Congratulations to Kate Young!

Every year The Ekphrastic Review announces 10 names for the editor’s choice awards. This year OUPS member, Kate Young, has been named as one of the winners for 2020 with her poem, Dirt to Dust, based on Tower of Blue Horses (postcard sketch version), by Franz Marc (Germany) 1913. To read the poem and see the art work on which it is based, click here.

This is an exceptional achievement given the worldwide popularity of this site for poems inspired by works of art. Our congratulations Kate!

Another National Competition success!

Congratulations to member, Karen MacFarlane, who has been placed 3rd in the Scottish Mountain Poetry competition for her poem Ardmair Bay Dawn. Karen is a relatively new member who says, “It was very much the friendly feedback from OUPs (OU Poets) in the workshop magazine that encouraged me to submit to a competition.”

If you have been a student or a staff member of the Open University you are eligible for membership of the Open University Poets’ Society. For only £24 you are able: to submit poems to five workshop magazines for feedback from fellow members; participate in Zoom poetry readings; attend our annual workshop run by a highly regarded poetry tutor; have the chance to vote on and perhaps be included in the society’s annual anthology; and be a member of of our closed Facebook group where you can keep abreast of poetry news, take part in our monthly writing challenges and participate in our reading group.

So why not treat yourself in 2021 by joining Karen and the rest of us in the Open University Poets’ Society! For more details click here.

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!