Here you can find a comprehensive and, hopefully, helpful listing for young and teen poets.
Below you can find some great websites with poetry information and opportunity especially for younger writers and aspiring young writers.
There are also a collection of competitions that especially welcome entries from younger writers.

  Useful resources for young poets  (click on the image to visit the website)  
  YPNsquare   PoetryArchive   youngwriters   YMlogo   Arvon  
   Young Poets Network     Children's Poetry Archive   Young Writers Network
   YM: The Poetry Society   Arvon Foundation Schools and Groups

An online resource from The Poetry Society for all poets up to the age of 25.


The children's section of The Poetry Archive.

  Competitions, poetry and resources for young writers and teachers.


A magazine for youth readers and writers of poetry.


Arvon offer residential weeks for schools, young people and adult groups.

  AnS   chan4   ymwriters  


  Apples and Snakes

  Channel 4 Learning Book Box  

Muslim Young Writers


Acumen Young Poets 


England’s leading organisation for performance poetry and spoken word.


Online education resources, games and activities for primary and secondary schools.


Working towards raising the standards of child literacy and creative writing. Ages 5 - 16 yrs.

   Acumen Publishing now have a web page where young poets can upload their poems.
  Websites specifically for pre-teen poets     (click on the image to visit the website)      
  GigglePoetry   poetryzonelogo   poetrybookshelf   ChildrensBookShow      
  Giggle Poetry

  The Poetry Zone

  Children's Poetry Bookshelf    The Children's Bookshow      
  Fun poetry for young readers, plus prompts for them to write their own.   Publishing poems by young people online since 1998  through prompts.   A book club for young readers aged 7 - 11 dedicated entirely to poetry.   Aims to delight and inspire children with great poems and beautiful illustrations.      
  Websites specifically for teen poets   (click on the image to visit the website)       

young writers magazine









  Young Writers Network   Poetry Society Youth Membership    GCSE Poetry Live

  Cicada Magazine

  The Claremont Review  
  Competitions, poetry and resources for young writers and teachers.
  Designed to put 11-18 years old in touch with what’s happening in the world of poetry.

National tour of poets featuring on the GCSE syllabus.

  Online American teen poetry magazine with submissions, advice and competitions.
  International magazine for writers aged 13-19yrs.

  xenithlogo   bluepencil   hebeweb          
  Xenith Magazine    Blue Pencil  Online
  Hebe Magazine          
  Publishing teen and young adult poems, stories, essays, plays, rants, and more.   A US magazine seeking to publish the best literary work by young writers (12–18) from around the world.   A magazine that publishes the work of poets aged 18 and under. Each issue is published quarterly.          



  Competitions for young poets
(click on the image to visit the website)
  roundhouselogo   buxton   ChildrensBookShow   slambassadors   plymouthweb  

 Roundhouse Poetry Slam

   Buxton Festival Poetry Competition
   The Children's Bookshow   Slambassadors   PlymPoeComp

  Open Poetry Slam for ages 16 to 25 yrs. Must have 2 videos of you performing.  

Annual open comp with youth and children's prizes. 



Write from a set prompt.
For ages: under 9yrs and 9-11 yrs.


 The Poetry Society's online poetry slam for ages 12 to 18 yrs.
Deadline 30th Sept


Inter-school poetry competition for 5-16yr olds with prompts.

  elmettrustweb   fresherwriting   mcbfweb   Spender   johnbetjemin  
  Ted Hughes Young Poets Award
  Fresher Writing Prize

  Poetry Together Competition 2016 
  The Stephen Spender Prize    John Betjeman Prize


For age groups:
6-10; 11-14; 15-18.
Poems written from a prompt.


Various competitions for new writers (including students)


A competition for poets under 18yrs writing with poets over 18yrs.


A competition for poetry in translation with a 14 and under prize and an 18 and under prize.


For poets aged 10 to 13yrs. Writing to a theme.
Deadline 31st July

  ledbury   merelitfest   poetrybyheart   poetryrivals   foyleYP17web1   
  Ledbury Poetry Festival Prize   Mere Literature Festival   Poetry by Heart

  Poetry Rivals

  Foyle Young Poets of the Year  

Annual competition with prizes for age groups 11 and under and 12 to 17.
Deadline 13th July

  An annual competition with a junior section.
Deadline 26th June

  A competition for schools to encourage students aged 14 to 18 to learn and recite poetry.
  A national competition for young poets and performance poets.
Two age groups: under 18s and 18+.
  Prestigious Poetry Society competition for poets aged 11 to 17.
Deadline 31st July


The Bristol Poetry Prize 2015 Results.

We are pleased to announce the results of the competition awarded by judge W N Herbert.

Rachael Boast
1st Prize (£600) Belle Époque - Rachael Boast
2nd Prize (£300) The Lictors, 1964 - Malcolm Watson
3rd Prize (£100) Mapping Hi-Zex Island - Janet Lees
Rachael will also be reading at Bristol Poetry Festival 2016 in the autumn.

Congratulations to our three winners and the commended poets.

Thank you to everyone who entered.



New Pages logo    

News, information, and guides to literary magazines, independent publishers, creative writing programs,

alternative periodicals, indie bookstores, writing contests, and more.


Bristol Poetry Festival 2015

Sponsored by The University of the West of England

21st September to 8th October

Scroll down to browse the festival events or use the calendar below to find out about specific events.

Mon 21st Sept Tues 22nd Sept Wed 23rd Sept Thur 24th Sept Fri 25th Sept Sat 26th Sept Sun 27th Sept
The Spoke @ Spike     Raise the Bar Festival Open Poetry Slam Twenty Poets Perform  
Milk       Open Mic A Beautiful Trick of the Light  
Mon 28th Sept Tues 29th Sept Wed 30 Sept Thur 1st Oct Fri 2nd Oct Sat 3rd oct Sun 4th Oct

Hailing Foxes

Map of Me Street Wise Can Openers Hope n Mic  

Berkeley Square Poetry Revue

Bristol Dead Poets Slam Les Murray Open Mic    
Mon 5th Oct Tues 6th Oct Wed 7th Oct Thur 8th Oct Fri 9th Oct Sat 10th Oct Sun 11th Oct
    Hammer & Tongue Poetry Films      
    Page and Performance National Poetry Day      



The Spoke @ Spike with Bachup

Mon 21st September  8pm (doors 7.15pm)

Spike Island Cafe-Bar, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol, BS1 6UX

Tickets: (£2 on the door)

Paul Deaton    Lizzie Parker    Claire Williamson    Bob Walton     

The Spoke are back bringing a selection of their latest and finest poetry.

Paul Deaton, Lizzie Parker, Claire Williamson and Bob Walton present an evening of celebration and elegy, constellations and energy: of people and places, landscape and lovers, myths and meanings, in four distinct, memorable voices. They will be joined by virtuoso violinist John Pearce, with passionate solo performances of Bach and other classics.

It all takes place in the cool ambience of the Spike Island Cafe at Bristol's international centre for contemporary art.




Mon 21st September   8pm

Halo Cafe/bar, 141 Gloucester Rd, Bristol, BS7 8BA

Tickets: £5 / slammers FREE (pay on the door)

Sally Jenkinson       Laurie Bolger


Featuring Sally Jenkinson and Laurie Bolger plus a set from the previous slam winner and an open slam voted for by the whole audience.
Hosted by Sam Boarer
For further info and to apply to be in the slam email:



Raise the Barup

Thur 23rd September  8.00pm (doors 7.30pm)

Balloon Bar, Richmond Building, 105 Queens Road, Bristol, BS8 1LN

Tickets: £2

Mark Grist        Miko Berry

Raise the Bar brings together students, non-students, and local writers of all ages, backgrounds and lyrical styles to provide a platform for artists to showcase and perform their work, as well as providing the very best entertainment for poetry fans. They are hugely invested in talent development and offer an open mic each month, which you can sign up for on a first come first serve basis by emailing

This months feature guests are:

Having left his job as a teacher to venture into a career in poetry, Mark Grist (the Poet Laureate of Peterborough at the time) made a name for himself in the UK Spoken Word scene which included accolades such as winning the 2010 Edinburgh Fringe Slam Champion.
In late 2011, everything changed as Grist’s Don’t Flop rap battle against Blizzard became the first in UK history to reach 1 million YouTube views (now close to 5 million views), and his rise to prominence continued as his spoken word short film ‘Girls Who Read’ also went viral, currently standing at over 3.5 million views.

MiKo is the current European Slam Champion, a former Scottish Slam Champion, and arrived in 4th place at the World Slam Championships! As well as enjoying incredible individual success and acclaim, he is also the founder of the decorated Loud Poets Collective whose innovative shows and performances have revolutionized Scotland’s spoken word scene.
Fresh from performing at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, MiKo will be bringing his energetic set to Raise the Bar, combining intricate poetic technique with charismatic and passionate performance.

Danny is a spoken word poet from London, currently studying in Bristol, who performs both poetry and rap, aiming to bridge the gap between the two art forms, incorporating elements of both contemporary rap and traditional poetry.
After beginning as a musician and lyricist, Danny became far more interested and invested in the culture of spoken word, acapella poetry, and has since even ventured into battle rap (performing as Craft-D on Don’t Flop) having had three battles and winning each of them. Having set up and founded Raise the Bar a year ago, eight events later he will be performing a short one-off set.



Bristol Poetry Festival Open Poetry Slamup

Fri 25th September    7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Tickets: £8 / £6 concessions


Advance booking advised

Glenn Carmichael & Claire Williamson

The ever popular Festival Slam returns, bringing more gladiatorial poets vying for the top prize.

Hosted by Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson


With poetry slammers from Bristol, the South West and the UK:

Clive Oseman    James Laurie   Robert Garnham   Melanie Branton   


Tim King    James Turrell   Nick Lovell    Sam Boarer


Malika Kigode   Graham Chilcott   Tom Dewey    Bart Breathnach  


Tim Vosper    Hannah Teasdale   Jesse Perrett   Jennifer Haynes


Clive Oseman, James Laurie, Robert Garnham, Melanie Branton, Nick Lovell, Sam Boarer, Tim King, James Turrell, Malaika Kegode, Graham Chilcott, Tom Dewey, Ben Bridgman, Bart Breathnach, Tim Vosper, Chris White, Hannah Teasdale, Jesse Perret and Jennifer Haynes.

£100 Prize – winner takes all!



Arts House Open Micup

Fri 25th September     8.30pm

The Arts House, 108a Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RU

Tickets: Free

 A poetry-friendly open mic with host Jeremy Toombs.



Twenty Poets Performup

Sat 26th September    Midday

Cafe area, Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol

Tickets: Free

A host of Bristol poets reading their work.
Hosted by Mark Sayers



A Beautiful Trick of the Lightup

Sat 26th September     7.30pm

Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol, BS1 4QA

Tickets: £10 / £7 concessions


Advance booking advised

Liz Berry      Kei Miller       Fiona Benson             


If you're a lover of poetry you shouldn't be anywhere else in the world thn the Bristol Poetry Festival on this Saturday night because this is going to be a rare and precious poetry experience. This is not hype, this is THE poetry event of the year.

Liz Berry was born in the Black Country and now lives in Birmingham. She received an Eric Gregory Award in 2009, an Arvon-Jerwood Mentorship in 2011 and won the Poetry London competition in 2012. Her pamphlet The Patron Saint of Schoolgirls was published by Tall Lighthouse in 2010. Her poems have appeared in many magazines and anthologies, been broadcast on BBC Radio and recorded for the Poetry Archive. Liz’s debut collection, Black Country (Chatto & Windus, 2014), was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, received a Somerset Maugham Award and won the Forward Prize for Best First Collection 2014. Black Country was chosen as a book of the year by The Guardian, The Telegraph, The Mail, The Big Issue and The Morning Star.

Kei Miller was born and raised in Kingston, Jamaica. In 2004 he came to England to study for an MA in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and then a PhD in English Literature at the University of Glasgow.
In 2006, his first collection Kingdom of Empty Bellies (Heaventree Press) was published. His second collection, There Is an Anger That Moves, was published in 2007 by Carcanet Press. 2010 saw the publication of his third collection A Light Song of Light and in 2014 his collection The Cartographer Tries to Map a Way to Zion was published for which he was awarded the Forward Prize. In 2014, Miller was also named as one of the 20 "Next Generation Poets", a list compiled every ten years by the Poetry Book Society.

Fiona Benson began keeping a poetry notebook at the age of 17 on hearing that someone she knew wrote poetry - suddenly poetry ‘seemed permissible and possible’. She discovered Seamus Heaney, Sylvia Plath and Emily Dickinson and says ‘poetry just gradually became the thing I depended on’. Fiona won an Eric Gregory Award in 2006 and a Faber New Poets Award in 2009. Her first full collection, Bright Travellers (Jonathan Cape 2014) shows she is as much drawn to the metaphysical as to the mystical, treating the poem as a kind of secular prayer.



Waterwoven // Rachael Clyne // Hailing Foxesup

Tues 29th September  7.30pm

Bristol Central Library, Library Cafe, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TL

Tickets: £3 (on the door)

The Fountain Poets       Rachel Clyne        Hailing Foxes            

Wells Fountain Poets performing Waterwoven

Wells Fountain Poets are a group of highly talented and entertaining poets who have been meeting in the city of Wells, Somerset for twelve years. Tonight group members Clare Diprose, Jo Waterworth, Ama Bolton, Morag Kiziewicz, Sara Butler and Andrew Henon (kindly stepping in tonight for Ewan McPhearson) perform their extraordinary poetry show Waterwoven.

­Rachael Clyne is an artist and a poet, who lives and works in Glastonbury. Trained at the Bristol Old Vic, Rachael was, for many years a professional actor on both stage and television. She then became involved in work with cancer patients and families, setting up London’s first cancer support centre, now celebrating its 30th anniversary. This work led her to train as a psychotherapist. Rachael is sustained by her creativity as an artist and poet and is also passionate about ecological issues and love of the land. Her published books include her poetry collections: Singing at the Bone Tree and She Who Walks With Stones.

Dru Marland & Friends launch Hailing Foxes
Poet and artist Dru Marland launch's her new book Hailing Foxes, irresistibly illustrated by Dru and containing poems about nature in Bristol, especially its urban wildlife, from poets including: Alan Summers, Stewart Carswell, Liz Brownlee, Pameli Benham, Deborah Harvey,Dominic Fisher, Shirley Wright, John Terry and, of course, Dru.


The Berkeley Square Poetry Revueup

Tues 29th September   8.30pm

The Square Club, 15 Berkeley Square, Bristol, BS8 1HB

Tickets: £4 / £2 (on the door)

David Punter   Stephen Parr   Rosie Jackson   Barry Lane

A poetry cabaret featuring David Punter, Stephen Parr (Ananda) and Rosie Jackson with music from Barry Lane



Map of Meup

We regret to announce that this show has been cancelled

Azfa Awad      Rosemary Harris

Half Moon presents Map of Me a Papertale production for 13+ audiences

From baking African deserts to the snow angels of a UK winter, this emotional and heartfelt journey reveals a compelling story of forced migration. Two very different characters find common ground within the poetry of the streets, and the audience becomes the prized confidante on a young girl’s journey, where each step towards security is fraught with danger, prejudice and the unknown.

Map of Me explores how a displaced child finds a sense of self and belonging, in a moving and uplifting show, written from real-life experiences of young asylum seekers. It tells the story of a young girl fleeing war in her homeland as she tries to find safety, identity and a place to belong.

In partnership with Half Moon Theatre and Apples and Snakes South East, Map of Me features prize-winning poets and performers Azfa Awad and Rosemary Harris. It is the third work in the Suitcase Trilogy of spoken word performances about migration for young audiences, developed by Papertale.

“You captured a very emotional and thought-provoking issue and expressed it fantastically.” Audience member, aged 15

“It was really eye-opening and entertaining because it went against stereotypes and showed deeper meaning. Thank you! It was very fabulous.” Audience member, aged 14

“It was very powerful, flowed perfectly. Thank you for allowing me to watch this brilliant performance.” Audience member, aged 14



Bristol Dead Poets Slamup

Weds 30th September    8pm

The Lansdown, 8 Clifton Road, Clifton

Tickets: £5 adv / £6 (on the door)


Lord Byron

A festival favourite since 2009 which comprises of entrants presenting interpretations of their favourite deceased poets. Expect the unexpected.

Hosted by the Bard of Windmill Hill, the show will include a musical interlude and featured guest.




Street Wise: Penelope Shuttle Workshopup

Thurs 1st October    10.00am to 1.00pm

Bristol Central Library, College Green, Bristol, BS1 5TL

Tickets: £15 (must be paid in advance)

Booking:  / 0117 933 0900

Penelope Shuttle

The streets where we live, the streets we walk everyday or discover by chance, are a source of fascination and material for many poets. This workshop will examine ways to explore and develop 'the subtext of the street' in your poems and will include written exercises.

12 places only.

You MUST book a place in advance. Bookings will be taken strictly on a first-come, first-served basis. Advance payment will secure your place



Bristol Poetry Institute presents: Les Murrayup

Thurs 1st October   6pm

Great Hall, Wills Memorial Building, Queens Rd, Bristol, BS8 1QE

Tickets: Free (places MUST be booked in advance)


Les Murray 

Les Murray is Australia's leading poet and one of the greatest contemporary poets writing in English. His work has been published in ten languages. Les has won many literary awards, including the Grace Leven Prize (1980 and 1990), the Petrarch Prize (1995), and the prestigious TS Eliot Award (1996). In 1999 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry on the recommendation of Ted Hughes. His latest poetry volume ‘Taller When Prone’ was published in 2010 (Black Inc; Carcanet).



Can Openersup

Fri 2nd October    Midday

Steam Cafe/bar, 63 Union ST, Bristol, BS1 2DL

Tickets: Free

Lizzie Parker

A chance to listen to and meet with poets in a relaxed atmosphere.

Open platform for poetry with special guest reader Lizzie Parker.

Come along to listen or share.




Arts House Open Micup

Fri 2nd October     8.30pm

The Arts House, 108a Stokes Croft, Bristol, BS1 3RU

Tickets: Free

 A poetry-friendly open mic with host Jeremy Toombs.



Hope n Mic Poetry Can Fundraiserup

Sat 3rd October        7.30pm

Halo Cafe/bar, 141 Gloucester Rd, Bristol, BS7 8BA

Tickets: £7 / £6 Poetry Can members (on the door)

Robert Garnham       Claire Williamson


Robert Garnham and Claire Williamson

Claire Williamson has published two narrative poetry collections Ride On (POTA Press, 2005) and The Soulwater Pool (Poetry Can, 2008). She has recently been commended in the Poetry Space International Competition 2014 and Bristol Poetry Institute Likenesses Competition 2014. Claire’s recent collaboration with composer Mark Lawrence, Home by Christmas has been nominated for the British Composer Awards 2015. Claire has toured in national shows, The Truth is Optional, Exposed and Words Allowed. She is Programme Leader for Metanoia Institute’s MSc in Creative Writing for Therapeutic Purposes and has won an Arts Council award for her work.

Robert Garnham: Professor of whimsy and consumer of biscuits.

Roberts poetry almost veers into surrealism only to be saved at the last minute by the overwhelming hilarity of everyday life. Multiple slam winner and festival favorite, Robert was once the official second best poet in Swindon. He has performed from London to Edinburgh, Berlin to Wolverhampton and was poet in residence at a paper clip factory. His first collection is forthcoming from Burning Eye Books.

Plus limited open-mic slots. Sign up from 7.30pm


Tombola with literary prizes. Guess the weight of the cake

Produced by Andi Langford-Woods and Hazel Hammond





Sun 4th October    8.30pm

Bristol Fringe Bar,32 Princess Victoria St, Clifton Village, Bristol BS8 4BZ

Tickets: Free

A new open mic for poetry and songs on the first Sunday of the month - innovative and edgy new work especially.

Sign up on the door, arrive early to book a slot.
Hosted by Tim Burroughs



Hammer & Tongue Bristolup

Weds 7th October      8.00pm (doors 7.30pm)

Big Chill Bar (downstairs), 15 Small St, Avon, Bristol BS1 1DE

Tickets: £6 / £5 students and slammers (on the door)

Hammer & Tongue

Open poetry slam with special feature guests (tbc).
Slammers should sign up on the door from 7.30pm. 10 names are pulled from the hat if there are too many signed up. Slammers who miss out one month get automatic entry to the next month. The winner will go through to the city final.

Hosted by Thommie Gillow, Tim Vosper and Rebecca Tantony.

Facebook: Hammer and Tongue Bristol         Twitter @handtbristol




Page and Performanceup

Weds 7th October      8.00pm

The Cross Hands, 1 Staple Hill, Fishponds, Bristol, BS16 5AA

Tickets: Free

An evening of spoken indulgence Open Mic
Hosted by Matt Duggan



National Poetry Day in Millenium Squareup

Thurs 8th October       Various times throughout the day

Millennium Square, Canons Way, Bristol, BS1 5DB

Tickets: Free

National Poetry Day’s theme this year is ‘Light’.
On the big screen in Millennium Square there will be film of local people whose jobs are in some way connected with light, from astronomers to firemen, reading poems whose themes are about light, shown periodically throughout the day.



National Poetry Day at Waterstonesup

Thurs 8th October        11.00am to 4.00pm

Waterstones, 11A Union Galleries, Broadmead, Bristol, BS1 3XD

Tickets: Free

Liz Brownlee

The theme for National Poetry Day 2015 is 'light'.
Liz Brownlee, National Poetry Day Ambassador, will be hanging flags of poems about light on beams of bunting - come and play on the giant magnetic poetry and add your thoughts, lines or poems to the beams, and see how far we can shine them through Waterstones. Famous adult and children’s poets from all over the world have already sent in their light poems to be hung with yours!
Suitable for all ages




A to Z of Poets 




Click on the letters above to find South West based poets.  Poets are listed alphabetically by surname.

In order to appear on the list poets need to:

  • Live in, or be based in, the South West of England.
  • Have at least one poetry collection or pamphlet published by a poetry book publisher (not self-published),
  • Or, if a performance poet, they will have been booked to perform by at least two Poetry/Literature Festivals, or by established poetry

           promoters (for example, Apples and Snakes) on at least two occasions.

To apply to be on the list here is a link to the A-Z Poets submission form. 




test to see if this works



Bristol Skyline



Poetry Can logo


Poetry Can is one of the few dedicated poetry development agencies in the UK.

Poetry Can is the poetry charity organisation working to promote poetry in the South West of 

We are dedicated to supporting the creative and professional development of poets of all ages and levels of experience, and to increasing and 
promoting opportunities for everyone to take part in and enjoy poetry.

We present and support a range of high profile events each year, including
Bristol Poetry Festival (supported by University of the West of England) bringing International and National poets to the region and providing opportunity for local poets to read and perform, and our monthly open platform for poets, Can Openers.

Bristol Poetry Prize, and open and affordable poetry competition attracting entrants from around the world.

We organise poetry projects and activities with schools, and with a wide and diverse rang
of organisations and community-based groups. 

Aside from income generated by its activities, Poetry Can now has just one main source of arts funding, Arts Council England, which covers core costs and a few essential activities.


Just to give you an idea of some of our costs: 

  • the average cost of an event at Bristol Poetry Festival would be £750;
  • placing a poet in a school for a morning or an afternoon would cost £150;
  • a poet working for a morning, an afternoon or an evening with a community group would also cost £150.


Audience   Simon Armitage   Audience   Sally Jenkinson


There are a number of ways in which you can support Poetry Can.

Become a Poetry Can Member
Enter Bristol Poetry Prize
Donate to Poetry Can


Poetry Can Membership

Membership costs £3 per month and we will ask you to pay this by a standing order with your bank.

All money raised will directly fund Poety Can's work including Bristol Poetry Festival and our education activities.

Members entering the Bristol Poetry Prize will be entitled to two free subsequent entries and also, up to three poetry surgeries

(cost for non-members £15 per surgery) per year  without charge.

For full details and to join please visit Poetry Can membership page .


Bristol Poetry Prize is launched on National Poetry Day each year.

Competition judges have been Penelope Shuttle (2014), W N Herbert (2015) and Liz Berry (2016).

The entry fee is £6 per poem, with two free subsequent entries for subscribers to the Poetry Can Membership Scheme.

The first prize is £600, plus the chance to read your poetry at the Bristol Poetry Festival.

The second prize is £300 and the third prize is £100.

For full details and how to enter please visit the Bristol Poetry Prize page

Glenn Slam   Patience Agbabi   Isambards   Ian MacMillan



Donate to Poetry Can

Or if you prefer, you can make a donation, however small, however big, towards our ongoing programme.

To make a donation, follow the links below to fill in a postal donation form or make an online donation by PayPal.

Our donation form includes a Gift Aid declaration: completing it will allow the Poety Can to reclaim tax on your donation.

If you are considering making a substantial donation and would like more information from us before you do so, or if you would like to make a payment by BACS please contact .

 Colin Brown, Poetry Can Director, 12 Great George Street, Bristol, UK, BS1 5RH

Tel: 0117 933 0900  

Your donation will be acknowledged (unless you would prefer it to be anonymous) on the Poetry Can website


To donate to Poetry Can using Gift Aid you can download a form here:

Gift Aid .pdf format  or  Gift Aid .doc format  

then fill it in and send it to Poetry Can at the address below with your donation cheque. 


Alternatively download and fill in a donation form:

Donation form in .pdf format    or     Donation form in .doc format

and send it, with your cheque payable to The Poetry Can, to: The Poetry Can, 12 Great George Street, Bristol, BS1 5RH


Or use the link below to donate by PayPal
(You do not need to have a PayPal account - PayPal accepts credit and debit cards)






Thank you. Your support is very much appreciated.







Welcome to the 19th Bristol Poetry Festival

Wednesday 10 September to Sunday 21 September 2014

Bristol Poetry Festival brings together the most entertaining, inspirational and award-winning poets and performers from Bristol, the South West,

the UK and the World in an annual celebration of language, imagination and life.

Fleur AdcockRobert MinhinnickVidyan RavinthiranMir Mahfuz AliAlyson HallettFiona HamiltonPete The Temp  Poetry Slam


At the ArnolfiniFleur Adcock, Robert Minhinnick, Vidyan Rabinthiran and Mir Mahfuz Ali, a fantastic combination of poets that

promises a beautiful night of poetry readings. For something a bit more rambunctious, The Bristol Poetry Festival OPEN Poetry Slam might

well be the most exciting poetry slam of the year. Ahead of Bristol's year as European Green Capital 2015, we look at how poetry might engage

people in green issues in PETE (the Temp) VERSES CLIMATE CHANGE, which takes a satirical look at climate change and our attempts to tackle

it in an effort to capture hearts and minds on this most crucial of issues.


At the Tobacco Factory:

We are proud to present an amazing, remarkable event called Bite Sized. Told in poetry and dance,it's a show about anorexia.

If you think this sounds like it might make for a depressing night out, please be assured it's anything but. Fiona Hamilton has written a show that is

warm, engaging, informative, moving, even funny at times, and overwhelmingly beautiful. Poetry Can is very proud of this Bite Sized; we believe it's

a show that is going to be talked about for a long time.


Events Around Bristol:

There are many wonderful poetry events happening all around Bristol this September, including

The Spoke poetry group– Paul Deaton, Lizzie Parker, Sarah Rudston, Claire Williamson and Bob Walton – together with award winning

traditional Irish singer Marianne McAleer at Spike Island Café Bar ... and it's FREE.

And there's a great looking poetry show at The Cube: The Shipwrecked House by Claire Trevien: a critically-acclaimed, surreal, playful 

one-woman performance that blends poetry with theatre with myth and magic.

We always want to say that EVERY event is a Bristol Poetry Festival highlight.




Arnolfini Box Office

Telephone: 0117 917 2300 / 01



Or in person: Arnolfini, 16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA

You can pay at the time of the event but events do sell out, sometimes very quickly, so advance booking is recommended to

avoid disappointment.



Tobacco Factory Theatres Box Office

Telephone: 0117 902 0344



Or in person: Tobacco Factory Box Office, Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol BS3 1TF



Please see individual event details

For all free events, just go to the venue for the start time.

For Acoustic Night at Halo Cafe Bar, get there early if you have a poem to submit and perform, otherwise just turn up at the start time.

For all open mic events where you wish to perform, early arrival is advised.



Quick link calendar. Click the event title to jump to the event or scroll down to find events.


Monday Tuesday Wednesday Thursday Friday Saturday Sunday
1 2 3 4 5 6 7

Dead Poets Slam

Can Openers
12 noon

Twenty Poets Perform 
12 noon

Write Space Workshops
10.30am - 12.30pm

8 9 10 11 12 13 14



Pete the Temp
Climate Change


Poetry Slam

Liberated Words

Poets Reading

15 16 17 18 19 20 21

The Spoke 
on Spike



 Liberated Words



Liberated Words
10am - 4pm

11am - 12
2.30pm - 3.30pm

 Bite Sized

22 23 24 25 26 27 28

 Acoustic Night


 Map Reading
for Beginners

 The Shipwrecked House

29 30          




Thursday 4 September  8PM

THE LANSDOWN, 8 Clifton Road, Bristol BS8 1AF


Admission: £5 advance / £6 on the door

Hosted by Trevor Carter

Trevor Carter

Performers call on the spirits of dead poets in one of the most delightfully idiosyncratic poetry slams of the year. Last year the BDPS was won by

Mark Darkside with an inimitably raunchy interpretation of Chaucer.

For further information: 0117 966 5514 / 07954 147 464 /



Friday 5 September 12 NOON – 1.30PM

FOYLES, 6 Quakers Friars, Cabot Circus, Bristol BS1 3BU


Admission: FREE but donations welcome

Hosted by Claire Williamson

Special Guest: Lloyd Fletcher


Lloyd Fletcher


Bring along a poem to read or just come to listen to the readings at one of Bristol's longest running and best poetry events.


 Saturday 6 September 12 NOON – 3PM

BRISTOL CENTRAL LIBRARY, Cafe, College Green, Bristol BS1 5TL


Admission: FREE

Hosted by Mark Sayers

Readings from some of Bristol's liveliest local poets


 Sunday 7 September 10.30AM – 12.30PM, and/or 1.30PM – 3.30PM

GREENBANK - VENUE DETAILS available on booking at the email address below


Admission: donations welcome, but please book in advance

The theme for the morning session will be ... DEATH. The afternoon session will be for reviewing and workshopping existing work.

For further information and to book, please email: with Write Space in the subject line.



Monday 8 September  7pm

THE LANSDOWN, 8 Clifton Road, Bristol BS8 1AF


Hosted by Charles Thompson

Admission: FREE

Bring a poem to share.

For further information, contact Charles Thompson on 07969987102



Wednesday 10 September 2014, 7.30 PM


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA



Tickets: £7.00 / £5.00 concessions

Pete the Temp vs Climate Change

Pete the Temp is a poet, a lover and a damn fine administrator! Watch him solve climate change using only his mouth!

Pete tells the story of some of the sticky situations he gets into on his quest to stop climate chaos. This spoken word show takes a satirical look

at climate change and our attempts to tackle it in an effort to capture hearts and minds on this most crucial of issues.

"Timely, funny, intelligent, refreshingly angry and often moving... Pete The Temp has us leave the Theatre wanting change and feeling there is

serious fun to be had by joining those making it happen"  Cockpit Theatre

This event is part of a tour produced by renaissance one

with support from Arts Council England



Thursday 11 September 2014, 7.30 PM


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA

S I X !

An evening of powerful, funny, moving, stimulating and contrasting poetry from six very talented poets with something to say and the skill and

the style to say it laldy.


Alyson Hallett Lucy Lepchani Victoria Field Dikra Ridha Kate Firth Shagufta Iqbal  

Tickets: £7.00 / £5.00 concessions

Alyson Hallet's poetry collections include: Suddenly Everything; Six Days In Iceland and The Stone Library.

Lucy Lepchani has two poetry collections: The Beckoning Wild, a pamphlet and a full collection Ladygardens published by Burning Eye Books.

Victoria Field has published three collections of poetry: Olga’s Dreams,Many Waters and The Lost Boys. She also co-authored a pamphlet,

October Guests with Caroline Carver and Penelope Shuttle.

Dikra Ridha's poetry collection is called There are no Americans in Baghdad's Bird Market.

Kate Firth's debut poetry collection is Venus Reborn.

Shagufta Iqbal is the author of the poetry play JAM IS FOR GIRLS, GIRLS GET JAM.



Friday 12 September 7.30PM


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA


Hosted by: Glenn Carmichael and Claire Williamson

Tickets: £7.00 / £5.00 concessions


Melanie Branton Megan Chapman Graham Chilcott Steve Duncan Robert Garnham  
Melanie Branton Megan Chapman Graham Chilcott Steve Duncan Robert Garnham  
Gillie Harries Daniel Haynes Mark Jones Tim King Nick Lovell   
Gillie Harries Daniel Haynes Mark Jones Tim King Nick Lovell  Jennifer Lee
Abi Newman  Saskia Tomlinson Jasmin White  Heidi Murphy Nadine Bourne   
Abi Newman Saskia Tomlinson Jasmin White Heidi Murphy Nadine Bourne Danny Lake



















Four judges score the poets but ultimately it's the enthusiasm of the audience that decides who wins.





Saturday 13 September 2.00PM


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA


Hosted by Sarah Tremlett

   White Crosses St Gregory's Catholic College










Tickets: £5.00 / £4.00 concessions

Sarah Tremlett introduces and presents the poetry films from the finalists of the Liberated Words Poetry Film Competition

based this year on two themes: Memoryin commemoration of the anniversary of the 1914-18 war

and on Ivor Gurney's poem The High Hills Have a Bitterness

There will also be poetry films from years 9 and 10 of St Gregory's Catholic College, Bath based on the arresting poem Mametz Wood by Owen

Sheers; potent films on the theme of Memory by St Brendan's Sixth Form College; and a groundbreaking film, the astonishing The Golden Bird

Project, in conjunction with older patients at The Royal United Hospital, Bath and Art at the Heart, with resident artist Edwina Bridgeman and art

from young patients and musician in residence Frankie Simpkins
These films were all made with the assistance of poet Helen Moore and 

filmmaker Howard Vause.



Saturday 13 September, 7.30PM


16 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA


Fleur Adcock Robert Minhinnick Vidyan Ravinthiran Mir Mahfuz Ali
Fleur Adcock Robert Minhinnick Vidyan Ravinthiran Mir Mahfuz Ali

Tickets: £8.00 / £6.00 concessions

Four exceptional poets bring together their individual talents, commonalities and contrasts to create a remarkable night of poetry.


FLEUR ADCOCK seems, in her poems and in her readings, to be the very definition of poise. Her matter-of-fact feminism, her remarkable dry

wit and her gift for fusing introspection and ice- cool imagery have made her one of Britain's most respected and best loved poets. The poet

laureate Carol Ann Duffy put it like this: 'Adcock has a deceptively laid-back tone, through which the sharper edge of her talent is encountered

like a razor blade in a peach.' Fleur's first poetry collection was published in 1964, her most recent collections are Dragon Talk, in 2010 and

Glass Wings, in 2013. She has a new collection, to be published in February 2015.


ROBERT MINHINNICK has been described by the Sunday Times as “the best Welsh poet of his generation.” He co-founded Friends of the Earth

(Cymru) and Sustainable Wales, and is an advisor to Sustainable Wales. The people, communities, places and landscapes of Wales are his

heart's-home and the root of his poetry but he has also travelled widely through the world and written on many other subjects, including

contemporary political events and issues. He has published nine collections of poetry, and has twice won the Forward Prize for best individual



VIDYAN RAVINTHIRAN was born in Leeds to Sri Lankan parents. He is a poet and a critic and reviews frequently in magazines such as Poetry

Review, Poetry London, PN Review, The Times Literary Supplement. His first impressive book-length collection, Grun-tu-molani, (“man must live”),

is shortlisted for this year's Forward Prize for Best First Collection. Sean O'Brien praises Vidyan's ability to bring “a light touch and a sometimes

damning elegance to subjects including MTV, a chair addressing Jackie Chan, the Tamil Tigers, militarism and the purpose of money.”


MIR MAHFUZ ALI was born in Dhaka, Bangladesh in 1958 and moved to the UK in the 1970s. He has worked as a male model, a tandoori chef and

as a dancer and actor. He is renowned for his extraordinary voice: a rich, throaty whisper brought about by a Bangladeshi policeman trying to

silence the singing of anthems during a public anti-war demonstration. His first collection, Midnight, Dhaka, of which Pascale Petit said, “he brings

a Bengali lyricism - into English poetics, so that however dark the subject, his poems have a soaring quality”, is published this year.



Tuesday 16 September 7.30PM

SPIKE ISLAND CAFÉ-BAR, 133 Cumberland Road, Bristol BS1 6UX


Admission: FREE

So that’s Tuesday night spoken for! It’s an evening of top-notch poetry and song at Bristol’s International Centre for Contemporary Art.

Over a drink or two in the cool arts café ambience, you can enjoy the spiky, precision-crafted words and images of The Spoke -  Paul

DeatonLizzie ParkerSarah RudstonClaire Williamson and Bob Walton – together with some wonderful traditional Irish fireside

ballads from the haunting voice of Marianne McAleermulti-award winner at the All-Britain and All-Ireland Fleadh Cheoil.

See you there. For further information, please email:



Friday 19 September 12 NOON – 1PM and 1PM – 2.30PM

WATERSHED Canon's Road, Bristol, BS1 5TX


Liberated Words Poetry Film Festival

WATERSIDE 3: Liberated Words: Freeing The Form: 12 NOON – 1PM

A panel discussion on the form of poetic filmmaking and just what makes a film a poetry film

Admission: £7.00 / £5.00 concessions



Liberated Words: Poetry Films And Forms 1.00PM – 2.30PM

A showcase of poetry films from around the world exploring the diversity of storytelling devices used within this genre

Admission: £7.00 / £5.00



Friday 19 September 7PM

Hydra Bookshop, 34 Old Market Street, Bristol BS2 0EZ


Admission: £2 (includes copy of zine and glass of cider)

Hosted by Matt Duggan 

The Hydrazine

The launch of The Hydra Zine (issue 1), a zine with poems from the 'evening of Spoken Indulgence' events. 

With poems from M J Duggan, Paul Hawkins, Sara Scotthorn, Nick Lovell, Bethany W Pope, Julie Pritchard,

Jonners Davies, Will Ford and many others.



Saturday 20 September 11AM – 12.00 Noon and 2.30PM – 3.30PM



Admission: Free - Booking Recommended:


The IsamBards - four of Bristol’s own best poets, David Johnson, Deborah Harvey, Stewart Carswell and Pameli Benham – celebrate

the 150th Anniversary of the opening of the Bristol Suspension Bridge.

Join the IsamBards for a fact-filled poetry tour of the Clifton Suspension Bridge.



Saturday 20 September 10AM – 4PM

THE YHA, 14 Narrow Quay, Bristol BS1 4QA


Cost: £25 / £20 concessions – limited places – must be booked in advance

Marc Neys aka Swoon

A rare chance to learn about poetry films by creating poetry films in this masterclass workshop with Marc Neys (also known as Swoon), 

one of the foremost poetry film-makers working today.

To book a place on this workshop and for further information please contact

Colin Brown by email at or by telephone on 0117 933 0900.



Sunday 21 September,7.30pm


Raleigh Road, Southville, Bristol BS3 1TF


Box Office: 0117 902 0344

Tickets: £10.00 / Concession £8.00

A Bristol Poetry Festival event and Book Launch with Vala

Written by Fiona Hamilton    Directed by Anna Farthing and Pameli Benham

Devised and performed by Laila Diallo, Helka Kaski and Fiona Hamilton

  Bite Sized    Laila Diallo      Fiona Hamilton

                                                          Laila Diallo                                Fiona Hamilton

A mother’s story of striving to nourish her child, who refuses to eat. A story of the monster that lurks close by all of us in the modern world -

the monster of ‘too much’ and ‘not enough’. Writer Fiona Hamilton performs this work-in-development with dancers Laila Diallo and Helka Kaski.

This is poetry of mind and body. Of threads that connect, entangle, unravel and stretch, between parents and children. Of a ravenous illness and

efforts to face it. Above all, it is about taking on monsters and trusting in the importance of love. There will be a conversation with the audience

after the interval, inviting responses, questions and comments which will inform the evolution of Bite Sized performances and workshops.

"To speak with clarity and sensitivity, in a language so free of the too-available response of guilt or blame, is in itself a kind of care” 

                                                                                                                                          Philip Gross, poet, author of The Wasting Game.                    



Monday 22 September 8.15PM start

HALO CAFE BAR, 141 Gloucester Road, Bishopston, Bristol BS7 8BA


Admission: £5.00


Lou Bell

Bring 45 copies of an A4 poem with a minimum 25mm left hand margin for binding, go home with a 2014 Anthology.

Submit copies of poems from 7.30PM, readings start at 8.15PM.

Please note this is not an Open Mic. If you want to perform, please remember to bring copies of your poem for the anthology.



Friday 26 September 7.30PM

BOSTON TEA PARTY, 75 Park Street, Bristol BS1 5PF

Deborah Harvey launches her new poetry collection


Admission: Free but please buy a drink


Map Reading for Beginners

Throw away the sat nav! Map Reading For Beginners, Deborah Harvey's eagerly awaited new poetry collection, will take you there by both

the direct and scenic routes simultaneously. Her poems have been widely published and have won several prizes. Her first collection of poetry,

Communion, was published by Indigo Dreams in 2011, followed by her historical novel, Dart, in 2013.

‘Deborah Harvey’s … poems are raw and true. She is the real thing.’ Hugo Williams



Saturday 27 September 8PM

THE CUBE, Dove Street South, Bristol BS2 8JD


Admission: £6.00 in advance / £8.00 on the door

Book online at:

  The Shipwrecked House      Claire Trevien

In a sparkling one-woman performance that blends poetry with theatre, Anglo-Breton poet Claire Trévien navigates a shifting maritime landscape.

Memory and myth from the Celtic fringe are transformed by her surreal, playful poetry – critically acclaimed, and longlisted for the 2013 Guardian

First Book Award. Produced by Penned in the Margins