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. On 11 February 2013 the Bristol Poetry Institute was delighted to introduce its first ever Poet in Residence, Rachael Boast. Rachael is a Bristol-based poet with a PhD in Creative Writing from the prestigious programme at St Andrew's University, and has wide experience of teaching Creative Writing courses. Her collection, Sidereal (2011), won both the Forward Prize and the Seamus Heaney Poetry Centre Prize for best first collection; her new volume, Pilgrim's Flower is soon to be published by Picador. During her six-week residency, Rachael held weekly workshops for students. On 11 November 2013, we welcomed our second Poet in Residence, Andrew Jamison. On 13th December 2013 Andrew's residency was marked by a reading by the Belfast poet Alan Gillis.

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.
Danny Karlin, Winterstoke Professor of English
Director of the Bristol Poetry Institute

Forthcoming events


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