Poets’ Café

The Poet's Cafe at South Street, Reading

Reading’s longest-running and best-loved poetry platform, Poets’ Café, is organised and hosted by The Poetry Society’s Reading Stanza.

Poets' Café at South Street is curated by Vic Pickup & Katherine Meehan.

The final Poets' Café Online was co-hosted by Vic Pickup and myself on 17th November 2023. We would like to thank all our guests and open mic contributors who saw us through lockdown and beyond.

The good news is that Poets' Café is are combining with Reading Stanza to meet online on the third Monday of each month to share feedback on each others’ work. This is a fantastic opportunity to develop your craft and meet other local poets. Please see Stanza's Facebook group for details of meetings and to express interest: https://www.facebook.com/groups/ReadingStanza

More information can be found here: Poets' Café Reading – Reading’s longest-running and best-loved poetry platform (poetscafereading.co.uk)


The Poetry Society

Normally held on the second Friday of each month at South Street Arts Centre, 21 South Street, Reading, RG1 4QU (map here), the night is made up of an open mic section where we welcome anyone to read their work in a friendly atmosphere, and a full reading by some of the country’s finest poets.

  • Doors open at 8 pm, poetry starts at 8.30 pm, the evening is scheduled to end at 10.30 pm.
  • Entry costs £5 and £4 for concessions (including those reading in the open mic).
  • Only one one-page poem per poet in the open mic please!

If you wish to sign up to our GDPR friendly mailing list, you can do so HERE.

Further information and recommendations of guest poets can be made to:

Poets’ Café Reps: Vic Pickup & Katherine Meehan
or Poets’ Café Social Media Rep: Sagarika Banerjee
on info@poetscafereading.co.uk

Or contact us via:

Focebook Poet's Cafe Twitter

For the details of our next event please visit the Poets' Cafe Website - thank you x.

Any personal data collected and recorded by Poets' Café will be used fairly, stored safely and securely and not disclosed to any third party unlawfully.

History up to December 2021

Poets’ Café has been running for over 20 years. First set up by Susan Utting, it was under the stewardship of writer, comedian and champion of all things poetical, A. F. Harrold from 2004 - 2016. Since then it has been run by The Poetry Society's Reading Stanza's Poets' Cafe team with a variety of hosts at the helm including Susan Utting, Claire Dyer, Gill Learner and Jez Dyer and a list of guest poets who’ve read there over the last gazillion years includes: Abi Curtis, Adam Horovitz, Adrian Blamires, Stephen Boyce, Alan Buckley, Alison Brackenbury, Alison Hill, Angela France, Anna-May Laugher, Andre Mangeot, Angela France, Anna Saunders, Anne-Marie Fyfe, Annie Freud, Annie Katchinska, Anthony Wilson, Aoife Mannix, Ashley Harrold, Brenda Read-Brown, Brendan Cleary, Brian Patten, Bernard O’Donoghue, Caleb Parkin, C.L. Dallat, Carmen Bugan, Caroline Bird, Carrie Etter, Catherine Smith, Choman Hardi, Chrissie Gittns, Christopher James, Christopher Reid, Claire Dyer, Claire Trevien, Clare Pollard, Daljit Nagra, Damon Young, Dan Cockrill, David Caddy, David Cooke, David Olsen, Dorothy Yamamoto, Dzifa Benson, Elizabeth Garrett, Esther Morgan, Eva Salzman, Fiona Larkin, Fiona Moore, Fiona Robyn (Satya Robyn), George Chopping, George Roberts, Gerard Noyau, Gill Learner, Hannah Silva, Harry Man, Helen Farish, Helen Ivory, Helen Mort, Hilary Hares, Hilda Sheehan, Hollie McNish, Holly Hopkins, Hugh Dunkerley, Ian House, Jack Thacker, Jack Underwood, Jacqueline Saphra, James Byrne, James Harpur, James Peake, Jane Commane, Jane Draycott, Jane Griffiths, Jane Holland, Jane Williams, Jean Sprackland, Jean Watkins, Jeff Cottrill, Jehane Markham, Jeremy Page, Jess Mookherjee, Jo Bell, Joe Butler, Joe Duggan, Joe Dunthorne, John Foggins, John Froy, John Hegley, John Stammers, Julia Bird, Julia Webb, Kate Behrens, Kate Clanchy, Kate Noakes, Kathleen Quinlan, Kathryn Maris, Katrina Naomi, Katy Evans-Bush, Laurie Bolger, Lesley Saunders, Liz Berry, Liz Lefroy, Lorraine Mariner, Luke Palmer, Maggie Butt, Maggie Sawkins, Mario Petrucci, Mark Fiddes, Martin Figura, Martin Malone, Martyn Crucefix, Matt Bryden, Matthew Caley, Matt Harvey, Matthew Hollis, Matthew Stewart, Maurice Riordan, Mel Pryor, Michael Laskey, Michelle Penn, Mike Loveday, Mike Sims, Mona Arshi, Myra Schneider, Naomi Foyle, Neil Rollinson, Niall O’Sullivan, Nic Stringer, Oliver Dixon, Pat Borthwick, Paul Henry, Paul Lyalls, Paul McLoughlin, Paul Stephenson, Peter Daniels, Peter Robinson, Peter Wyton, Philip Wells (The Fire Poet), Polly Clark, Ramona Herdman, Rachel Piercey, Rishi Dastidar, Rob Evans, Robert Saxton, Robert Seatter, Robin Houghton, Robin Thomas, Roddy Lumsden, Ros Barber, Roselle Angwin, Rosemary Norman, Rosie Jackson, Sally Read, Samantha Wynne-Rhydderch, Sara-Jane Arbury, Sarah Jackson, Stephen Boyce, Stephen Payne, Sue Boyle, Sue Hubbard, Sue Leigh, Susan Utting, Susannah Hart, Terry Cree, Todd Swift, Tom Chivers, Tom Warner, Tony Williams, Veronica Aaronson, Vic Pickup, Victoria Pugh, Wayne Holloway-Smith, Wendy Klein … (and possibly others Ashley forgot to write down at the time…)