Five ways we celebrate poetry at Bath Spa

Five ways we celebrate poetry at Bath Spa

At Bath Spa University, we celebrate creative thinking and expression every single day. This year, for World Poetry Day, we’re looking at five of the ways we’ve come together to celebrate the beauty of poetry, and the self-expression it inspires.


Each year, Bath Spa students take part in an annual UniSlam poetry tournament. Aspiring poets with a flair for competition put themselves forward to hone their craft, build a network and compete for the national title of UniSlam champion at the UK’s largest team poetry slam tournament.

The UniSlam is an opportunity to showcase and celebrate the incredible talent that resides in Bath Spa University’s halls. As an institution that values creativity and seeks to nurture and expand the skills of our creative thinkers, Bath Spa has developed a strong reputation at the event, partaking every year since 2016.

This year, six Bath Spa students took part in the event, held at the Birmingham Hippodrome, continuing the legacy of the University.

Creative Writing degrees

Bath Spa is renowned for its undergraduate and postgraduate creative writing courses. Highly respected and known for producing celebrated, award-winning authors of all genres, Bath Spa’s creative writing course offers explorative journeys through reading and writing poetry. Our module in performance poetry and spoken word started in 2004 and continues to be offered as a valuable, inspiring module to undergraduate creative writing students.

Graduates have gone on to be published in highly esteemed journals and publications, such as Poetry Review, Under the Radar, The Edinburgh Review, The Interpreter’s House, and many, many more. 

Lyra Poetry Festival

Senior Lecturer for Creative Writing at Bath Spa University, Lucy English, set up the Lyra Poetry Festival in March 2020. Working alongside Bath Spa graduate Danny Pandolfi, the festival launched with success that is built upon year on year. It garnered an impressive 600 guests in its first year at a sold-out venue. Poetry fans watched with eager appreciation as Poet Laureate, Simon Armitage presented his headlining act.

The festival was designed to celebrate the wide varieties of poetry, in different forms and formats, and offered everything from spoken word poetry slams and walking tours of prose poetry readings to educational, creative workshops.

One From The Heart

This year, World Poetry Day coincides with a brand new Bath Spa University poetry competition for students and staff called, One From The Heart. The competition is open to anyone who studies or works at Bath Spa University. All entrants are required to write eight lines and follow the title theme. 

The competition aims to encourage participation from everyone, regardless of experience. With the freedom to write on any subject, in any language, the six winning poets will be selected from an independent selection panel and have their work turned into animated short films by students on the Bath Spa University BA Film, Television, Digital Production and Commercial Music course.

BathInk Anthology

Each year, our Creative Writing MA graduates launch an anthology of their work. This year, the anthology, titled BathInk, featured an extraordinary collection of poetry. The anthology launch event saw agents and publishers from across the country come together to talk about all things writing with the emerging postgraduate authors.

Introducing the poetry section of the anthology Tim Liardet, Professor of Poetry at Bath Spa University, said:

“The poetry was exhilarating in its diversity: subjects ranged from political anger to the hieratic relationship with self; from the origins of the lightbulb to the calling out of toxic masculinity; from family history to a post-feminist take on Heaney’s bog people.”

Disclaimer: The Bath Spa blog is a platform for individual voices and views from the University's community. Any views or opinions represented in individual posts are personal, belonging solely to the author of that post, and do not represent the views of other Bath Spa staff, or Bath Spa University as an institution.



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