More Congratulations to current OU Poets!

It’s been a wonderfully successful time for some of our OU Poets. Congratulations to the following:

Kate Young for being highly commended in Hedgehog Poetry Press‘ ‘A Slim Volume of One’s Own‘ competition.

Kathy Finney for being highly commended in Hedgehog Poetry Press’Local People: A Dialect Poetry Pamphlet‘ competition.

Julie Gilligan for being shortlisted in Hedgehog Poetry PressCupid’s Arrow Competition’.

Nigel Kent for being nominated for the Pushcart Poetry Prize for the second year in succession. His pamphlet Psychopathogen was also nominated for the Michael Marks Poetry Pamphlet Award.

(corrected 18.30 25/11/20)

Four new publications featuring OU Poets!

If you’re looking for something to read over these long winter months, you might like to try one of these four outstanding publications featuring work by OU Poets:

Sue Spiers kept a diary related to life under lockdown: each day she wrote a number of Tweets titled #dailyhaiku capturing her experiences. Plague brings these senryu together in one superb publication.

Nominated for the 2020 Michael Marks Award for Pamhlets, Nigel Kent’s ‘Psychopathogen‘ explores the effects of exceptional times on unexceptional people.

‘The Alchemy of 42’ by Polly Stretton is dark, speculative, and sometimes bizarre—these are her lenses and through them we view scenes that comfort and distress, thrill and mesmerise.

Finally there’s ‘Beyond the Storm’, the anthology of the Write Out Loud Competition on the Covid-19 Pandemic, which features poems by OU Poets, Kate Young and finalist, Paul Williams.

Friday 18th September: a date for your diary!

Join a Twitter Open Mic session from 7pm to 9pm. Highlight your creativity: tweet a picture of a poem you have written, or your favourite from another writer, an original short prose piece, or even a brief video of yourself performing a poem or song. Use the hashtag #GetCreativeWithTheOU to be part of this collaborative event. Be sure to follow the contributions on the night on @OUIreland. For more information, email

Time: 7pm – 9pm

Genres: Literature / Music


Polly Stretton launches her latest collection!

Congratulations to Polly Stretton, who yesterday, launched her latest collection!

‘The Alchemy of 42’ by Polly Stretton is dark, speculative, and sometimes bizarre—these are her lenses and through them we view scenes that comfort and distress, thrill and mesmerise.

Written to 42Worcester prompts, there are, fittingly, 42 poems included. What is 42Worcester? It is the only alternative genre spoken word event in Worcestershire. ‘The Alchemy of 42’ is written for fans of gothic, horror, sci-fi and fantasy—described as omni-directional, dark and lyrical, ‘these poems ambush the senses’.

For more information click here.

OUPS Poet is “Beyond the Storm” finalist

OUPS poet, Paul Williams, is one of six shortlisted poets for Write Out Loud’s “Beyond the Storm” competition for poems on the subject of the pandemic. There were 2,381 poems entered.

To read the shortlisted poems click here. Readers are invited to vote for their favourite poem, voting closing on 7th August.

Hearty congratulations to Paul for this fabulous achievement.

Congratulations Polly Stretton!

Polly Stretton’s poem, For Walls, was one of the three winning submissions in Amnesty Worcester’s poetry competition on the theme of ‘Home’. Dr Charley Barnes, one of the organisers and judges of the competition, said, “We asked for entries written to the theme of ‘Home’. Although, given the COVID-19 situation the world over, we soon realised this word might have a change of meaning for many people – and not just the refugees, who we hoped this theme would honour. ” Congratulations to Polly!

Online workshop to replace OUPS Weekend Workshop

In the challenging times that we’re all experiencing, it has been impossible to book a face-to-face workshop for members —known as our November weekend—this year. The committee is proposing the following online event to replace it:

Workshop: Lights, Camera, Action: Cinematic Techniques to Dramatically Improve Your Poetry 

Tutor: Derek Adams, poet and prize-winning photographer.

Dates and times:  Tuesday 28th July 14:00-17:30; Wednesday 29th July 11:00-16:00;  Thursday 30th July 11:00-13:00

Now full – applications closed

Applications from members should be made  as soon as possible but no later than Sunday 21 June.