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.

Pushcart Prize Nominations

Two OUPS Poets have received nominations for this year’ Pushcart Prize. Sue Spiers was nominated by Carole Baldock, editor of Orbis magazine, for her poem ‘In Silence’, which appeared in the Spring edition, 2019 (Orbis 187), and Nigel Kent was nominated by Hedgehog Poetry Press for his poem, ‘Miscarried‘, which formed part of his collection, Saudade,

The Pushcart Prize honours the best poetry and prose published by small presses in the previous year. Editors of literary magazines and small presses are invited to nominate up to six works they have featured. Nominations are received from all over the world.

Many congratulations to them both!