Bristol Poetry Institute

A space for discussion and debate about poetry in all its forms

About the Bristol Poetry Institute

The Bristol Poetry Institute is a new venture that brings together scholars, students, poets and poetry-lovers across the University of Bristol and the wider community. The Institute is a focus for events and activities ranging from international academic conferences to seminars and study days; we host readings, workshops and performances by national and local poets; we offer a space (both physical and ‘virtual’) for discussion and debate about poetry in all its forms.

Our remit is open and inclusive. Poetry in other languages and cultures is a vital part of our project, as are the ways in which boundaries are crossed by translation and adaptation, and the encounter of poetry with other arts, such as painting, music, drama and film.

Events and activities

The Bristol Poetry Institute was launched on Wednesday 10 October 2012, with a reading and performance by the Poet Laureate, Carol Ann Duffy.

Our inaugural programme for 2012/13 included a variety of poetry readings and performances, and the Young Poets’ Competition, which looked to highlight and encourage the wealth of talent among young poets in schools and sixth-form colleges. Besides hosting readings, we sponsor projects which connect poetry with other arts. In 2013 we helped to launch The Echoing Gallery: Bristol Poets and Art in the City, published by Redcliffe Press, and we held a conference,'Translation: The Impossible Art?', which concluded with a lively public debate at the Watershed Media Centre and poetry readings from the participants. This year we held a series of events in collaboration with the Royal West of England Academy linked to an exhibition of portraits of writers and other figures by the American photographer Judith Aronson.

We also sponsor a Poet-in-Residence in the Autumn semester, whose workshops are open to undergraduate and postgraduate students from across the University.

These events form part of the richness and diversity of what we plan to offer as a new hub for poetic study, research and enjoyment: we look forward to seeing you there.

Read more about our upcoming events

Poets are the unacknowledged legislators of the world


Poetry makes nothing happen

WH Auden

Who’s right? Both, and neither. This great diverse untameable art is my passion and vocation. Poetry matters to me, to all of us engaged in the Poetry Institute, and we hope to you.
Daniel Karlin, Winterstoke Professor of English
First Director of the Bristol Poetry Institute (October 2012- June 2014)


For general enquiries about the BPI and our events, please email us at