Monthly Meetings

Our monthly readings by well-known poets normally take place at a venue in Tunbridge Wells, but because of COVID-19 they have been on-line since 2020. However, we are now moving back towards physical meetings, with a planned livestream for members who can’t attend in person.

This change will happen gradually in 2022, with a view to returning to face-to-face as the default. The list below identifies which meetings will be held face-to-face, and which will be held on-line. Where meetings are held in person, they will normally be at 8 pm in the Alexandra Room at the Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells, unless otherwise identified below.

Meetings are free for members.  Non-members are also welcome, and the entry fee of £3 can be paid at the door. There is often an opportunity to read a short poem (up to 40 lines) at Open Mic unless otherwise indicated below.

Readings are normally on the third Tuesday of each month – details of each meeting are uploaded on the front page of this website in advance. The poets booked for 2022-23 are listed below.     

enquiries, e-mail: kentandsussexpoetry@gmail.com (but please note, this email is not checked daily). 

We also hold informal writers’ ‘Workshop’ meetings (for Society members only) on the first Tuesday of each month (except August) – also on Zoom for now. Further details from Marjory Caine macaine@hotmail.co.uk

2023

January 17th 2023: As always in January, three of our own members will read their own poems. This year we will be treated Kevin Scully, Siân Thomas and Fred Ball reading their own poems. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

February 21st: Julia Webb, poet, editor and teacher will read from her poems. Julia has published three collections, most recently The Telling (Nine Arches) in May 2022. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

March 21st: Melissa Lee Houghton, a 2014 ‘Next Generation’ poet, novelist and Somerset Maugham Award winner, has published three collections with Penned in the Margins, most recently Sunshine. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

April 18th: this is the evening when judge Jonathan Edwards announces the results of our 2023 Open Poetry Competition, before reading from his own work. Jonathan is a teacher, editor, and multiple award winning poet, whose most recent collection is Gen (Seren Books). This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. (No Open Mic).

May 16th: David Herd will announce the results of our members’ only Folio competition, and read from his own work. David is a professor of modern literature, essayist and poet, whose collections of poetry include All Just (Carcanet, 2012) and Outwith (Bookthug, 2012). This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. No Open Mic.

June 20th: John Greening will read from his work. John is an award-winning poet, critic, playwright and editor with many collections to his name, most recently The Giddings (Mica Press, 2021). A comprehensive selected works was published in the USA in 2021 (The Interpretation of Owls, Baylor University Press). This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

July 18th: Kathryn Grey will read her poetry. Kathryn is an award-winning poet, editor and teacher from Wales, whose most recent publication is Flowers from Rack Press. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

August 15th: Society members reading poems on a theme to be announced, outdoors in Ashdown Forest. (weather permitting).

September 19th: Daniel Sluman is a writer, researcher and performer. His third poetry collection Single Window was published by Nine Arches Press in 2021. This event will be on Zoom.

October 17th: Claudine Toutonguie is an award winning poet and dramatist, whose most recent poetry collection Two Tongues was published in 2020 by Carcanet. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. This is also the AGM so no Open Mic.

November 21st: Rory Waterman is a poet, critic and editor. His third full-length collection, Sweet Nothings, was published by Carcanet in 2020. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells.

December 19th: Ramona Herdman is a poet who lives in Norwich. Her new collection, ‘Glut’, was published by Nine Arches Press in 2022. This event will be on Zoom.

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