London Branch of the Berlin Writers’ Bloc: weekly meeting, London (nr Baker Street Tube)

The London Branch of the Berlin Writers’ Bloc, founded by Oxford alumni Roanne O’Neil and Oliver Michell, and MSt student Yonatan Weizman, meets weekly on a Tuesday, at the Prince Regent Pub, Marylebone High Street upstairs room, (nearest tube Baker Street) at 7.30pm.

If you are interested in joining, please email Oliver Michell ( for more information.

Magma’s 2013 Poetry Competion: closing date 12 Dec 2013

Magma Judge’s Prize 

Magma Editors’ Prize  for poems of up to 12 lines,  judged by a panel of Magma Editors comprising Julia Bird, Rob Mackenzie, Ian McEwen, Laurie Smith and Karen McCarthy Woolf.

Entry Fees: £5 for the first poem, £4 for the second and £3 for the third and each subsequent poem.  Magma magazine subscribers benefit from reduced fees.

For more information see

Review of MSt alumnus David Shook’s “Our Obsidian Tongues” in World Literature Review

“The poems in the collection move fluidly between original work and translations from Spanish and indigenous languages like Zapotec, and the city they circulate shifts too, as we move among butchers, kidnappers, businessmen, mango sellers, and the “celestial bouncers” of the clouds …a brutal, clever, and tautly crafted portrait of a city”

See the full review.

MSt students and alumni: poetry success for David Shook, Sophie Clark, Mariah Whelan, Alexandra Strnad, Kiran Milwood Hargrave, Maya Popa

MSt in Creative Writing students and alumni have been very successful in 2012-2013, publishing, being listed for and winning prizes and residencies, and working with other poets and aspiring poets. Here are a few highlights:

MSt alumnus and translator David Shook’s debut book of poems, Our Obsidian Tongues (, was longlisted for the Dylan Thomas Prize. It has been reviewed in World Literature Today by Annie McDermott: “(Our Obsidian Tongues) certainly impresses as a brutal, clever, and tautly crafted portrait of a city that deserves no less.”

MSt student Sophie Clarke was a participant in the 2012 Tower Poetry Summer School at Christ Church. She guest-edited an issue of the Poetry Society’s youth magazine YM, and was selected to attend the Jerwood Aldeburgh Eight Advanced Seminar in November. She was also selected to record poems for the PoetCasting project, and is mentoring an undergraduate poet in the inaugural ‘Mays Mentoring Scheme’. Recent online publications include Pomegranate, The Cadaverine, The Future Fire, The Red Line, Etcetera, and Streetcake. Print publications include Poetry Review, Acumen Literary Journal, Popshot, Fuselit, and The Mays #21, and she has been provisionally accepted for publication in Magma.

MSt student Mariah Whelan has been published in Ash Magazine, and anthologised in the Queen’s University anthology Tidelines. Her poem ‘The Tuna Fish’ was shortlisted for this year’s Bridport Prize.

MSt student Alexandra Strnad’s poetry publications and successes include works in Ambit, Other Poetry, The Cadaverine, Ariadne’s Thread, Ash, The Lamp and The Moth. She was shortlisted for the Oxonian Review Competition. Alex was a member of the ‘Mays 21’ poetry editorial committee, 2013, and is currently mentoring students from the universities of Oxford and Cambridge in poetry, as part of the Mays mentoring scheme.

MSt student Kiran Milwood Hargrave has been elected President of the Oxford University Poetry Society. Her poem ‘Grace’ won the Yeovil Literary Prize for Poetry, judged by Neil Astley. She has also been offered one of six places on the Callaloo Literary Journal’s inaugural international poetry workshop, held in London in November. Her third poetry collection, Splitfish (Gatehouse Press) came out in September. Earlier this year she was invited to speak at the Waseda University Theatre Museum, Tokyo, about her poetry collection, Scavengers (2011). The book was translated into Japanese and re-published as a bi-lingual version for the event. Kiran has also had a poem published in the anthology Catechism (English PEN), and further poems in the current and upcoming editions of The Poor Press and Magma. She appears in Agenda as a featured poet. Her poems also appear on the poetry websites Ink Sweat and Tears and The Cadaverine. She was awarded a funded residency at the Banff Centre, Canada in April, and at the Expansionists Project, Whitstable in May.

MSt student (and Clarendon scholar) Maya Popa has had poems published in FIELD, Oberlin, The Kenyon Review, All Hollow Magazine, ASH, Oxford Poetry, Southword Journal, Poetry London, and Locuspoint Magazine. She has had poetry, articles and reviews published in PN Review, The Kenyon Review, and The Rumpus. She was recently the recipient of the Raab Editorial Fellowship from Poets & Writers Magazine, and a fellowship to lead the 2012-13 NYU Veterans Writing workshop, New York. She was the winner of the 2013 Parallel Universe Poetry Competition, a finalist for the Rona Jaffe Writer Award in the category of Poetry, winner of the Martin Starkie Poetry Prize, a finalist for the 2013 Writers at Work Prize, awarded third place in the Gregory O’Donoghue International Poetry Competition, and has been twice-finalist for the SLS Summer Literary Seminar Writing Poetry Prize. Maya has also recently taken up a position with Poets & Writers Magazine.