The act of writing poetry is usually a fairly solitary activity.
But there are times when it can be very helpful to have the objective opinions of other poets, for example, when you feel a poem
you are working on is close to completion you might want confirmation everything superflous has been cut away, or you might want
to see the impact it has on a group of informed and interested readers, or there might be a particular problem of composition you
want an opinion on, you might simply want the group to confirm your poem is ripe to be sent to a poetry magazine or competition.
Learning is a social activity. In thinking together with the group you'll learn much that is useful, and this includes, perhaps especially,
the discussions that focus on the poems written by other members of the group.
If you are unable to find an existing Poetry Group (see link to existing poetry groups) you might consider setting up a new group yourself.
poets – about five to fifteen in number
somewhere suitable to meet – your library service or arts centre may be able to help you here, both may also be a useful place to
advertise your group to potential new members
a regular time and date to meet appropriate to your needs
The members of the group need to agree the basics of how they want the group to run. These basics need to be re-stated from time to time,
including whenever a new member joins.
These don't have to be extensive, just what your particular group wants and requires, they might include:
you are all there to share your work and to give and take criticism that is rigorous, fair, helpful, thoughtful and not malicious
(or ad hominem/ad feminam).
an agreed time limit for each person's feedback, perhaps fifteen minutes.
Please get in touch if you require any information or advice re. poetry groups, or if you wish to advertise new or existing groups on the
Poetry Can website and monthly bulletin.