Oxford University Poetry Society

The Oxford University Poetry Society (also known as OPS or OUPS) aims to be the centre of poetic life within the University of Oxford, and was founded in 1946 by Martin Starkie.

Society activities

The society is a regular provider of poetry readings in Oxford: its weekly events during Oxford University term are open to the public and members of the university alike, and generally feature distinguished members of the British poetic community. Historically, readers have included Ted Hughes and Dylan Thomas and in recent years visiting readers have included the then Poet Laureate Andrew Motion, and other renowned poets such as Paul Muldoon, Anne Stevenson, Craig Raine, Daljit Nagra, Alice Oswald and Saul Williams.

OPS holds writing workshops often - during which members read and critique one another's work - and administrates numerous other events, including open mic readings and collaborations with various college arts festivals. The society also disseminates information about university poetry competitions, including the Newdigate Prize, the Lord Alfred Douglas Memorial Prize and the Eugene Lee-Hamilton Prize, events such as the termly readings at Balliol College under the auspices of the current Oxford Professor of Poetry, Geoffrey Hill, and external resources which may be of interest to members, such as the Poetry Library.

The society administers the annual Martin Starkie Prize, named after OPS's founder, and its own Poetry Reading Competition (formerly known as the Declamation Competition). It has a quarterly magazine, ASH, which was launched by Helen Taylor in Michaelmas term 2007, showcasing the writing of its members.[1]

The senior member is Patrick McGuinness.

See also


  1. "The Oxford University Poetry Society". African Writing Online. Retrieved 2009-11-19.
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