Poetry Centre

Director(s): Dr Niall Munro

Contact: niall.munro@brookes.ac.uk +44 (0) 1865 483433

About us

The Poetry Centre, which is based within the School of Education, Humanities and Languages at Oxford Brookes University, was launched in 1998, and hosts an exciting annual programme of events, which include conferences and research seminars, workshops (including a special workshop for military veterans), exhibitions, poetry readings, and community projects. The Centre also acts as a base for the extensive research being done into poetry in the school.

The Centre runs an annual International Poetry Competition which has two categories for entries: Open and English as an Additional Language. The competition usually runs from May until September and you can find more details on the competition page.

In 2017, the Poetry Centre established ignitionpress, a poetry pamphlet press with an international outlook which publishes original, arresting poetry from emerging poets, and established poets working on interim or special projects.

ignitionpress pamphlets

Selection of ignition press pamphlets

Related courses

Research impact

Remington Typewriter

Based in the School of Education, Humanities and Languages, the Poetry Centre has a highly active research culture. A number of academics within the school listed below work on poetry (in addition to other kinds of writing), and their work spans the ages: from the 1500s to the present day. Visit each researchers individual page to learn about the rest of their work and interests.

In REF2021 (the national assessment of research across the country), the Poetry Centre was submitted as a case study to demonstrate the impact that academic work can have on public life. You can read more about this work (exploring war poetry and the commemoration of war) elsewhere on the Oxford Brookes website.

Other colleagues associated with the Centre also contributed case studies. Read about Professor Simon Kvesis work about bringing the work of the working class poet John Clare to different audiences, and the project associated with the research of Professor Alex Goody and Dr Eric White that allows marginalised young people the chance to express themselves through technology and art.


Niall Munro

Dr Niall Munro

Senior Lecturer in American Literature & Director of the Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre

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Name Role Email
Dr Claire Cox Poetry Centre Development Manager c.cox@brookes.ac.uk
Professor Katharine Craik Director of Research and Professor in Early Modern Literature (1500-1750) kcraik@brookes.ac.uk
Professor Alex Goody Professor of Twentieth-Century Literature and Culture agoody@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Andrea Macrae Principal Lecturer in Student Experience and Stylistics andrea.macrae@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Dinah Roe Research Lead for English, Creative Writing and Modern Languages, Reader in 19th Century Literature d.roe@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Eric White Reader in American Literature ewhite@brookes.ac.uk


Name Role Organisation
Dr Caroline Jackson-Houlston Lecturer in English Literature
Professor Simon Kövesi Head of School, Professor of English and Scottish Literature School of Critical Studies, University of Glasgow


Active projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Poetry Centre Interns

The Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre runs an internship programme to encourage undergraduate students to become more involved in the Centre's wide and exciting range of activities.

Dr Niall Munro From: September 2014

Black History Month competition

For Black History Month 2023, the Poetry Centre is delighted to be running a special poetry competition inspired by the national Black History Month theme: 'celebrating our Black sisters'.

From: August 2023

Completed projects

Project title and description Investigator(s) Funder(s) Dates

Avant-Gardes Now! Symposium

The symposium was formulated in part as a more specific response to the 2014 BAMS Conference 'Modernism Now!'

Dr Niall Munro, Dr Eric White From: May 2015
Until: May 2015

Kate Clanchy, Oxford City Poet

Together with Oxford City Council, the Poetry Centre created the post of Oxford City Poet in 2011, and Kate Clanchy was appointed as the first City Poet with a remit to work to encourage both the reading and writing of poetry in Oxford and the region.

From: January 2011
Until: December 2011

Colloquium 07

The aim of this colloquium is to create space for discussion of issues surrounding twentieth- and twenty-first-century lyric poetry, particularly as it engages with notions of voice and authenticity. The colloquium is open to anyone with an interest in modern and contemporary poetry, regardless of whether or not they are presenting a paper or have any academic affiliation.

From: May 2007
Until: May 2007

New Generation to Next Generation 2014: Three Decades of British and Irish Poetry

This two-day conference, organized by the Institute of English Studies and Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre in collaboration with the Poetry Book Society, looks back at twenty years of New and Next Generation Poets. Its aim is to explore the legacy and impact of the scheme, but also use it as a focus to think more generally about contemporary poetry.

Dr Niall Munro From: March 2015
Until: March 2015

Oxfordshire Schools Poetry Competition

Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre ran a poetry competition across all schools in Oxfordshire, which received over 600 entries in total. 

Dr Rachel Buxton From: January 2014
Until: April 2014

Poetry on the Bus

Poetry on the Bus is an event that was run by the Poetry Centre in March 2007, and funded by Arts Council England (Grants for the Arts). It took poetry to the streets of Oxford using the Brookes Bus network -the aim was to get people to think differently about what poetry is and how it can relate to us.

Dr Rachel Buxton National Lottery From: March 2009
Until: March 2009

Science Bazaar 2012

The stall encouraged visitors to the Science Bazaar to consider poetry as one way of articulating the scientific innovation which they had witnessed at the event.

Dr Niall Munro From: March 2012
Until: March 2012

See How I Land: Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers

In recent years, the Poetry Centre has initiated a number of community projects such as See How I Land: Oxford Poets and Exiled Writers, which was supported by Arts Council England and the charities Asylum Welcome and Refugee Resource.

Arts Council England, Refugee Resource, Asylum Welcome From: January 2009
Until: December 2009

Science Writes to Life

Professor Steven Matthews

Spring Leaves

A haiku project at the OutBurst festival

Dr Caroline Jackson-Houlston From: May 2015
Until: May 2015

Walking over the Water: Pia Tafdrup poetry tour

The tour, entitled Walking over the Water (which refers to Pia's 1991 essay about her poetic method), is supported by the Danish Arts Foundation, and also by the University of Reading and Roehampton Poetry Centre. Pia will visit Reading, Ledbury, and Oxford during her tour, and at each stop will read or be in discussion with a celebrated British poet: Peter Robinson in Reading, Fiona Sampson in Ledbury, and Philip Gross in Oxford.

Dr Niall Munro Danish Arts Foundation From: February 2017
Until: February 2017

Black History Month: Dreams and Legacies

In 2017, Oxford Brookes Poetry Centre commissioned poets and photographers to produce new work inspired by interviews with students and staff of colour at Oxford Brookes University.

Dr Niall Munro From: October 2017
Until: October 2017

Weekly Poem

The Weekly Poem initiative sends a free contemporary poem, published by an independent press, to your inbox every week! Click on the links to the right to sign up or to look through past Weekly Poems – running all the way back to 2007.

The presses participating in the initiative during the 2021–22 academic year are: Candlestick Press, Nine Arches Press, Bloodaxe Books, Bad Betty Press, tall-lighthouse, ignitionpress, and Seren Books.

We hope you will enjoy reading the poems and that you will be encouraged to support these presses by visiting their websites, signing up to their mailing lists, and buying their books.


The Poetry Centre Podcast focuses on the work of one poet or features discussion about poetry with poets and academics. Scroll to the bottom of this page and click on the link for the audio you would like to hear, or click on the Apple Podcasts link on the right in order to subscribe to the podcast series. You can also find us via other podcast providers like Stitcher, Google Podcasts, and Spotify.

Literary Oxford

The city of Oxford is a hive of literary activity, with a long history of fostering some of the worlds most famous creative minds.