News & Events

Lightbox: Writing about Light

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Join Oxford Poetry Library and LIT Reading Group on February 1 2020 for an evening of creative writing and music on the subject of light in its many forms, from daylight and firelight to enlightenment and revelation, as well as some light relief. We will be escaping the midwinter dark with original poetry and prose from LIT Reading Group.

There will also be an open mic element to the evening so please do bring along your own work, or the work of writers you admire, about light! Slots will be 2 minutes long and sign-up will be on the door on arrival.

This event is open to all!

Doors open 7:30pm for 8pm start.

This event is in the Lounge at the East Oxford Community Centre which is on the ground floor.

Street parking available nearby. More information about the LIT Reading Group and accessibility details about the building can be found here

Tickets are £5 and are available online here or on the door.


Oxford is my Home: Issue 2 Launch!


A few weeks ago, we collaborated with Open House Oxford in their last month of opening to put together the second issue of our amazing Oxford is my Home zine. We wanted to capture and give voice to the diverse experiences of finding, building and maybe even losing a home in Oxford.

Over the space of one day, we opened up the doors of Open House and invited anyone – whether new to the city, born-and-bred, or anywhere in between – to come and share their stories of making this city their home through poetry, collage, story-telling, art, rants and raves. We then collected them all together, bound them into a little booklet, and we are now ready to share the wonderful, weird, heart-breaking, insightful, creative, and thought-provoking result with you all!

Available for a mere £5 at any of our market appearances (where you can also pick up issue 1!)

Oxford is my Home: ISSUE 2

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Do you call Oxford your home? And what does the word ‘home’ mean to you?

We want to give voice to the diverse experiences of finding, building and maybe even losing a home in Oxford in the 2nd issue of a new community zine called ‘Oxford is my home’, which we are creating together with Open House.

Whether you’re new to the city, born-and-bred, or anywhere in between you’re invited to join together on 19th October at Open House on Little Clarendon St. Come by any time between 10am and 4pm to collaborate and create art, opinions, poetry, and stories around this complex and vital topic. The event is free and open to all.

Why? Many people come into Open House and ask us the same questions; ‘how can we solve homelessness? How can we build more affordable housing? Is anyone doing anything!?’ We think the answer lies in talking to each other. Oxford is full of people who are experts by lived-experience of how our housing system is failing and we won’t understand how to fix the sticky situation we’ve got ourselves into until we start listening to them.

Copies of the original issue of ‘Oxford is my home’ can be found at the Oxford Poetry Library at any of their local market appearances. You can see where our big purple bike of books will be next at

Want to get involved but can’t make the date? Contact us on or

Once Upon a Park: Poetry in the Park

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On 28 September, at 10.30am, we are collaborating with Flo’s – The Place in the Park for a workshop for 8-12 year olds about writing, nature, and exploring the natural world around us through our senses and words.

Join us for a morning of walking and talking about the colors, shapes and textures in nature as we collect words (and some hidden poems) in Florence Park….and then transform them into our own poems!

This event is best for children aged 8-12. Drop off: 10:30am, pick up: 12pm.

Tickets are £2.50 per child on the door or book online here.

Creative Writing for Mental Health

Independent Oxford is running a two-week series of workshops, yoga, massage, and courses for health & wellbeing from 26 August til 6 September.

As part of this project, we will be running 4 creative writing sessions! Join Nina Markovic-Obiago for one of our creative writing for mental health workshops at the pavilion at Flo’s Place in the Park in Florence Park. These are an hour each, and offer a range of exercises/activities including quickwrites, object writing, and writing based on touch or sound walks around the immediate space that can be dived into quite immediately by people from any experience level.

Just £3 per person, and registrations are now open here for the following time-slots:

1:30pm – 2:30pm Aug 31st
12pm – 1pm Sept 1st
1:30pm– 2:30pm Sept 7th
12pm – 1pm Sept 8th

Oxford Is My Home: Zine Launch!

Join us at our Writing Home session at Open House Oxford on Wednesday 31 July, 10am-12 noon to pick up your own copy of our brand new hot-of-the-presses zine, Oxford Is My Home, and try your hand at a bit of poetry-writing fun!

On 27th April 2019, people from across the Oxfordshire community came together at Open House to create a zine in just a single day.

The event was run in the spirit of Open House: offering a space and platform to have new conversations about housing and homelessness in Oxford, where labels are dropped and equality of voice is paramount. There was no hierarchical operation, and contributors simply used the materials they were surrounded by to engage with the subject. Content was produced collaboratively, through group writing exercises, shared artwork, and by using individual’s content to inspire or to be physically reworked by other’s in the room.

Everything collected on the day has now been published: without author, without titles, without edit. The result is eclectic, straight-forward and very personal, showcasing the rich and diverse notions of ‘home’ from a broad demographic. You’ll find poetry, art, stories, both real and fictional, as well as ideas, opinions and solutions to the challenges of housing in Oxford.

We welcome you to Open House on 31st July to pick up a copy of the zine for a mere £5 (contributors get a free copy!). Editions will also be available from the Oxford Poetry Library, long-term supporters of the Open House project, at their local market appearances thereafter.

And if you feel inspired to join this conversation then we’re seeking contributions for our next edition about housing problems and housing solutions – whether these are expressed through art, creative writing, life stories or opinions. Get in touch at or, better still, pop in for a cup of tea at 36 Little Clarendon Street.





This June 1st, from 3pm – 4.30pm, Oxford Poetry Library and LIT Reading Group present a walk in the woods with a difference.

Join us for an early summer wander steeped in poetry. Meet us at the Jackdaw Lane entrance to Aston’s Eyot and our local writers and poets will guide you through the woods, by the river, and through the meadows. We will make stops along the way to share a poem or bit of writing which emerge from the landscape. Be prepared to rediscover some old classics brought to life in their natural habitats, and discover some new voices, too.

See the natural world in a whole new light, and let words illuminate your way.

Kids welcome
Free to attend but registration requested and we’ll take a donation at the end where you can give what you like/are able! Any donations collected will go back in to OPL and LIT Reading Group:

Annual General Meeting 2019



It’s that time of year again! We’re coming up to our second year of existence, and we’re gearing up for our Annual General Meeting!

And what better way to celebrate that than a little session in the sunshine. Come along after work on Friday April 12th for an early evening reading session in South Park! We will be there with the library, blankets and cushions. Lie around in the grass, have a quiet moment unwinding in the sunshine perusing a book or two, browse our collection, or share and chat about poetry, and generally hang out and soak up the spring-timey vibes!

We will be in South Parks from 5.30pm (look for our yellow plum flag!), and at about 6.30pm we will be holding our Annual General Meeting. If you would like to chat about what the poetry library has been up to this year, be a part of things for the year to come, learn more about what we do, and meet the folks involved, everyone is welcome!

Subject to weather conditions, we may relocate to The Star or similar nearby watering-hole – but fingers crossed for sun!

The Lost Words workshop: SPRINGTIME EDITION

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Back by popular demand, and to coincide with the Lost Words Oxfordshire crowdfunder, we are re-running this workshop as a springtime edition…

Rediscover the magic in your city! Oxford is full of life, colour, creeping beasts, and enchanting creatures if we only take the time to look for it.

Join us for an exciting workshop-and-walk inspired by The Lost Words by Robert Macfarlane and Jackie Morris. Macfarlane and Morris created this spellbinding collection in response to the 2007 edition of the Oxford Junior Dictionary which introduced new words such as “broadband” and “blog” while words relating to the natural world (acorn, wren, otter, willow, to name a few) were lost. The dictionary, reflecting the frequency of words in the daily language of children, threw into undeniable relief the idea that children are losing touch with nature. Enter ‘The Lost Words’. This is a magical collection of acrostic poems by Macfarlane, gorgeously illustrated by Morris, which re-conjures these words, brings them back to our hearts and minds, and helps children to discover the natural world around them.

And now we conjure this spirit in our very own Florence Park! We will be meeting at Flo’s Place in the Park, the new community hub in the heart of the park. After a chat about the kind of creatures, creepy-crawlies, and all manner of living things we might be seeing (and a bit of binocular training!), we will head out in the park to explore. Nick Boyd, resident nature-expert, will lead the walk, teaching you how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We will then return to Flo’s to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry with the help of poet Phoebe Nicholson. Collage and craft materials will be available to illustrate and decorate your spells!

This is the second pilot session in preparation for a series of workshop to happen later in the year so stay tuned…

Suitable for ages 7-14.
£5 per child (£2 concessions – contact for more info)
Grown-ups welcome to join but not required
31 March, 9.30am – 12.30pm
Flo’s Place in the Park (Florence Park)

Tickets and more information can be found here.

OPL Volunteer Social



Is your new year’s resolution to volunteer more? Get involved with community projects? Read and share more poetry?

We’re running a little social on 20 February… We’ll be hanging out in The Cape of Good Hope from about 7.30pm – so come hang out with us!

If you’d like to be a librarian for a day, meet like-minded people, help a local, grassroots, not-for-profit project, or just fancy hanging out with a bikeful of books, then make 2019 the year you volunteer with us!

This is an opportunity for prospective volunteers and interested folk to come and learn more about what it is we do, offer their time or skills, meet and chat to the folk behind the bike, and sign up to volunteer with us (short-term, long-term, flexibly, or regularly).

It’s also a chance for existing volunteers to come together and meet or re-meet each other and hang out over a pint.

Should be nice, eh? See you there!