The purpose of the Group is to offer a forum for active poets interested in improving their work and gaining feedback in a supportive environment. Poets who want to improve their technique and are willing to share their fascination and enjoyment of writing poetry are very welcome. (There are limits on numbers due to the size of our venue.)
Members write in a variety of styles and on a wide range of subjects. All styles are welcome; no viewpoints are excluded. All we ask is that everyone is treated with equal respect and is given the opportunity to explore ideas and technique in their own way to develop an individual voice – we have no ‘manifesto’ or commitment to a particular fashion or movement.
Members give poetry readings (locally and around the country) and the group has published anthologies. Some members have had collections published; some enter competitions and a number have won prizes. None of these activities is compulsory. Some members are content to write for the pleasure of sharing their writing.
Public Events: Poetry Readings, Open Mic slots, Open Mic evenings
We hold public Poetry Readings and Open Mic evenings in Taunton throughout the year. Both up-and-coming and established poets are invited to read their work.
At Poetry Readings, there’s one featured guest poet; there are also a few ‘Open Mic’ slots and anyone wishing to read their own work is invited to pre-book. All slots are five-minutes max.
At ‘Open Mic’ Evenings, there’s no single guest poet; the evening is devoted to Open Mic – again, anyone wishing to read their own work is invited to pre-book.
We aim to organise a Competition most years, open to all-comers; as well as Competitions specifically for young people in the Somerset area. Several of our members organise or participate in projects including sponsoring international competitions, organising liaison between poets and artists, and running workshops for budding poets of all ages. Information on these activities frequently appear on the ‘Welcome & News‘ page of this website.
Enrolled members meet once or twice a month, in a member’s home. Members read one of their poems and a discussion follows. The aim is to provide thoughtful, positive criticism. Members can also read a poem by a favourite or established poet for discussion. Every fifth session, one of the members runs a ‘workshop’. We also organise the occasional walk and/or meal together. Members also have access to a private Chat page on this website.
Readings, Workshops & Commissions
Members of the group are available to give readings or offer poetry workshops at events run by other organisations. Some members have been commissioned to write poems on a particular theme for special occasions, such as weddings and christenings; let us know, and we will do our best to oblige! Our members have also been invited to give talks on aspects of poetry, or, in one case, read a poem on BBC Radio 4’s flagship Today programme.
Contact John Stuart for further details about any of the above.