Sappho Books, Cafe & Bar

We are one of Sydney's favourite general second-hand Bookstores. Walk through to our beautiful courtyard Cafe that transforms into a tapas Bar at night. We are also now home to Da Capo Music Bookshop, the only dedicated second-hand sheet music store in Australia. We buy and sell used books, sheet music and records, host live music and events and are available for venue hire.

For individual opening hours, see: BOOKSHOP HOURS ~ CAFE HOURS ~ BAR HOURS

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ON TUESDAY THE 6TH OCTOBER, Sappho will host the Sydney instalment of the 60th anniversary of the first public reading of Allen Ginsberg's poem HOWL (first performed at the Six Gallery Reading in San Fransisco on 7 Oct 1955). Guest poets include Nigel Roberts, Reg Mombassa, Elizabeth Allen, Pip Smith, and Alan Wearne (Wearny will read some poems of the late Benjamin Frater). And there will also be an open section if you'd like to have a burl, or a howl.

This event is the usual monthly gala poetry night at Sappho, but it's also part of a larger commemoration, with similar HOWL events happening across the world, as instigated by Brisbane poet A.G. Pettet. Other cities include New York, Boulder, Brisbane, Melbourne, Hobart, London and Paris.

Come along to Sappho for some food, booze, and/or schmooze. It's the poetry night as ever. Free entry.

< Please note that this poetry night will happen on the FIRST Tuesday of October, as opposed to the usual second Tuesday of the month. November will return to the second Tuesday of the month. >


is a poet and editor who has contributed to several anthologies of poetry. He was deeply involved in the Australian poetry revolution of the 1960s and 1970s and is a respected figure in the contemporary poetry community. Originally from New Zealand, he has been based in Sydney since the 1960s. Nigel’s work holds the breadth of emotions and great heart, but he is best known for his satire.

Christopher O’Doherty aka Reg Mombassa was born in 1951. He is a musician and artist known for his membership of bands Mental as Anything, Dog Trumpet and The Pinks. Reg has exhibited at Watters Gallery since 1975 as well as having solo and group shows around Australia and overseas. He has designed for Mambo Graphics since 1986 and has also designed record and book covers, posters, t-shirts, stamps and coins for a variety of clients. Harper Collins published a biography called The Mind and Times of Reg Mombassa and an ebook of poems and song lyrics called Cranium Universe.

Elizabeth Allen’s poetry has appeared in many major literary journals as well as in the Best Australian Poems 2012 and 2014. She is the author of a chapbook, Forgetful Hands (Vagabond Press 2005), and a full-length collection, Body Language (Vagabond Press 2012), which won the Anne Elder Award. She has run poetry workshops for adults and children through Number Forty Seven gallery and The Red Room Company’s National Poetry Education Program, and currently lives in Sydney, where she works as the events manager at Gleebooks.

Pip’s first poetry collection, Too Close for Comfort (SUP) won the Helen Ann Bell Award in 2013. She was the Faber Academy’s 2015 scholarship recipient for their Writing a Novel program, has been a co-director of the National Young Writers’ Festival, wrote 90 poems over one summer for the Lifted Brow, sailed across the Tasman in a square-rigged ship and is currently a doctoral candidate at UWS.

barracks for the Beatniks not the Hippies & regards to ‘Sydney Push’ of the 50s & 60s to be one of the most overrated groups of people this nation has produced. His poetry was hardly influenced by Allen Ginsberg & he is [& hopes you are] quite okay about this. He will read poems by himself, the American satirical formalist X J Kennedy & the wonderful Benjamin Frater [1979-2007] who saw himself in a tradition that included Spence, Milton, Smart, Blake, Whitman & above all Ginsberg. 


If you'd like to read a poem in the open section, please come along and sign up from 7pm. Up to 10 poets, 2 minutes each.

Earlier Event: September 26
Later Event: October 16