Poetry Centre

About us

The Poetry Centre, which is based within the School of English and Modern 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
  • English as an Additional Language

This competition usually runs from May until September.

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. Our first pamphlets, with work by Lily Blacksell, Mary Jean Chan, and Patrick James Errington, were published in February 2018.

IgnitionPress pamphlets

Writing desk with typewriter

Related courses

Research impact

Remington Typewriter

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. Click on the links below to find out more about the range of expertise available within the Centre, and visit each researcher’s individual page to learn about the rest of their work and interests.

Leadership

Niall Munro

Dr Niall Munro

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

View profile

Membership

Staff

Name Role Email
Professor Katharine Craik Research Lead 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
Professor Simon Kövesi Professor and Head of Department skovesi@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Andrea Macrae Principal Lecturer in Student Experience and Stylistics andrea.macrae@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Dinah Roe Reader in 19th Century Literature d.roe@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Eric White Reader in American Literature ewhite@brookes.ac.uk
Dr Simon White Reader in Romantic & Nineteenth-Century Literature s.white@brookes.ac.uk

Collaborators

Name Role Organisation
Dr Caroline Jackson-Houlston Lecturer in English Literature

Projects

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

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 presses participating in the initiative during the 2020–21 academic year are: Candlestick Press, Nine Arches Press, Bad Betty Press, tall-lighthouse, and Smokestack Books.

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

Resources

Podcasts

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 world’s most famous creative minds.

Short courses

Fire Up Your Poetry Practice: Professionalising your Poetry

Are you ready to take your poetry to the next level? Do you have a growing file of poems, but aren’t sure how to publish them? Are you wondering about how to get your first pamphlet together? This course aims to help you achieve your goal of being a ‘proper’ published poet, and to develop a more professional approach to your writing.

This is a five-week online course, with each session lasting two hours, and will be held via Zoom. Participants joining the online sessions will need to have access to a computer, laptop or tablet with a microphone and webcam, as well as a reliable broadband connection.

Dates: Tuesdays on 24 May, 31 May, 7 June, 14 June, 21 June 2022
Times: 
10.30 am–12.30 pm BST (with 10-15 minute break)

Fire Up Your Poetry Practice: Professionalising your Poetry