Forthcoming Events

The next Poets’ Café is on Friday 13th December at South Street Arts Centre

Our guest is:

Paul Stephenson was a Jerwood/Arvon mentee, took part in the Aldeburgh Eight and recently completed an MA with the Manchester Writing School. He was a winner of the 2014/2015 Poetry Business Book and Pamphlet competition judged by US poet Billy Collins. His resulting first pamphlet ‘Those People‘ was published in May 2015 by Smith/Doorstop. His second pamphlet ‘The Days that Followed Paris‘, written in the wake of the 2015 terrorist attacks, was published by HappenStance in October 2016 and included as one of the Poetry School’s Books of the Year 2016. His third pamphlet ‘Selfie with Waterlilies’ won the Paper Swans Press pamphlet competition and appeared just over two years ago in September 2017.

Paul was born and grew up in Cambridge, England. He studied modern languages and linguistics then European Studies. He has lived in London, Paris and currently Brussels and – with teaching in the Netherlands – has been a Eurostar Frequent Traveller for 15 years. He has published poems in journals including MagmaPoetry LondonThe RialtoBare Fiction and The Interpreter’s House, as well as the experimental anthology ‘Adventures in Form‘ (Penned in the Margins, 2012). He has reviewed for the The North and PN Review. He regularly interviews poets about their first collections on his blog ( He co-edited an issue of Magma on the theme of ‘Europe’ published in March 2018, and in 2018 and 2019 he co-curated Poetry in Aldeburgh.

Your host for the evening will be:

A. F. Harrold is a poet, performer and children’s author who was, for some years, the host and organiser of Poets’ Café. Since handing over the reins he’s been focussing on his work for and with children, travelling to a great many schools across the country and running poetry workshops for pupils and teachers. His latest novel, ‘The Afterwards’, was released in 2018 and his latest book is a poetry collection for kids on the theme of food, called ‘Midnight Feasts’ (featuring poems from a wide range of magnificent poets and writers, such as Imtiaz Dharker and William Carlos Williams). He keeps himself busy.

The next Poets’ Café will be on 10th January 2020.

The dates for 2020 are: 10th January, 14th February, 13th March. 10th April, 8th May, 12th June, 10th July, 14th August, 11th September, 9th October, 13th November, 11th December.

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Doors open at 8.00 pm. Entry costs £5 and £4 for concessions.

The evening is scheduled to end at 10.30 pm.

Click here for tickets

Photographs of the event may be taken for use on social media.

If you are interested in joining our Stanza, please let me know. More details can be found here.

Dates for 2020 will follow soon.

Poets’ Cafe is thrilled to be based in the same town as Two Rivers Press:

Become a friend of Two Rivers Press – Two Rivers Press has been publishing beautifully-designed books, and celebrating the poetry, art and culture of Reading for 25 years. They would love you to support their continuing endeavours by becoming a Friend of the Press. For a one-off payment of £30 you will get a generous 20% discount on the books and an irregular newsletter to keep you up to date with what’s new and exciting, together with the warm glow that comes with knowing that you are supporting local creative industry of course! More information at

RiversSide – a new online gallery from Two Rivers Press – Two Rivers Press invites contributions to their new online gallery – RiversSide –  which features poems, artworks, photography and short prose. RiversSide publishes works about Reading or by creators who live in Reading. To submit a work for consideration please email More information at