Listing for January 2021: Literary Events Online


Finally – 2021 has arrived! Sadly, this COVID-19 pandemic has not yet been resolved, and the challenges of making sure arts events still happen – safely – are on-going. Things can get tricky, for organisers and attendees, because social distancing needs to continue to keep infection rates as low as possible. Depending on what tier you’re in, various venues and public spaces may be open to visitors this month; however, many gatherings are forced outside in the cold or have had restrictions imposed on audience numbers. Or, more unfortunately, have had to be cancelled. If you’re living somewhere that permits you to get out and about, we hope you have a great start to the New Year – but plenty of people are still feeling isolated, unable to participate in their usual cultural activities and desperate to get back to a semblance of normality.

Here is the good news: creative communities across the UK, and all around the globe, are STILL plugging the void in our lives with some amazing virtual events! 

The HCE magazine team have created another list of literary open mics, events and workshops (listed in separate categories below), to help you plan for the weeks ahead. Let’s stay virus-free AND enjoy our favourite gigs! This is also the perfect chance to “travel” afar and attend events you never thought you could…

Side note: At our Fire & Dust poetry nights on Zoom, unexpected audience members have included multiple dogs, cats, guinea-pigs, and even one poetry fan less than a month old! Keep an eye out for encounters with similar ‘special guest’ appearances at YOUR virtual experiences.




Fri 1st Jan, 5PM (UTC) – via unknown
Recovery Spoken Word
Hosted by Yoga4Sobriety and Elina H. An event for people to express their journey of recovery: the struggles, gratitude, experiences and feelings. Listeners also welcome!  For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

Sun 3rd Jan, 7.30PM – via Zoom
Yes, We Cant
(Usually happens in: Walsall, UK)
Free virtual open mic event – Pay What You Can. Headliner: LUKE WRIGHT! To request a space in the Zoom: email For more details, visit the Poets, Prattlers & Pandemonialists Facebook page.

Mon 4th Jan, 7-8PM (ETC) – via Zoom
Oceanside Library Poetry Readings
(Normally happens in: New York, USA)
Every first and third Monday. 2 featured poets – Joe Cottonwood and Susan Weiman – and an open mic, hosted by Tony Iovino. For access info, visit the event webpage.

Tues 5th Jan, 7PM (GMT) – via Zoom
York Spoken Word: Our 15th Birthday
(Usually happens in: York, UK)
Poetry open mic. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

Tues 5th Jan, 7.30-10.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Hammer & Tongue Hackney 2021! With Zena Edwards
Online show of spoken word and live poetry, plus a music set from DJ CloseUpThings. Tickets: Pay What You Can (£3-£10). For more details about slam sign-up and access, visit the event webpage.

Thurs 7th January, 7.30-10PM (GMT) – via Zoom
Fire & Dust Meets: CLIVE OSEMAN
(Usually happens in: Coventry, UK)
Free event – Pay As You Feel. Poetry open mic with a special headline guest. To attend, grab an Eventbrite ticket (free). Details re: Zoom URL and how to sign up for open mic will be emailed. There is also a Fire & Dust events page on Facebook.

Thurs 7th Jan, 7-9PM (PST) – via Zoom
Los Angeles Poet Society: Tonalli Thursdays Open Mic
More info on the L.A. Poet Society website.

Thurs 7th Jan, 7.45PM (Irish Standard Time – via Zoom
Not the Time to Be Silent
Weekly online poetry reading and open mic. Headliner: John McCullough. To access, join the Not the Time to Be Silent Facebook group.

Fri 8th Dec, 7-9PM (UTC) – via Zoom
WORD Stafford Season 3 Episode 6 – ‘Hope’
Poetry slam (theme: Hope) and open mic. More details available on the Facebook event page.

Sat 9th January, 6-8PM (PST) – via Zoom
Los Angeles Poet Society: Theme Open Mic
Themes: ‘polka dots & social justice’. More info on the L.A. Poet Society website.

Sat 9th January, 6-8PM (PST) – via unknown
Poetry Pharmacy
Hosted by Sheffield Libraries. Bring poems to share – your own, or someone else’s. Register for tickets on the Eventbrite webpage.

Sun 10th Jan, 2AM (UTC) – via Zoom
Poetry in the Brew Online Open Mic
With feature sets from Special K and Des Mannay, and open mic snap rounds. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

Sun 10th Jan, 7PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Like a Blot From the Blue. Poets Get Special.
Free poetry open mic hosted by Fin Hall. For more details, visit the Facebook event page.

Mon 11th Jan, 8.30-11.30 (Irish Standard Time) – via Zoom/Facebook Live
Ó Bhéal: 11th Virtual Poetry Event
(Usually happens in: Cork, Ireland)
Open mic, headliners, live poetry prompt challenge. Headliners: GERALDINE O’KANE and COLIN DARDIS More info and details of how to access the gig are here on the website.

Mon 11th January, 7.30PM (GMT) – via Zoom
Café Writers with Tom Sastry and Sarah L Dixon
Free event/Pay as you feel. Poetry open mic plus readings from the two headliners. More details on this webpage, or register for tickets on the Eventbrite webpage.

Mon 11th January, 7PM (GMT) – via YouTube/Facebook/Twitch
Bring Your Own Bars Poetry – with Special K
Feature set from Special K plus 12 open mic slots. Email to enquire about an open mic spot. Check out the Facebook page for more details, or visit the BYOB YouTube channel.

Wed 13th Jan, 7.30-9.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Write and Release Spoken Word
Poetry open mic, with special guest poet Michelle Mother Hubbard. For more details and access, visit the Facebook event page.

Wed 13th Jan, 8PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Stamford Poetry: Poetry Swaps
Poetry open mic, with a headline set from Cathy Carson and supporting feature from Christine Dickinson. For more details and access, visit the Stamford Arts Centre webpage or the Facebook event page.

Thurs 14th Jan, 7PM (EST) – via Zoom
Thursday Night Open Mic Feat. Roy Bentley
An Athens County Poets & Storytellers event, hosted by Southeast Ohio Poet Steph Kendrick. Register in advance. For more details, check out the Facebook event page.

Fri 15th Jan, 7.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Oooh Beehive! An Evening with the KING of Mock and Droll!
Free poetry open mic night, with headline set from Elvis McGonagall. For more details and how to access, check out the Facebook event page.

Sun 17th Jan, 6PM (GMT) – via Zoom
Run Your Tongue Presents…Dominic Berry!
Free event (with tip jar for donations). Spoken word open mic night. For more details and how to access, check out the Facebook event page.

Tues 19th Jan, 7.30PM (GMT) – via Facebook group
Open mic night from Poets, Prattlers, and Pandemonialists.  The first half is to a theme picked at random from audience suggestions at the previous month’s event.  Theme for January is ’fresh starts’.  Second half, anything goes.  To book a slot in the first half, second half or both, email  Poems are accepted as text, Soundcloud links or YouTube links. You can join the PP&P Facebook group here.

Thurs 21st Jan, 7.30PM (UTC) – via unknown
Lit Up
£5 event. Headliners: Cathy Carson and Spoz. A Community Arts Partnership Belfast regular poetry event with a twist. They encourage headliners and open mic-ers to mix their own work with poems they love and poets who inspire them. For more details, see the Facebook event page.

Thurs 28th Jan, 7PM (UTC) – via Facebook page
WordCraft: The Wolf Moon One
(Normally happens in: Stoke-on-Trent, UK)
Several options for the poetry open mic – you can be pre-recorded, live on Facebook or send in a poem for someone else to read. More info available on the Facebook event page. Free event, but donations to Mind charity are welcome.

Sun 31st Jan, 7PM (Irish Standard Time) – via Zoom
Allographic Open Mic
Monthly spoken word open mic event – poetry, story-telling, drama. Headliner: Elizabeth McGeown. More details and register for tickets on the Eventbrite page.




Fri 8th Jan, 8PM (UTC) – via streaming
Therapy Session – Dublin
Pay What You Want event. Therapy Sessions opens with a line-up of performances, including music and spoken word stylings from Chiamaka Enyi-Amadi and Roxana Nic Liam. More details on the webpage, and register for tickets on the Ticketsolve page.

Sat 9th January, 7.30-9PM (EST) – via Zoom
‘Women Speak’ Poetry Reading
Hosted by Postscript and The Offing magazines. Featuring: K-Ming Chang, Camonghne Felix and other poets. For Zoom access, see Postscript’s pinned tweet (@postscriptmag1).

Sat 9th Jan, 8PM (UTC) – via streaming
Therapy Session – Duncairn
Pay What You Want event. A night of Belfast talent – spoken word performances from two award winning Belfast poets, Alice McCoullogh and Elizabeth McGeown, plus a variety of music acts. More details on the webpage, and register for tickets on the Ticketsolve page.

Sun 10th Jan, 4.30-6PM (GMT) – via Zoom
Sarah Hymas & Catherine Okoronkwo: A Waterloo Press Launch
Free book launch event for two new 2021 titles: Blood and Water / ọbara na mmiri by Catherine Okoronkwo and melt by Sarah Hymas. For more details or to register, visit the Eventbrite page.

Wed 13th Jan, 8.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom
DeBarra’s Spoken Word – Connect to Light
Features a writing and discussion session on the topic of mental health and losses – all perspectives welcome – plus a group writing task and open mic. Facilitated by by Margaret O’Regan and Lauren Cavanagh, with a number of featured speakers (Mo O’Connor, Nick Smith, Stan Notte, Fergus Costello, Catherine Ronan, Moze Jacobs). More details can be found on the Facebook event page.

Thurs 14th Jan, 6-7PM (GMT) – via Zoom
‘Apples & Snakes: Becoming a Trustee’
Free event – talk/Q&A with Amerah Saleh and Reece William (poets and Apples & Snakes trustees ) and Artistic Director Lisa Mead. Arts charity Apples & Snakes wants to “place artists at the centre of our decision making”. Interested in joining the Board? Find out more or register for a ticket on the webpage.

Fri 15th Jan, 8PM (UTC) – via streaming
Therapy Session – Cork
Pay What You Want event. Featuring current All Ireland Poetry Slam Champion Shaunna Lee Lynch, and Stanley Notte’s unique blend of poetry & storytelling, plus a range of musical talent. More details on the webpage, and register for tickets on the Ticketsolve page.

Sat 16th Jan, 8PM (UTC) – via streaming
Therapy Session – Galway
Pay What You Want event. This final night of Therapy Sessions will feature a range of music performances and spoken word skills from writer/actor Séamus O’Rourke and critically acclaimed poet Stephen Murray. More details on the webpage, and register for tickets on the Ticketsolve page.

Thurs 21st Jan, 6.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom
Dear Listener: An evening with R.M. Francis
No open mic this month – new format with a special guest reader. Novelist and poet R. M. Francis will do some poetry readings, followed by a Q&A. There are more details on the Facebook event page.

Sat 23rd Jan, 4PM (EDT) – via unknown
Andrea Gibson’s January Show: ‘Steal My Diary’
Readings of poems new and old, some by request, plus a Q&A. Ticket price starts from $10.00 on a sliding scale. For more details or to register for a ticket, visit Andrea’s webpage.

Mon 25th Jan, 7.30-8.30PM (UTC) – via Zoom webinar
Brian Bilston – ‘Alexa, what is there to know about love?’
Tickets: £16 including book or £5 without. Poet Brian Bilston reads from, and answers questions about, his new poetry collection. Register via this Zoom link.

show on Sunday 31st January at 10am via

Sun 31st Jan, 10AM (GMT) – via website
Brum Radio Poets
Join host Rick Sanders and his guests Claire Walker, Bohdan Piasecki and Carol Caffrey, who will be sharing stories and poetry. Brum Radio Poets show is every second Sunday. Listen via the Brum Radio website.



Lockdown Writing Workshops with Jamie Thrasivoulou
Join the Facebook group for more details. Not on Facebook? Search for the workshops on YouTube.

Positive Images Festival Poetry workshop: every last Sunday of the month
Workshop leader: Emilie Lauren Jones
Check out Emilie’s YouTube channel for workshop videos.

Mon 18th Jan, 10.30AM (GMT) – via Zoom
Winter Wonder: Seasonal Nature Poetry Workshop
Only £2.50. Poetry workshop with Steve Pottinger and Emma Purshouse. “Show your love for the natural world by creating some praise poetry. Have a go at a ghazal. A fun and friendly session with experienced workshop facilitators.” Part of Boundary Way Project’s Winter Wonder season. Participants will be offered the opportunity to share the work they create at an online event on 14th February. For more details and to reserve a place, visit the tickets webpage.

Wed 20th Jan, 12:00 (GMT) – via unknown
Passport to Poetry
£4.90 writing workshops, hosted by invis-Ability CIC. For more details or to register, see the Eventbrite page.

Sun 31st Jan, 2-5PM (GMT) – via Zoom
Allographic Virtual Write-In/ Workshop
(Normally happens in: Cambridge, UK)
Writing workshop/discussion group for poets and story-tellers. For more information, visit the Allographic website.

Sun 31st Jan, 7-9PM (GMT) – via Zoom
‘Waking Up’: a Writing Workshop for Brigid’s Day
Led by Lucy Furlong. The workshop will take inspiration from Imbolc Festival and Brigid (the Celtic goddess of healing, poetry and witchcraft).  Writing workshop/discussion group for poets and story-tellers. For more information and to book a place, email