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Poets’ Café May - Oliver Comins

Presented by Reading Stanza & South Street

Fri 14 May, 20:00. Poetry starts at 20:15.

Due to the current coronavirus situation, we're unable to host Poets’ Café at South Street. But Reading Stanza continue to present the show online using Zoom.

To book a one page, one poem, open mic slot - or just to be part of the audience - please email and you will be sent a link to a Zoom event which you can access on the night.

Poet Oliver Comins wearing glasses and standing in front of a bookcase

Our guest this month is Oliver Comins

Oliver Comins has quietly established a reputation as one of the more intriguing voices in English poetry. An early critic noted, “Exact observation and a relishing feel for language…” as distinctions of his work in Anvil New Poets 2. A 15-year “silence” was eventually broken by a flurry of 3 Templar Poetry pamphlets – Yes to Everything (2014), Staying in Touch (2015) and Battling Against the Odds (2016).

Staying in Touch caused Helena Nelson to ask, “What on earth is Oliver Comins up to? And how can a state of perpetual uncertainty be both delightful and satisfying?” Some answers may be found in his first full collection, Oak Fish Island, published by Templar Poetry in 2018. When Matthew Stewart wrote, “One of Comins’ main achievements in Oak Fish Island is the subversion of the English lyric tradition,” he wanted you to know that Oliver is a lively and entertaining reader as well as a subtle and often humorous poet


Your host for the evening will be Susan Utting

Susan Utting is the originator of Reading’s Poets’ Café. Her poetry has been widely published, including in The Times, TLS, The Independent, Forward Book of Poetry, The Poetry Review and Poems on the Underground. She has won many prizes and awards, including an Arts Council Laureateship, a Poetry Business Prize, The Berkshire Poetry Prize, The Peterloo Prize, and a writing fellowship at Reading’s School of English and American Literature.

Susan taught poetry and creative writing at Reading and Oxford Universities for more than 17 years and now works freelance as workshop leader/mentor and poetry performer.  Half the Human Race: New & Selected Poems is her latest publication from Two Rivers Press.