About us

The Gatehouse Literary Forum publishes works by guests of the Gatehouse. The Gatehouse is a free cafe for the homeless and poorly housed in Oxford, England. These works include personal essays, short stories and poems. Some pieces are partially inspired by writing prompts provided at the Gatehouse on Literary Fridays. Others are developed by the guests in their own time.

The purpose of this website is to provide a forum for expression, and to highlight one critical point: no one can be defined solely by how they appear, how they speak, where they’re from, nor by their current living situation. We are all far more complex than any one statement could possibly convey.

Please be sure to visit this website frequently as it will evolve over time. You can follow us on Twitter at @GatehouseLit. The views expressed in these pieces are solely of the writers and not of the Gatehouse, its staff or volunteers.

I am proud of the effort our guests put into producing thought-provoking work of the highest standard. Enjoy.

Tes Asfaw
Gatehouse Trustee


Reading Group: Feel free to join us every Friday for our popular reading group. Guests and volunteers take turns reading passages from novels, plays and collections of poetry. Interspersed with the readings are discussions about the texts. Currently, we are exploring the plays of Neil Simon, Oscar Wilde, and Reginald Rose, and the shorts stories of Anton Chekov, and Arthur Conan Doyle. All reading levels welcome.

Writing Group: Come join our weekly writing workshops. We provide prompts to create short stories, poems and non-fiction, and guests and volunteers work alongside each other. It is incredibly fun, with a great deal of written work produced every week. All writing levels welcome.

Free theatre trips: We run theatre trips to Oxford’s main theatres. In 2016, guests and volunteers watched Charles Dickens’ A Tale of Two Cities at the Oxford Playhouse, and The Shawshank Redemption at the New Theatre Oxford. We closed the year with the pantomime, Cinderella, at the Playhouse. Our thanks to the Playhouse and the New Theatre for the complimentary tickets.

2017 was abundant with theatre shows at the Oxford Playhouse. We watched Pink Mist, La StradaPygmalionCyrano, Waiting For God, Around the World in 80 Days, The Wipers TimesDriving Miss Daisy, As You Like It, and Jack and the Beanstalk.

In 2018, thanks to the Playhouse, we watched The Winslow BoyA Midsummer Night’s DreamBirdsongDuet for One, and The Habit of Art.

So far in 2019, we have seen Missing, and Richard III. Thank you, Playhouse!

Aga & Ruby
Michael H.
Special thanks to: participating guests of the Gatehouse; the Literary Friday volunteers; the Oxford Poetry Library, and the Gatehouse staff and volunteers.


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