Poetry Weekend

A special weekend for members of the OU Poetry Society.

Microsoft Word - Weekend Advert 2016 v.ii.doc


Wes Magee
Photo from The English Association

Wes Magee has published six poetry collections for adults, and more than 100 books for young readers – fiction, poetry, plays, picture books, and anthologies. He is an award-winning author for children and for adults and regularly makes author visits to schools, libraries, and festivals where he performs his ‘Poetry Show’ and gives writing workshops.

OUP182 – deadline

OUP182 – the deadline is tomorrow, 17 August. The editor, Sue Spiers, who has set ‘Seven Deadly Sins’ as the theme (optional) says ‘Come on you sinners, get writing about wrath, poesying about pride, scribbling on sloth, gabbing on greed, elaborating on envy, be loquatious on lust and give me doggerel on gluttony’. Now there’s a challenge!


The cut-off date for OUP181 is 8 July. OU Poets, don’t let it pass by without your contributions! It’s a wonderful workshop mag and any comments on your work will appear in OUP182. Barbara Cumbers is editing OUP181 so email your poems to her by Friday 8 July 2016.

Poems About Yorkshire

Wanted: poems about Yorkshire for a new anthology by Valley Press

Scarborough-based Valley Press is calling for submissions for an anthology of poetry about Yorkshire, to be published in October this year, from writers based anywhere in the world.

Poems can be on any subject or topic – a place, an incident, a person, an idea – with only one rule: there must be some connection with the county of Yorkshire. Contributing poets will each receive a copy of the finished book, and a share of £900 in prize money/fees.

Previously published poems may be included but the author must be able to grant Valley Press non-exclusive rights to reproduce them in this anthology (if in doubt, consult your previous publisher).

The anthology will be edited by York-based poet Miles Salter, and submissions (maximum three poems per author) should be sent to milesinyork@hotmail.com, with the subject line ‘Yorkshire Poetry Anthology’, by 5pm on 31 May.

The featured poets will be announced by 1 September, and the book is expected to be launched on National Poetry Day (Thursday 6 October). Funding for the project has been provided by Arts Council England.

Deadline: 5pm 31 May 2016

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OU Poets

OU Poets is a poetry group for students and staff, past or present of the Open University, Milton Keynes UK with around 80 members.

Like other poetry groups, we submit poems to be read and constructively commented on by other members. We do this by post, via email, on our public Facebook page and closed Facebook group for members only, we use Twitter and we meet to discuss our poems and love of poetry at least once a year. We are scattered all across the country, with some in Ireland and other parts of Europe. Our magazine (for members only) contains poems, criticisms and comments and is issued five times a year.

At the end of the year members’ vote for the poems they have most enjoyed from that year’s magazines, and the most popular appear in Openings, our anthology, which has been an annual event for over twenty five years.

Membership is for any student or member of the staff, past or present, of the Open University, who has an interest in poetry. If you fulfil these criteria, you are welcome to apply for membership on our Membership Page

OU Poets Events

2015 Annual Poetry Weekend

A marvellous set of tutorials with contemporary poet, Michael Laskey, for the 2015 Annual Poetry Weekend, which took place at The Marks Tey Hotel, Colchester.


Michael Laskey (centre)  with Nina Mattar and Mark Bones – photos by Sue Spiers

Michael Laskey has lived in Suffolk for over 30 years. A co-founder of the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival, he directed it through its first decade and continued to be closely involved in it until last year. He co-edited fifty issues of the poetry magazine Smiths Knoll (1991-2012) and works regularly as a writing tutor for The Arvon Foundation, in universities and schools and the wider community. He has published five collections, most recently The Man Alone: New and Selected Poems (2008) and Weighing the Present (2014). More information about Michael can be found at The Poetry Archive.

Photos from OU Poets Weekend Spectacular 2015

Annual Poetry Weekend

The Weekend Spectacular took place at Corbyn Head Hotel, Torbay Road, Torquay http://www.corbynhead.com 7-9 November 2014.

We were fortunate to have Jackie Juno, the current Grand Bard of Exeter (Caer Wyse) with us in 2014. Jackie said that, as far as she knows, she is the only female Grand Bard in its 200 year history.

Jackie Juno and OU Poets at the 2014 Poetry Weekend

As a tutor she is fun and dynamic, but with space for tenderness and contemplation, and inspired many of us through her often unconventional approach to writing. Twenty-two OU Poets took part in exercises and activities linked to–amongst other topics–the Changing of the Seasons, Descent, Precious Objects, Eurekas & Epiphanies, and Inanna. OU Poet  Mark Bones led a workshop on Translations. All were well-attended and great fun.

Usually taking place in November, a tutor joins us for the residential weekend devoted to poetry. The cost for such a weekend is circa £140.00 per person depending on the hotel booking. In 2015 the annual Weekend Spectacular will take place in the South East or Central South East of England. First time attendees are charged just £50 for the weekend.


An AGM is held annually, usually in April, at a venue in London. Our next AGM is planned for 9 April 2016.

A Message From OU Careers Advisory Service

The Open University Careers Advisory Service is now on Facebook and Twitter and LinkedIn. Whether you’re searching for work, considering a career change, or looking to progress in your current role, you can follow us to keep up with the latest news, tips and resources, join in discussions and live chats, and find out what options your OU study opens up for you.

Career goals motivate many OU students to begin study, and by following us on social media you would have access to:

– News from the OU Careers Advisory Service

– In-depth careers advice relevant to specific subjects and sectors

– Upcoming forums, webinars and live chats

– Live Facebook chats with Careers Advisers

– Help with exploring their career options

– Links to resources, events, news and opportunities

– Tips and hints on CVs, applications and preparing for interview

– Find out what options OU study opens up for them

– Heads-up on the latest jobs from JobZone, our online vacancy service

– Discussions on careers topics

– Get advice, motivation and inspiration