MSt alumna Romola Parish reads at the Oxfordshire Museum, 15 July 2017

MSt alumna Romola Parish reads at the Living Landscapes exhibition, 15 July 2017, the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock

Romola Parish, who graduated from the MSt programme in 2016, is currently  Poet in Residence at the Historic Landscape Classification Project at Oxfordshire County Council. She will be reading from her pamphlet of poems, In Polygonia, at the launch of the interactive digital map at the Living Landscapes exhibition, 15 July 2017, at the Oxfordshire Museum, Woodstock.

The day also includes presentations on the project, exhibitions, work by artist Miranda Cresswell, workshops and two events – post-it poems and photographs, to which everyone is invited to contribute.

For more information on the exhibition please visit the website and event page:


MSt tutor Jenny Lewis in “‘Poetry in Motion’ the Songwriter’s Art”, Regent’s Park College, Oxford, 22 May

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis takes part in ‘Poetry in Motion’ the Songwriter’s Art, at Regent’s Park College, on 22nd May at 5-6.30pm, Regents Park College, Oxford.
Jenny will be looking at the relationship between poetry and songwriting and describing how, in the 60’s,  she co-wrote, with Vashti Bunyan, the original song from which the iconic ‘Train Song’ was developed. ‘Train Song’ has had over 4 million hits on YouTube and been used on high profile TV commercials such as Reebok and Samsung and US TV series such as True Detective and, currently, The Patriot. Free event, all welcome.

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis with poet Adnan al-Sayegh, artist Frances Kiernan, exhibition at Iraqi Embassy, London

Exhibition and readings of work by MST tutor Jenny Lewis at Iraqi Embassy cultural event

MSt tutor Jenny Lewis joined the distinguished Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh and the British artist Frances Kiernan to present an exhibition of prints and extracts from Gilgamesh Retold, Jenny’s re-imagining of the Epic of Gilgamesh, at the the Iraqi Embassy on 29 April, 2017. The presentation was followed by the launch of The Flood an extract from Gilgamesh Retold with Arabic translations by Adnan al-Sayegh and Ruba Abughaida and original woodcuts by Frances Kiernan, published by Mulfran Press.

The ceremony was opened by His Excellency the Ambassador of the Republic of Iraq Dr. Saleh Al-Tamimi, who welcomed the guests and the audience, highlighting Jenny’s poetry and the importance of her collaboration with the Iraqi poet Adnan al-Sayegh which is funded by Arts Council England and supported by the Foreign and Commonwealth Office, the Ashmolean Museum, Oxford and The Poetry Society. Dr. Al-Tamimi also stressed the importance of these cultural evenings that shed light on the ancient civilization of Iraq and its history which is currently under threat from terrorist groups.

Dr Al-Tamimi also thanked the media ambassador Waheeda Al-Miqdadi for her efforts in organizing this evening in co-operation with the Embassy.


MSt tutor John Retallack to direct “As You Like It” at Corpus Christi College, 10th – 13th May

MSt Creative Writing tutor John Retallack is directing a production of As You Like It at Corpus Christi College. The play will be performed both indoors and outdoors in the college Gardens,  Cloisters,  Chapel and  Dining Hall.

The older characters in the play are played by Corpus Christi staff: the
recently retired President, Richard Carwardine in the role of Duke Senior;
and the gardener of the college, David Leake, plays Adam. Students play all
the young roles and also the wonderful music that Howard Goodall has
specially written for As You Like It. 

There are only five performances of the show; evenings at 7.30pm from
Wednesday May 10th until Saturday 13th when there is also a matinee at 2.30
Audience numbers are restricted to 90. For the price of your ticket, wine
is served on the roof terrace overlooking Christ Church Meadow during the
interval and also at the end of the performance in the Dining Hall.”

Further details and booking information can be found here:

MSt tutor Nicoletta Demetriou film “Cypriot Fiddlers” at Wolfson College, 2nd May 2017

MSt tutor Nicoletta Demetriou’s  film “Cypriot Fiddlers” will be screened at Wolfson College, on 2nd May 2017.

“The Cypriot Fiddler is an attempt to trace the life stories of a dying class of traditional musicians on both sides of the Cypriot divide. The documentary, released in 2016, was entirely funded by members of the public through an online crowd-sourcing campaign.”

Time: 17:00 to 19:00

Location: The Haldane Room

For more information, visit the event site.

MSt alumna Maya Catherine Popa’s “The Bees Have Been Cancelled” UK Poetry Book Society’s Summer Pamphlet Choice

MSt alumna Maya Catherine Popa’s chapbook The Bees Have Been Cancelled has been selected by the UK Poetry Book Society as their 2017 Summer Pamphlet Choice.

From the PBS announcement:

“The poems in The Bees Have Been Canceled are ravenous, rich, and exquisitely built. Maya Catherine Popa’s language makes visible how yearning tethers the mind to the world and how hurt spawns an astonishing self-awareness. Her gaze alights on beauty and violence; it ‘scurries from birth to blight.’ Such attentive looking brings closer the brokenness of the world. This gaze is also restorative; it alleviates and mends and delights.” – Eduardo C. Corral

“Maya Catherine Popa’s The Bees Have Been Canceled is haunted by violence and catastrophe, by the consequences of human desire turned to incommensurate ends, and anxious about the resources of language. There are no glib answers, only a certain kind of belief (the kind Emily Dickinson might recognize) embodied afresh in poems that are richly textured, and filled with energy, wit, and intelligence. Popa’s work is serious, but there’s joy here, too, in a balance that defies gravity.” -Averill Curdy

MSt tutor Jane Draycott reads at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival, 6 May 2017

MSt tutor Jane Draycott will be reading from “Pearl” and “The Occupant” at the Cheltenham Poetry Festival on the 6th of May 2017, at 5 pm.

From the festival website:

‘Part of the same 14th-century manuscript as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, also written in its dialect, Pearl is an intricately wrought 1200-line elegiac poem in which a father grieves for his small daughter, dead before her second birthday. This wrenchingly beautiful vision of love and bereavement has been translated by acclaimed poet Jane Draycott, and, according to The Independent, “The glamour, even glitz, of its view of paradise across the river of death dazzles as never before in modern English”. David Morley described it as “marvellously modulated yet stirringly wild.” The event also includes a reading from Jane’s new collection The Occupant and a chance for questions.”

More information about the festival.

Book tickets.

Kellogg College Creative Writing Seminar Series: Prof Tabish Khair, 11th May 2017

“Thinking in Stories: Or why the process of reading literature is the antidote to fundamentalism”

Tabish Khair

Mawby Room, Kellogg College,
62 Banbury Road
5 pm (refreshments) for 5.30 pm

All are welcome and no bookings are necessary

Born and educated in Gaya, a small town in Bihar, India, Tabish Khair is the author of various acclaimed books, including the novels The Bus Stopped; Filming: A Love Story; The Thing About Thugs; and How to Fight Islamist Terror from the Missionary Position. He has also published the poetry collections Where Parallel Lines Meet and Man of Glass. In 2016, he published a study The New Xenophobia and a new novel, Just Another Jihadi Jane, to critical acclaim. Khair is currently a Leverhulme guest professor at the School of English, Leeds University.

Seminar Convenor: Dr Clare Morgan