Nottingham's Poetry Scene

Nottingham Poetry is big news!

The poetry scene is bigger than ever with regular poetry reading, open mic nights and people getting all poetic with each other at the drop of the proverbial,all over the place.

It is not so much a matter of where can you find poetry in Nottingham, as how you avoid having verse and rhyme, metaphorically, with a touch of onomatopoeiaic alliteration thrown in, shoved down your lugholes.

Not actually so bad if you happen to like the stuff ... which I do.

Although you don’t have to write poetry to get involved in all this, the likelihood is, that if you like poetry, you probably write it too. Luckily, many of the events have an open mic element, so you can get up there and share your work with an unsuspecting world.

Poet's Diary

Paper Crane Poets
Poetry Collective at Beeston Library

4 June 2019 - 17 March 2020
Beeston Library

Are you a secret poem writer or a loud and proud spoken word performer looking to develop your skills? Local poets Chris McLoughlin and Leanne Moden invite poets at all stages and abilities to join them for a series of fun and friendly workshops aimed at creating a supportive writing environment right in the heart of Beeston.

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Couch to Madrid Marathon in 100 days!

 Guy is taking on the his biggest running challenge yet to raise funds for Hothouse Theatre projects.

Having spent months building a physique that Jabba the Hutt would have been proud of (Star Wars reference in case you didn’t know), during an extend winter solstice celebration, Guy finally crawled off his potato couch and got into training ... with only 100 days to go ... for the Madrid Marathon!!

It's going to be hilly! It's going to be hot!! It’s going to hurt!!!

And that is just the training!

Don’t let all that pain be in vain ...

Donate to HotHouse Theatre

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DIY Poets Quarterly Showcase
13th Feb

City Arts - Nottingham

 DIY Quarterly Showcase Join DIY poets at City Arts for their February (quarterly) showcase. There will be the zine launch, open mic slots, DIY poets showcase, featured poet Lolly Dean and musical act to finish. All this for just £3.

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She Speaks//She Grrrowls ft. Jasmine Gardosi and Leanne
16th Feb

The Lord Nelson 1 Curzon Street, Derby

She Grrrowls gives voice to the experience of different womxn across England. She Speaks is a female led event night based in Derby that supports and celebrates under represented performers. There will be an open mic for everyone, message She Speaks or sign up on the night!

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Poetry from Helen Mort
18th Feb

Five leaves Bookshop

Helen Mort won the Foyles Young Poet of the Year *five* times before going on the write two collections for Chatto, Division Street – many of the poems reflect her background in the Yorkshire mining area – and No Map Could Show Them, the theme of which was on women and mountaineering.

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New Year, New Voices
18th Feb

Kurious Arts - Castle House, Angel Street, Sheffield

Participants from Camille’s Introduction to Spoken Word Workshop course at Kurious Arts will be performing a 5 – 10 minute set each, some for the very first time! Come show your support and hear some brand new poetry.

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Writing Wellbeing: Nature Poetry for Mindfulness
22nd Feb

Creswell Craggs

 We are delighted to be joined by our Poet in Residence, Hannah Cooper-Smithson, for this creative writing event in February.

Mindfulness is an important part of mental wellbeing. It’s all about awareness – about slowing down and paying attention to the present moment and to your surroundings.

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Poetry Scum #8
24th Feb

The Golden Fleece 105 Mansfield Road, Nottingham,

 Nottinghams only celebration of working/under class & activist art! Open mic sign up from 7pm all artists welcome! If you're travelling from outside of Nottingham please don't hesitate to contact us to book a slot!

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Poetry from Callie Gardner, Alan Baker, Jane Hartshorn
25th Feb

Five leaves Bookshop

Alan Baker’s poetry is experimental, and both lyrical and political.

Callie Gardner’s poetry is a blend of avant-garde rhetoric, utopian politics, and elemental alchemy.

Jane Hartshorn is interested in the relationship between chronic illness and sexuality.

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Women Say Stuff 5
8th March

Sobar 22 Friar Lane, NG1 6DQ Nottingham,

 Women, bring your Stuff and Say it at the Poetry Open Mic for International Women's Day. Featuring: Maresa MacKeith World Jam Women Lytisha Tunbridge

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Poetry from Peter Gizzi and Sarah Hayden
10th March

Five Leaves Bookshop

Peter Gizzi is a remarkable poet, and thirty years of his work are in Sky Burial, published in February, essentialised for a new, and reconfigured for his long-term, readership. The book includes previously uncollected work.

Sarah Hayden is a writer and academic. Her poetry chapbooks are sitevisit (Materials), Turnpikes (Sad Press), System Without Issue (Oystercatcher) and Exteroceptive (Wild Honey). Other poems and lecture-poems have appeared in Blackbox Manifold, Golden Handcuffs Review, Tripwire, datableed and elsewhere.

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Poetry for the Community
10th March

Poets Against Racism

Poets Against Racism are teaming up with Queens Walk community centre in Nottingham for a night of poetry. This night will showcase a number of local poets and our main headline poet Manjit Sahota, there will also be an open mic slot to sign up to on the night.

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Poetry Surgery with Charlotte Lunn
11th March

Scarthin Books of Cromford

Charlotte is a writer, spoken word poet, workshop facilitator and tea connoisseur. After studying Creative Writing at The University of Derby, she became the Events Co-ordinator at Scarthin Books and has regularly reviewed books for BBC Radio Derby.

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Poetry from Danez Smith
12th March

Five Leaves Bookshop

 Danez Smith is a Black, Queer, Poz writer from America. Danez is the author of Don’t Call Us Dead, winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collectionand [insert] boy, the Lambda Literary Award for Gay Poetry. Danez’s third collection, Homie, is published this year.

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Loves Burn Book Launch
12th March

Kevin Jackson Poetry @ City Arts - Nottingham

 Join us for Kevin’s book launch Thursday 12th March at City Arts, Nottingham, show starts 7.30pm.

Featuring fabulous poets: Bridie Squires, Chris Lanyon, Leanne Moden, Lytisha Tunbridge, Matt Miller & Sue Allen. Music from the marvellous: Jimi Mack. Open mic slot. And Kevin proudly sharing poems from Loves Burn, hot off the presses of Big White Shed.

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One Foot in the Rave
Martin Grey - Poet

Friday, April 17, 2020 at 7:30 PM – 10:30 PM

City Arts - Nottingham

A disillusioned 23-year-old evangelist preacher finds himself ejected from a controlling cult. He lands on the ecstasy-fuelled dance floors of 90’s clubland. Shunned by his family, and everyone that he knows, he is not prepared for what lies ahead.

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Nottingham Poetry Festival
 Various Venues

8th - 17 th May

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Lemmington Poetry Festival
 Various Venues

3rd - 5th July

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Poet's News

Fosseway Writers' Poetry Competition
Fosseway Writers

Dealine 21st March

 Time to get the creative juices flowing for the new decade as we launch our annual poetry competition. This time the subject is ‘Remote‘ and you can interpret that however you want.

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Dial-a-Poem Competition
Crossed Lines

Dealine 10 Feb

 The Dial-a-Poem National Student Poetry Competition, supported by Nottingham Trent University and the Arts and Humanities Research Council, is now open for entries. Over £1000 in National Book Tokens is available to prize-winners. The competition is free to enter.

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Nottingham Poetry Festival
Various Venues

8th - 17 th May

 To submit your event to the 2020 Nottingham Poetry Festival, simply download & complete this form, and return it to

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Gobs Collective
Curated & Created by NTU.

Gobs is a 3-month programme for emerging writers and artists who want to challenge, move, and say something.

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Poetry Aloud at Exile Festival
Poetry Aloud presents: Spoken Word at Exile Music festival. Bring your words, your poems, and join us. We have featured artists, an open mic, and a space for you to enjoy the words in the Fishpond Bar at the lovely, boutique, delight that is Exile Festival

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I do hope that the Poetry Prize will receive your support and continue to generate interest in our tiny, indie press and our books that aim to normalise breastfeeding and mindful parenting. It is also hoped that it will stimulate creativity and produce some great poetry! If you’re interested in submitting work, please do read all the below. Thanks for stopping by and good luck.

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Artlyst Art To Poetry Competition

Artlyst in association with The Poetry Society are pleased to launch a new international award for poetry based on works of art.

From ancient times poets have been inspired by art. Ekphrastic poetry has given us some of the most celebrated poems in the English language from Keats’ ‘Ode on a Grecian Urn’, to W.H. Auden’s ‘Musée des Beaux-Arts’, based on Brueghel’s famous painting of Icarus falling from the sky. In each case, what has been created is not a mere description but a fresh insight, a new world, an autonomous work of art.

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Crosswords Open Mic
second Wednesday of each month

Cock and Hoop Pub in Nottingham.

Crosswords is Nottingham’s premier subterranean spoken word open mic night.

We love all things Spoken Word: from poetry to prose, storytelling to monologues. Everyone’s welcome.

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New Venue for DIY Poets

New Venue for the monthly DIY Meetings, held first Wednesday of the month, 8 pm start. Venue : Leafi, the cafe area ( next to the bar) at The Playhouse , Wellington Circus,

DIY Poets Nottingham poetry collective has been in existence for over ten years. The aim of DIY Poets is to give budding poets the opportunity to perform their work in public and get their work published.

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Nottingham Poetry Society
The Society meets at various venues throughout the year.

We have a diverse programme of readings, talks, workshops etc, as well as an open forum, when members have the opportunity of presenting their own work.

You are always very welcome to join us as a visitor. The visitors’ fee varies between £3.00 and £5.00 per session (depending on location).

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Poetry Is Dead Good
Various venues

Reclaiming poetry for people who aren't boring.

Poetry is not confined to the arena of academia. Come down to our night and make Poetry meet you halfway.

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Various Venues
A cultural exchange of raw emotion delivered through spoken word, song, social commentary, poetic expression and rhymes n beats.

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We Need To Talk About Erik

 A short story, based, rather loosely it has to be said on some actual things that actually happened one rainy Bank Holiday weekend in Whitby.

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Poetry Aloud
Various Events

A curated platform for spoken word and music. Based in Nottingham, Poetry Aloud stages have been seen at: Green Fest, Exile Music Fest and West Bridgford.

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Poetry Scum
Last Mon of month

Gloden Fleece, Mansfield Road Nottingham

Nottinghams working class open mic, celebrating under class & activist art.

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Nottingham Young Writers Groups
Saturdays 1pm – 3pm and are aimed at 11–15 year

Nottingham Central Library

Sessions take place on Saturdays 1pm – 3pm and are aimed at 11–15 year olds. Each session costs £6, but bursary places are available.

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For the Love of George

 They'll be painting the park fence soon. It could do with a new coat. They do it every now and then.

Of course there may be a closed season for fence painting, just like there is for football, and just like football its probably far too short.

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