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, but non-members who would like to attend Zoom meetings can pay £3 using the PayPal button on the right, and email us at kentandsussexpoetry@gmail.com to request a Zoom link for the event in question. Non-members are also welcome at our face-to-face meetings, where 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

September 20th, 2022: Yusif M. Qasmiyeh, whose collection Writing the Camp (Broken Sleep Books) was a Poetry Book Society recommendation. This will be an on-line event.

October 18th: Dai George, poet and novelist whose collection The Claims Office was published by Seren Books. This will be a face-to-face event at The Royal Wells Hotel in Tunbridge Wells. As it’s also our AGM we’ll present the accounts and have a summary of activities for Sept 2021-Aug 2022. Therefore no open mic.

November 15th: Sean O’Brien, multi-prize winning poet, whose ninth, and most recent collection is Europa (Picador). This will be an on-line event.

December 20th: Amy Key, poet and essayist, whose second collection Isn’t Forever was published by Bloodaxe. This will be a face-to-face event at a Tunbridge Wells location to be announced.

2023

January 17th 2023: As always in January, three of our own members will read 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 Heard 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: To be confirmed.

December 19th: To be confirmed.

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