Literary places in Sheffield

Creative Tourist

With live literature events and independent poetry presses, there are many literary places scattered about the city of Sheffield.

Sheffield, like Rome, is built on seven hills, so it follows that Sheffield, like Rome, attracts a poet or two. For the modern-day Keatses and Shelleys, there are plenty of literary places in Sheffield. There are live events to pop along to and perform at, and more independent poetry presses than you can shake a stick at. Three Drops Press and The Poetry Business, publishers of the Poet Laureate’s annual Choice series, were both founded in Sheffield.

Modest in size, La Biblioteka is more than just a top-notch bookshop – the upstairs boasts some of the city’s most popular live literary events. Additionally, you’ll find regular book launches and a monthly open mic night over in the cosy and welcoming ‘hub in a pub’, the Gardeners Rest. You’ll also find top-quality literature and spoken word events happening in the Theatre Deli on Eyre Street.

Sheffield is the proud home to Off the Shelf, one of the largest literary festivals in the UK, attracting some of the most prolific names in literature and media to Sheffield every year. And bookshop Rhyme & Reason are the official booksellers for the festival, as well as being dab hands at ordering in those tricky to find publications.

Carol Ann might be based in one of the Rainy City’s seats of learning, but over in the Steel City, there’s always plenty going on at the University of Sheffield and Sheffield Hallam University too.

Here are our picks

  • 1. La Biblioteka

    La Biblioteka
    La Biblioteka

    La Biblioteka, Kommune, Castle House, Sheffield, S3 8LN - Visit now

    It doesn’t just sell books – the upstairs room also plays host to some bulging-at-the-seams live literature shindigs, including the regular Electric Arc Furnace poetry reading series, which showcases innovative guest poets from the South Yorkshire hinterlands as well as rather more further-flung destinations.

  • 2. Centre for Poetry and Poetics at University of Sheffield

    University of Sheffield
    University of Sheffield

    Centre for Poetry and Poetics at University of Sheffield, Jessop West 1 Upper Hanover Street, Sheffield, S3 7RA - Visit now

    Run out of the University of Sheffield, the CPP is a hotbed of research that also aims to make and promote writing, symposia, conversations and readings welcome to all. Keep tabs on the centre’s Facebook page for up-to-the-minute details on events, including visiting guests from as far afield as across the pond.

  • 3. Gardeners Rest

    Gardeners Rest

    Gardeners Rest, 105 Neepsend Lane, Sheffield, S3 8AT - Visit now

    This independent, community-run hub in a pub has all kinds of cosy, welcoming events, including craft beer festivals and live jazz nights, plus regular book launches and the monthly open mic night Gorilla Poetry, which takes place every third Monday, and is free and open to all (and not just poets!).

  • 4. Rhyme & Reason

    rhyme & reason bookshop
    Rhyme & Reason

    Rhyme & Reason, 681 Ecclesall Road, Sheffield, S11 8TG - Visit now

    Official booksellers of the Off the Shelf literature festival, indie bookshop Rhyme & Reason can be spotted at other events around the city, and in their own bricks and mortar premises, where you’ll find fiction, non-fiction, poetry and kids’ stuff/YA. Forget online – shop local; they’ll order anything you fancy.


  • 5. Theatre Delicatessen Sheffield

    Theatre Delicatessen Sheffield
    Image courtesy of Theatre Deli.

    Theatre Delicatessen Sheffield, Denby Suite, Cuthbert House, Arley Street, , Sheffield, S2 4QP - Visit now

    You’ll find a top-quality literature event or two to make a beeline for at multi-arts venue Theatre Deli. Home to feminist arts collective Verse Matters’ bi-monthly platforms for poetry, spoken word, storytelling and more, it also sees regular events and workshops from the likes of Yorkshire-based literature organisation Word Life.