News & Events

Poems for Breakfast

Sick of waking up to headlines?

Make a poem the first thing you read every morning. Join us for breakfast and we will send you a bit of poetry every weekday to digest throughout the day. Just add your email to this mailing list and we’ll see you in the morning…

 

 

The Lost Words at Hill End

Our workshops at Flo’s Place in the Park are quickly booking up! Missed out? Want to see what these workshops are all about? We are bringing our Lost Words workshop to Hill End on March 14th!

 

We are running a family workshop 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.

 

During this special one-off workshop for families (suitable for kids aged 7+) we aim to conjure this spirit in the beautiful grounds of Hill End! 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 head out into Hill End to explore. Local nature expert, Nick Boyd, will lead the walk, teaching participants how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We then return to the centre to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry with the help of poet Phoebe Nicholson.

 

14 March 2020 10am-1pm, suitable for age 7+

Cost £6/10 adults, £3/5 children (Friends of Hill End/others) capped at £18/30 per family.

Booking essential.

Please note that this session is run by the Friends of Hill End – for bookings and all other enquiries, please contact them directly at: friendsofhillend@gmail.com

 

Announcing: The Lost Words Workshops!

In collaboration with  Flo’s Place in the Park, and made possible by the generosity of the Midcounties Co-operative and Community Action Groups, we are producing a series of workshops for kids 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.

During five workshops run throughout 2020, we aim to conjure this spirit in our very own Florence Park! The Lost Words sessions run at Flo’s Place in the Park for 7-14 year olds, the 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 head out in the park to explore. Local nature experts will lead the walks, teaching participants how to look and listen and notice the living world around us. We then return to Flo’s to create our own Lost Words-inspired poetry with the help of poet Phoebe Nicholson.

Sessions are free and open to any kids who are 7-14 years old. Sessions are booked separately, and kids can go to one, a few, or all of the workshops, as they prefer. Each session will have a different theme from nature, and feature a local nature expert to guide the walk and chat about their area of expertise:

All sessions run from 9.30am til 12.30 noon at Flo’s Place in the Park. On 6 June there will be a 3-hour drop-in workshop where we will bring together all of the poetry and art we’ve created over the four previous sessions, plus create some more! We will then put it all together to create a zine which will be available for free to all contributors.

Sessions are free but registration is required. To book for any of the sessions, register here,or to find out more information, please email oxfordpoetrylibrary@gmail.com

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 oxfordpoetrylibrary.wordpress.com.

Want to get involved but can’t make the date? Contact us on hello@openhouseoxford.org or oxfordpoetrylibrary@gmail.com

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 hello@openhouseoxford.org or, better still, pop in for a cup of tea at 36 Little Clarendon Street.

 

LIGHT UP THE WOODS

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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: https://www.eventbrite.co.uk/e/light-up-the-woods-a-poetry-walk-tickets-60670783948