – Sun 15 July, Mon-Fri 9am-late, Sat-Sun 10am-late. Belonging, Sideways: Exhibition of work by Algerian artists, including Sarah Ouadah’s digital reinterpretation of the classic Bedouin poem Hyzia. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Sat 29 June, 10.30am-1.30pm. Poetic Demolition: Writing workshop where participants will demolish then rebuild their poems, in response to the installations of Iranian artist Nazgol Ansarinia. Workshop leader: Martha Sprackland. Parasol Unit, 14 Wharf Road, Hoxton N1 7RW. £8.93/£6.82. Book now.
Sat 29 June, 10.30am-4.30pm. The Carer: Poetry of Private & Public Spaces: Writing workshop exploring how to give voice to care-givers and the cared-for. Tutor: Denise Saul. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £72. Book now.
Sun 30 June, 12pm-7pm. Shubback Literature Festival: A day of conversations and readings with Arab writers. Includes appearances by Lebanese poet Dima Mikhayel Matta, and Iraqi Kurdish poet and novelist Bakhtiyar Ali. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. Full day pass £18/£16/£14, half day passes £12/£10/£8. Book now.

July 2019

Mon 1 – Sun 7 July (dates and times TBC). Catherine Clover – Oh! Ah Ah Pree Trra Trra: Catherine Clover leads walks, workshops and a performance, creating a sound poetry choir inspired by listening to songs of wild birds. Location TBC. Booking not yet open.
Mon 1 – Sat 27 July, Mon-Sat 11am-10pm. An Invisible Poetry: Exhibition of painterly poems by SJ Fowler. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Mon 1 – Sat 27 July, Mon-Sat 11am-10pm. The Poem’s Brut: Exhibition of hand-made visual poetry, featuring works by Patrick Cosgrove, Paul Hawkins, Chris McCabe, Astra Papachristodoulou, Imogen Reid, Karen Sandhu, Vilde Torset and Simon Tyrrell. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Mon 1 July, 7pm. 87 Press Summer Special: Poetry with Julian Talamantez Brolaski, Sascha Aurora Akhtar and Matt Martin. Beara Beara Café, 330 Upper Street, Islington N1 2XQ. £5 (card payments only).
Tue 2 July, 7pm-9pm. Avant-Garde Study Group: Robyn Jakeman leads a study group session on poet Mina Loy’s novel Insel. Sign up via the link to receive reading materials in advance. Room 221, School of Arts, Birkbeck University of London, 43 Gordon Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0PD. Free.
Tue 2 July, 7.15pm. Ocean Vuong: On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous: Vietnamese-American poet Ocean Vuong reads from his debut novel, On Earth We’re Briefly Gorgeous. Purcell Room, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. £12 plus booking fee. Book now.
Wed 3 July, 7pm. Coalesce: A Fusion of Music, Poetry and Fine Whisky: An evening of Chinese arts, featuring poetry with Yu Yoyo and translator AK Blakemore, music by Cheng Yu, Charlie Cawood, An-Ting Chang, DJ QuestionMark and Wang Xiao, and whiskies from Taiwanese distillery Kavalan. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. £20 plus booking fee. Book now.
Thu 4 July, doors 6pm, performances 6.30pm. Intimations of Immortality: An Evening of Persian Poetry: An evening of classical and contemporary Persian poetry with Narguess Farzad and more readers TBA. Djam Lecture Theatre, SOAS University of London, Thornhaugh Street, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG. Free but bookable. SOLD OUT; join the waiting list here.
Fri 5 July, 2pm. Africa Writes Young Voices Showcase: Student poets read their own work inspired by African poetry. Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. Free.
Fri 5 July, 7pm. Our Bodies Speak Poetry: An evening of poetry and stories with an African focus, exploring the body as a site of power and resistance. Featuring Raymond Antrobus, Adesola Akinleye, Caleb Femi, Jessica Horn, Miss Jacqui, Fatimah Kelleher, Nick Makoha, Sitawa Namwalie, Koleka Putuma and Belinda Zhawi. With BSL interpretation. Knowledge Centre, The British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £12/£10/£8. Book now.
Fri 5 July, 7pm. Launch: Robert Lundquist – After Mozart (Heroin on 5th Street): Robert Lundquist reads to launch a volume of previously uncollected poems. Plus more readers TBA. Housman’s Books, 5 Caledonian Road, Kings Cross N1 9DY. Presumably free.
Fri 5 July, 7pm. Mary Jean Chan, Will Harris and Sarah Howe: Readings and discussion with poets Mary Jean Chan, Will Harris and Sarah Howe. London Review Bookshop, 14 Bury Place, Bloomsbury WC1A 2JL. £10. Book now.
Sat 6 & Sun 7 July, Africa Writes: Festival of African literature, including performance and discussion with poets like Theresa Lola, Kayo Chingonyi, Koleka Putuma, Chelle OT, Siana Bangura and Inua Ellams. Plus workshops, including one on teaching African literature in schools (Sat 11.15am), and another with Keisha Thompson on poetry and mathematics for young adults (Sat 2.15pm). British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £15 for Sat only, £12 for Sun only, or £20 for both days. Book now.
Sat 6 July, 10.30am-4.30pm. The Strange Stranger: Animal Poetics: Creative writing workshop on exploring animal perspectives, inspired by poets like Vahni Capildeo and Les Murray. Tutor: Isabel Galleymore. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £72. Book now.
Sat 6 July, 4.30pm. Les Bijoux Indiscrets, or, Paper Tigers: A play by poet Sophie Seita, performed by Seita, Emma Attwood, Erin Robinsong, Jocelyn Spaar, Wendy Lotterman, Naomi Woo, Prudence Bussey-Chamberlain and Simone Kearney. Closing event for Seita’s exhibition My Little Enlightenment Plays (see above). SPACE, 129-131 Mare Street, Hackney E8 3RH. Free.
Sat 6 July, 7pm. New Daughters of Africa: Readings and discussion to celebrate New Daughters of Africa, an anthology of writing by women of African descent. Featuring poet and novelist Bernardine Evaristo, writers Ayọ̀bámi Adébáyọ̀, Nadifa Mohamed and Namwali Serpell, and the anthology’s editor Margaret Busby. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £15/£12/£10. Book now.
Sat 6 July, 7pm. The Dream Without a Name: Pianist and jazz composer Sarah Tandy plays a set inspired by poet Langston Hughes. Queen Elizabeth Hall Foyer, Southbank Centre, Belvedere Road, Lambeth SE1 8XX. Free.
Mon 8 July, doors 7pm, performances 7.30pm. The Poem’s Brut Launch Event and Reading: Readings to launch the exhibition The Poem’s Brut (see above). Readers TBC, but likely to include exhibiting poet-artists Patrick Cosgrove, Paul Hawkins, Chris McCabe, Astra Papachristodoulou, Imogen Reid, Karen Sandhu, Vilde Torset and Simon Tyrrell. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. Free.
Mon 8 July, time TBA. Writers Gathering: Discussion group for performance writers. Live Art Development Agency, The Garrett Centre, 117A Mansford Street, Bethnal Green E2 6LX. Presumably free. To attend, email info[at]somethingother.io.
Tue 9 July, 4pm. Writing Environmental Crisis Past and Present: Roundtable discussion on ecopoetics, featuring poets Redell Olsen and Lucy Burnett, plus scholars David Higgins and Kate Rigby. Followed by drinks reception. Royal Holloway University of London, 11 Bedford Square, Bloomsbury WC1B 3RE. Presumably free; to register, email howlikealeaf[at]gmail.com.
Tue 9 July, 6.30pm. Translating Chinese Poetry with Dave Haysom and Yu Yoyo: Translation workshop on new Chinese poetry, led by Dave Haysom and poet Yu Yoyo. Open to all, no knowledge of Chinese required. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 9 July, 7pm. The Scratch Orchestra at 50: Notation and Performance: Jane Alden gives a talk about the Scratch Orchestra’s experimentation with textual and graphic scores for their music, and the Vocal Constructivists lead a workshop where participants sound some of the scores. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £15/12/10. Book now.
Tue 9 July, 7.30pm. Guillotine 7: Poetry with Astra Papachristodoulou, Kat Peddie and Becky Varley-Winter. The Beehive, Stoneleigh Road, Tottenham N17 3BQ. £4ish.
Wed 10 July, 6pm. Ezra Pound Cantos Reading Group: John Gery leads a session on one of Pound’s Cantos. Room 239, Foster Court, University College London, Gower Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 6BT. Free.
Wed 10 July, 7.30pm. 87.8: Poetry with Pratyusha, Andrew Spragg, Jazz Linklater, Dom Hale, Christina Chalmers and Nina Mingya Powles. The Roebuck, 50 Great Dover Street, Southwark SE1 4YG. £5/£3.
Fri 12 – Sun 14 July, times TBC. IMEC International Meaning Conference 2019: The Social Power of Meaning: Three days of workshops and lectures about finding meaning in the modern world. Includes poet Scott Thurston on poetry and choreography. Rooms and building TBC, Birkbeck, University of London. Early bird prices £54.49-£399.45 available until Mon 31 December – book now.
Fri 12 July, 7pm. Mary Jean Chan & Jay Bernard – A Poetry Reading: Readings from two debut poetry collections, Mary Jean Chan’s Flèche and Jay Bernard’s Surge. Gay’s the Word, 66 Marchmont Street, Bloomsbury WC1N 1AB. Free but bookable. Book now.
Sat 13 July, 3.30pm-5.30pm. Writers Forum Workshop – New Series: Experimental poetry workshop, open to all. The Barley Mow, 127 Curtain Road, London EC2A 3BX. Free.
Sat 13 July, 7.30pm. Poem Brut: An exploration of artistic creative writing, with Lisa Kiew, Patrick Cosgrove & Alex Hegazy, Mischa Foster Poole, Harry Man & SJ Fowler, Vilde Valerie Vilde Torset, Paul Hawkins, Simon Tyrrell, Michael O’Mahony, Rushika Rush, Maria Sledmere and more TBA. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Mon 15 July, 10.30am-1pm. Hydro Lyric: Water & the Self in Contemporary Poetry: Creative writing workshop on writing and co-existing with water, inspired by poets like Lorine Niedecker and Elizabeth-Jane Burnett. Tutor: Samantha Walton. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Mon 15 July, 2pm-4.30pm. Poetry & Profanity: Creative writing workshop on using profanity in poems. Tutor: Inua Ellams. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Tue 16 July, 2pm-4.30pm. Problematic Poets: Interrogating our Influences: Workshop on what there is to learn from historical poets like Ezra Pound, who would fall below today’s ethical standards. Tutor: Anthony Anaxagorou. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Tue 16 July, 2pm-4.30pm. Beyond the Literal: Poetry Translation: Workshop on poetry translation, using texts by Italian poets Attilio Bertolucci and Eugenio Montale. No knowledge of non-English languages required. Tutor: Anthony Anaxagorou. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Tue 16 July, doors 7pm, readings 7.30pm. Bad Betty Press, HVTN, & Friends: Readings by poets from HVTN and Bad Betty presses, featuring Tom Bland, L Gibson, Antonia Jade King, Gboyega Odubanjo, Mischa Foster Poole and Joe Turrent. The Peckham Pelican, 92 Peckham Road, Peckham SE15 5PY. Free.
Wed 17 July, 10.30am-1pm. Constraints & Play: Creative writing workshop on how ludic games and constraints can enrich poetry, drawing on methods developed by the Surrealists, the New York School and FLARF. Tutor: Tim Atkins. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Wed 17 July, time TBC. Who’s Afraid of Kathy Acker?: Screening of Barbara Caspar’s 2009 film essay on avant-garde novelist Kathy Acker, also featuring experimental writers Carolee Schneemann and William S Burroughs. ICA, The Mall, St James’s SW1Y 5AH. Booking not yet open.
Thu 18 July, 10.30am-1pm. Vanishing Point: Personae & Perspective?: Creative writing workshop on writing poems from new perspectives, inspired by poets like Amergin and Denise Riley. Tutor: Emily Critchley. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Thu 18 July, 6.30pm. Digital Conversations: Celebrating Ten Years of the New Media Writing Prize: Discussion with poets and writers who have created innovative work for digital media, featuring Andy Campbell, Amira Hanafi, Kayt Lackie and Christine Wilks. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £6/£5/£4. Book now.
Thu 18 July, 7pm. artBLAB: An evening of talks by artists and poets. Speakers TBA. Poetry Café, 22 Betterton Street, Covent Garden WC2H 9BX. £5.92. Booking not yet open.
Fri 19 July, 10.30am-1pm. Draw Down the Stars: Creative writing workshop on using astrology for insight and liberation, inspired by poets like Diane di Prima and Bhanu Kapil. Tutor: Francesca Lisette. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Fri 19 July, 2pm-4.30pm. Poetry as Alchemy: Creative writing workshop on using poetry to transmute the raw materials of everyday life, inspired by poets like Eileen Myles, Precious Okoyomon, James Schuyler and Frank O’Hara. Tutor: Sophie Robinson. The Poetry School, 1 Dock Offices, Surrey Quays Road, Canada Water SE16 2XU. £35. Book now.
Fri 19 July, 6pm-8.30pm. Write / on / Art: Ecopoet Helen Moore leads a writing workshop (6pm-7pm), then reads and discusses her poetry during an exhibition by sculptor Marian Bruce. Bermondsey Project Space, 183-185 Bermondsey Street, Bermondsey SE1 3UW. £5 (redeemable against book purchases).
Tue 23 July, 6.30pm. Translating French Poetry by Mauritian Poet Umar Timol: Translation workshop on Umar Timol’s French-language poetry. Open to all, no knowledge of French required. Workshop leader: Delaina Haslam. Poetry Translation Centre, The Albany, Douglas Way, Deptford SE8 4AG. £8.25/£5.04, free for refugees and unwaged. Book now.
Tue 23 July, 7.15pm. Notes and Queeries: Keith Jarrett: Poet Keith Jarrett discusses unlocking queer potential within library texts. Knowledge Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £10/£8/£7. Book now.
Wed 24 July, 7.30pm. Conditional/Fluf/SM-LL Joint Label Event: Electronic music night featuring Blood Music, AKA poet Simon Pomery. Other acts are Andrea Taeggi, Calum Gunn, Casper Gottlieb, Dane Law, en creux, Nancy Drone, New Tendencies, tuuun, Typeface and Vialan. Five Miles, 39b Markfield Road, Seven Sisters N15 4QA. £7.06 early bird rate; otherwise £8 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.
Thu 25 July, 7pm. Launch of Blank / And They Are Covered in Gold Light: Launch readings for the pamphlets And They Are Covered in Gold Light by Amy Acre, and Blank by Jake Wild Hall. Plus more poetry from Antonia Jade King, Anne Gill, Kate B Hall and Kat Francois. With BSL interpretation by Jo Taylor. Loven Bakery, Eagle Heights, Waterside Way, Tottenham Hale N17 9FU. Presumably free.
Sat 27 July, 3pm. Capital Letters: Poetry and discussion with poets TBA. National Maritime Museum, Park Row, Greenwich SE10 9NF. Free.

August 2019

Sat 3 August, 7.30pm Deep End: Nadeem Din-Ghabesi presents the multimedia project POOL, examining mental health issues experienced by some young, Black men in London. Plus poetry from Belinda Zhawi and music by Farai. Lancaster Room, Somerset House, The Strand, Westminster WC2R 1LA. £8/£7. Book now.
Sat 10 & Sun 11 August, 10.30am-5pm each day. Experimental Printing and Bookbinding: Weekend course on creating a concrete poem using relief printing, then binding it into an experimental book form. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £185/£167/£157. Book now.
Fri 23 August, 8pm. Performances: SUUTOO and Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura: Poet and sound artist Tabitha Thorlu-Bangura presents an audio-visual installation. Plus more performance by SUUTUU. South London Gallery, 65-67 Peckham Road, Camberwell SE5 8UH. £7/£5. Book now.
Wed 28 August, 7.30pm. David Toop – Other Creatures, Entities and Faint Beings: Musicologist David Toop collaborates with writers, musicians and sculptors for an evening exploring interconnections between non-human, human and extra-human entities. Café OTO, 18-22 Ashwin Street, Dalston E8 3DL. £8 advance, £10 on the door. Book now.

September 2019

Thu 5 September – Sun 8 September, times TBC. London Art Book Fair: Stalls run by cutting-edge publishers from around the world, selling art books and magazines. Whitechapel Gallery, 77-82 Whitechapel High Street, Whitechapel E1 7QX. Entry fee (if any) TBC.
Mon 9 September, 6pm-8pm, then the same time weekly until Mon 14 October. Writing Africa: Six-week course on African literature, including work by poets like Warsan Shire and Chinua Achebe. Harry M Weinrebe Learning Centre, British Library, 96 Euston Road NW1 2DB. £295/£265/£250. Book now.
Thu 12 September, times TBA. Translating Poetries: a Symposium for Translation Practitioners: Symposium for poetry translators from around the world to discuss their practice.  Features a keynote with poet Mamta Sagar (India), plus an in-conversation with poet Abdilatif Abdalla (Kenya) and Swahili translator Annmarie Drury. Djam Lecture Theatre, College Buildings, SOAS University of London, Russell Square, Bloomsbury WC1H 0XG. £100/£50. See here for how to enroll.
Thu 19 September – Sat 2 November, Mon-Sat 7.30pm, Wed & Sat matinees 2.30pm. Blood Wedding: New adaptation of the classic play by Spanish poet Federico García Lorca. Young Vic, 66 The Cut, Waterloo SE1 8LZ. £40/£30/£20/£10; previews (Thu 19 – Tue 24 September) £25/£20/£10. Book now.
Sat 21 & Sun 22 September, times TBC. International Conference on Poetry Studies: “Poetry Between Creation and Interpretation“: Conference about poetry, poetics and translation. Venue TBC. £160/£140; booking not yet open.
Thu 26 September (opening event, time TBC), then Fri 27 September – Fri 20 December, Wed-Sat 12pm-6pm. Tomaso Binga: Exhibition by artist and visual poet Tomaso Binga. Mimosa House, 12 Princes Street, Mayfair W1B 2LL. Free.
Sun 29 September,  7pm. Dead Poets Live: Marianne Moore and Elizabeth Bishop: Show exploring modernist poet Marianne Moore’s friendship with Elizabeth Bishop. Coronet Theatre, 103 Notting Hill Gate, Notting Hill W11 3LB. £30/£25; £15 for under 30s. Proceeds go to the charity Safe passage. Book now.
Sun 29 September, 7.30pm. Jenny Hval: The Practice of Love: Immersive, multimedia performance by Norwegian poet, musician and novelist Jenny Hval. Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Milton Court, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 9BH. £20 plus booking fee. Book now.

October 2019

Tue 1 October – Sun 15 March, Wed-Sun 12pm-11pm. 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).
Sat 12 October, 7.30pm. Nordic Poetry Festival: Camarade: An evening of collaborations between Nordic and British poets, featuring Morten Søndergaard, Endre Ruset, Vilde Valerie Bjerke Torset, Tiina Lehikoinen, Tommi Musturi, Eiríkur Örn Norðdahl, Sissal Kampmann and more TBA. Rich Mix, 35-47 Bethnal Green Road, Shoreditch E1 6LA. Free.
Wed 23 October, 7.30pm. Moor Mother: The Great Bailout: Poet and electronic musician Moor Mother confronts colonialism and slavery in this collaboration with the London Contemporary Orchestra. Milton Court Concert Hall, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Milton Court, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 9BH. £20 plus booking fee. Book now.
Mon 28 October, 7.30pm. Swordfishtrombones Revisited: David Coulter presents his reinterpretation of poet and musician Tom Waits’ 1983 album Swordfishtrombones, with guests including Nadine Shah, Sarah Blasko, Dorian Wood and Lisa O’Neill. Barbican Hall, Barbican Centre, Silk Street, City of London EC2Y 8DS. £20-£35 plus booking fee. Book now.

November 2019

Fri 15 & Sat 16 November, 11am-7pm each day. Small Publishers Fair: Annual celebration of books by contemporary artists, poets, writers and book designers, featuring readings, workshops and exhibitions. Programme TBA. Conway Hall, 25 Red Lion Square, Bloomsbury WC1R 4RL. Free.

December 2019

Wed 4 December, 6pm. ‘A Camp Full of Once and Future Very Important Persons’: Fred Uhlman and Kurt Schwitters in Internment: Charmian Brinson lectures on the wartime internment of poet-artists Kurt Schwitters and Fred Uhlman. Room 243, Second Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Book now.

January 2020

Wed 15 January, 9am – Fri 17 January, 6pm. Between Departure and Arrival. Re-Assessing the Work of Ilse Aichinger and Helga Michie: Conference on the work of twin sisters, poet Ilse Aichinger and poet-artist Helga Michie. Bloomsbury Room, G35, Ground Floor, Senate House, Malet Street, Bloomsbury WC1E 7HU. Free but bookable. Book now.

FAQ:

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