Skip to content

The Poetry Society Members’ Site

August 31, 2011

This is an independent Poetry Society site set up by and for Members. Non-members are welcome and encouraged to join. See the About page for a link to the Poetry Society’s official site, or click here. Subscribe to this site to get notifications by e-mail of new posts and comments. This can make it easier to keep track of  what’s going on.


Latest –

5th October 2011 – An amazing National Poetry Day on the South Bank and all round the country. Here’s the main NPD site, the Poetry Society page is here, and for me the highlight of the day was the Foyle Young Poets of the Year awards.

26th September 2011 – The new Board had a long meeting last Wednesday – there’s an announcement on the Poetry Society website here.

20th September 2011 – a positive headline on the Guardian’s letters page: Peace breaks out at the Poetry Society

17th September 2011 – An audio recording of the AGM is available here.

15th September 2011 – AGM: In total there were 341 voters: 211 appointed a proxy to vote on their behalf, and 130 voted in person.

Following the AGM, the new Trustees are  Shanta Acharya, Martin Alexander, Polly Clark, Robert Hutchison, Sir Stephen Irwin, Edward Mackay, Kona Macphee, Heather Neill, Paul Ranford, Michael Schmidt, Laurie Smith and Dr Stephen Wilson.  Further information is posted on the Poetry Society website here.

13th September 2011 – The National Poetry Competition is now open for entries.


Further down this page –

Updates – for all news which is older than Latest …

31st August 2011 – Nominees’ statements in Wordle form…

Kate Clanchy on the AGM and proxies

26th August 2011 –  AGM Proxies – all you need to know

2nd August 2011Signatures on the Petition for the reinstatement of Judith Palmer as Director

28th July 2011 – From Anne-Marie Fyfe, former Chair of Board of Trustees

27th July 2011 – A statement from the former Director of the Poetry Society, Judith Palmer.

22nd July 2011 – 11pm – First summary of the EGM

22nd July 2011 – 10:00amStatement from Paul Ranford, former Finance Manager for the Board


This site

is an independent forum and source of information for Poetry Society members. More on the About page.

To read the comments on any entry, click on the grey  COMMENTS  link below it.

For news of the latest updates, subscribe to the blog or read the Updates entry below.



the administrator directly by e-mailing Martin Alexander.


Nominees’ Wordles…

August 31, 2011

Many thanks to Alex Swann for the gallery of images below, taken from the Wordles he created. Click on this link to go directly to Alex’s Wordle page.


August 29, 2011

Annual General Meeting of

Company Registration Number: 190736
Charity Registration Number: 303334

St Giles-in-the-Field, St Giles High Street, London, WC2H 8LG
at 6.30pm, Wednesday 14 September 2011


Doors open 6.30pm. Access is via presentation of your Poetry Society membership card. Voting papers to elect new Board members will be handed to you on arrival and should be completed and handed in by 7pm

Refreshments will be provided.  

  1. 7pm: voting scheduled to close. Please note that the voting period may be extended by discretion at the meeting if necessary. Votes will be counted while the meeting proceeds.
  2.  Apologies for absence
  3. Approval of the Minutes of the Annual General Meeting held on 24 November 2010
  4. Report of the Board
  5. Report on preparation of the Financial Statements of the Society for the year ended 31 March 2011, which are complete but remain unapproved and unaudited as they are subject to Auditor confirmations of future ACE funding.
  6. Report from the Director
  7. Poetry performances
  8. Declaration of results. New Board announced.

Getting there: The church is located in the heart of the West End, close to Tottenham Court Road tube station – PLEASE NOTE THAT ONLY THE CENTRAL LINE CURRENTLY STOPS AT TOTTENHAM COURT ROAD. Take exit 5 to Charing Cross Road and then turn left into Denmark Street. The church is just south of the Centre Point building.

Message from Kate Clanchy about AGM proxy votes

August 26, 2011

Things are clearly changing fast at the Poetry Society. Not only have they published an agenda for the AGM, but they’ve devised a safe, secret  voting system. Excitingly, it can all be electronic! You can complete your form right now, in privacy, from your computer chair!

The proxy can work in two ways:

If you know which candidates you want to vote for, but can’t get to the meeting, then:

1) Find a proxy holder. There are some on our website. You don’t need to exchange any information other than the holder’s promise to attend the meeting.

2) Fill in the proxy form and send it in. Email is fine! (The address is at the top of the form.)

3) When the proxy-holder attends the meeting and signs in, your vote will be validated. He/she doesn’t need to know who you voted for, nor does anyone else.

It is as simple as that. No embarrassing horse-trading, no anxious confessions – just a few clicks of the mouse.

If you  can’t get to the meeting, are not sure which candidates you want to vote for, and would like to have a discussion and make a small group decision, then :

1) Find a proxy-holder and have that discussion.

2) Fill in the form but leave the trustee list blank

3) Your holder will then attend the meeting carrying your vote as well as his own.

And that’s it.  I think that’s brilliant. Congratulations to PoSoc for embracing the modern age.

There is now no excuse not to vote! If you cared enough to sign the requisition or petition, please care enough to do this.



August 18, 2011

This page is for documents which may be of interest to Members

Poetry Society Constitution

2009-2010 Poetry Society Accounts

ACE / Poetry Society correspondence For information we have obtained the following information from ACE under the Freedom of Information Act. The correspondence gives some grounds for optimism that the quarterly grant of £78499 may be restored after the AGM.


August 18, 2011

5th September 2011 – Please note that Bryan Owen and Cary Archard have withdrawn their nominations as potential trustees.

31st August 2011 – Monthly bulletin from the Poetry Society – a terrific collection of news items, poetry activities and events, and information about the AGM.

Click on the image to see the Wordles Alex Swann has made from all the nominees’ statements. (A Wordle takes a block of text and arranges the words randomly in a sort of mosaic so that the most frequently repeated words appear in a larger font and therefore stand out. The result can bring out interesting and often surprising emphases which might not otherwise have been evident.) Click on this link for Alex’s Wordle site.

29th August 2011 – AGM Agenda here. Trustee nominations and statements are in theAGM menu above, or click here.

27th August 2011 – See the Docs page (under Info) for information obtained under the Freedom of Information Act, as well as the PoSoc Constitution and accounts for 2009-2010.

Messages from the Director, Judith Palmer, with full details of nominations and the agenda for the AGM; and from Kate Clanchy about how easy it now is to vote by proxy.

The Nominations page has now been updated with details posted directly by candidates and pasted from the Poetry Society website. To download the updated version of the proxy form, click here.

25th August 2011 – List of nominees, with their statements and areas of interest, on the Poetry Society website. Further information on our Nominations page.

19th August 2011 –  Read Alison Flood’s article in the Guardian – about Judith Palmer’s reinstatement and the Poetry Society’s future.

18th August 2011 –  Click here for the list of trustee candidates, with links to candidates’ statements posted on the Nominations page (under AGM). And click here for the Poetry Society’s official website, where there is an updated list of nominations to the Board.

18th August 2011 – New announcement from the Board here.

17th August 2011 –


17th August 2011 – Please visit the AGM page to read about and support potential Trustees, to arrange a proxy or to offer to be a proxy for others. (Note that not all nominations will appear on this site – the official route is through the Poetry Society home site and the announcement to be made to members by e-mail on the 26th August.)

10th August 2011 – Message from Kate Clanchy: and Proxy form – AGM

7th August 2011 – we invite Prospective Trustees to tell us about themselves on the AGM Nominations page.

6th August 2011 – Message from the Board lists the Society’s Trustees – and somehow forgets to mention the new members of the Council, co-opted following the  EGM: Cary Archard, Edward Mackay and Robyn Marsack. See Paul Ranford’s post.

Laurie Smith’s post, with important information for potential Trustees living outside London.

PoetOnTheRocks – Polly Clark’s Guardian Diary piece.

3rd August 2011 – Please read the Comments Guidelines on the About page.

2nd August 2011 – Go to the Petition page to see a list of signatories, and to Information for today’s press release.

31st July 2011 – The petition now contains more than 1000 signatures. Please visit the Petition page if you’d like to sign. If you have already signed, please check that your signature has been verified.

EGM: the video, courtesy of Phil Brown

29th July 2011 – Poetry Society Monthly Bulletin with comments on the EGM and information about the AGM. Dates, more detail and Draft Minutes of the EGM are here.

28th July 2011 – The Guardian wonders whether history is repeating itself. Unaccountably, a link to this site in the comments section following the article was removed.

Kate Clanchy on paranoid poets

Message from Anne-Marie Fyfe, former Chair of Board of Trustees

Detailed account of EGM on CivilSociety.Co.UK, including the full text of the Board’s statement (Word file) as read by John Simmons at the meeting. Also an account of the Arts Council’s response

27th July 2011 – Petition for the reinstatement Judith Palmer as Director of the Poetry Society

Judith Palmer’s summary of the current situation at the Poetry Society

A statement from the former Director of the Poetry Society, Judith Palmer

24th July 2011 – read Michelene Wandor’s commentary about the EGM in the Fortnightly Review here or on theLinks page.

23rd July 2011 – Message from Kate Clanchy on the EGM page.

22nd July, 2011 – EGM vote of No Confidence: 302 for, 69 against, 11 abstentions.

22nd July 2011 – Audio recording of the whole meeting.

Video – Vote of No Confidence – the result.

Video – ‘Lost in the wash…’ Laura Banford on laundering.

Photographs – feel free to upload your own.

Friday 22nd July 2011 – Two final posts, from The Board and from us. STILL no confirmation that a vote of confidence will take place. (I’m on the bus to London, so this is the final update.)

Thursday 21st July 2011 – 


Shortish version of the whole thing… on the Discussion page.

The Meeting is About Money‘ – on the Discussion page.

On the FAQ page: Members’ questionsFAQ and Q&A

Time, place, directions, lunch, what to bring… details on the EGM page.

All you need is a ten-minute read 

to bring you up to date ….

Can’t be there? For a live EGM Twitter feed, follow Phil Brown (no signal…)


Silkworms ink – thoughtful analysis and links from Phil Brown – with a live Twitter feed for the EGM – all on the Links page.

The Meeting is About Money‘ – on the Discussion page, a crucial message from Laurie Smith on the single key issue that Members need to know about before tomorrow’s meeting.

A list of the questions Members have submitted and would like the Board to answer is postedhere, on the Discussion page.

A very brief reply from the Acting Chair.

20th July 2011 – Still exasperated and confused? Read this long and exciting post on the Discussion page.

Doors open at RCS at 1:30 on Friday. Bring a sandwich and a name-tag (and an umbrella?) to the field opposite from 12:00 to meet other Members for lunch. See EGM for details.

Letter to Acting Chair regretting a lack of response from the Board to previous letters.

19th July 2011 – Fiona Moore’s Displacement blog – link here or on the FAQ page.

The Poetry Society staff e-mail address for proxy forms is – see more on the Proxies page. NOTE: Change to e-mail address.

18th July 2011 – Read our reply to the Chair of the Board on The Mail.

Confused by all the drama? Befuddled by rumour? Read Conversation with a Perplexed Poet on the FAQ page and all will become perfectly clear.

Latest on Proxies – if you STILL haven’t done so, you may arrange your proxy by e-mail, so long as you use the e-mail address the Poetry Society has on file from when you joined. However, please do not duplicate the correspondence if you’ve already sent your proxy in. It will be a nightmare for the staff to deal with doubled-up proxies!

Message to her readers from Anne-Marie Fyfe (convenor of Troubador Series and Coffee-House Poetry, and previous Chair of the Board of Trustees: on the Discussion page.

17th July 2011 – DEADLINE  for proxy forms to reach the Poetry Society office is 2:00pm on Wednesday. Those arriving later than this time will be discounted. Please make sure yours arrives on time! Go to the Proxies page for full details.

It has been suggested that we may be planning to get all the requisitioners to give their vote to a proxy in order to force a vote of no confidence, dismiss the Board and take over the Society. This is not the case. The people who organised the requisition and who have set up this website are ordinary members who started all this because we want to know what’s going on in our Society.

We urge you to attend or to choose a proxy who reflects your own views. We have no intention of harvesting your proxies for our own secret and dastardly schemes. Vote the way you want, or get a proxy who will do it for you.

As of 8pm today, this site has had 9,773 visits since the 5th July.

15th July 2011 – New pages added – FAQ, your one-stop-shop for the whole thing in a two-minute read… Opening our new Poetry page (about time), Vicki Feaver’s wise and moving new poem puts this worrying time into perspective. More poems, on any subject, are very welcome!

14th July 2011 – Kate Clanchy’s letter to all requisitioners outlining and explaining exactly what the current Board has been up to without informing members. See The Mail for details.

Kate Clanchy’s letter to all requisitioners outlining and explaining exactly what the current Board has been up to behind members’ backs. See The Mail for details.

13th July 2011 – See The Mail for our latest letter to the Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees.

Gwyneth Lewis resigns as Vice President of the Poetry Society

Gwyneth Lewis resigned as a Vice President of the Poetry Society on Tuesday 12 July, 2011. She said: “I have felt very honoured to serve as a Vice President of the Poetry Society but, because of the way in which the role of the Vice Presidents is now being perceived as identical with that of the Board of Trustees, rather than purely honorary, I feel compelled to resign with immediate effect.”

13th July 2011 – Are you unable to attend the meeting? Have you appointed a proxy? If not, PLEASE APPOINT A PROXY AS SOON AS POSSIBLE! Click on the Proxies link above  to find a proxy or to let us know that you have appointed one. The proxy form can be downloaded here or from the link on the Proxies page. And if you ARE attending the meeting, you MUST bring  your membership card. See EGM page for details.

12th July 2011 – I’ve altered the settings so that the most recent comments appear first. Should have spotted this ages ago…

We’ve set up a separate discussion forum for a small group of people who have already made several contributions or who would like to be more involved. Kate has had several thousand e-mails from a huge number of contributors to deal with, and this has become unmanageable. Our intention is to post material resulting from this discussion on the main site, here. If you’d like to join the small group, and feel that you can devote a good deal of time to it, please send Kate an e-mail.

10th July 2011 – Lunch before the meeting, anyone? Details on EGM page.

9th July 2011 – New page for the EGM. Please go there to post questions, answers, comments, information and suggestions.

8th July 2011 – the Board has announced the agenda of an Extraordinary General Meeting. Details here and on The Mail here.

8th July 2011 – the Board has announced the agenda of an Extraordinary General Meeting. Details here and on The Mail.

New pages on the top bar: The Mail now contains all the correspondence between our valiant Convenor, Kate Clanchy, and Laura Bamford, the Chair of the Board of Trustees. Only silence now, though, from the Board’s side; the only squeak, sadly, is a bland and generic reply to a member, which you can read on the Board? page. Interesting Places is the beginning of a list of links to organisations, writers, journals and more. There’s a copy of the Constitution here.  Media hosts a subversive and distasteful film which I urge you not to watch.

Earlier – I’ve added a link on the About page to a PDF of the Constitution.

Some people have posted comments on the Discussion page, though if you’re writing about the current crisis, perhaps the EGM post below would be the best place to add your thoughts. Copies of letters e-mailed to the Board of Trustees might best be placed on the Board? page.

On the Proxies page, there are details on what to do and how to do it, as well as a copy of the form. I’ve just been asked to tell those who haven’t yet posted their form that they should write ‘Proxy’ on the front of the envelope to make sure it gets to the right person.

And of course, if you have poetry events or news you’d like to share with other members, please go ahead and use the News and Events pages!

Finally, if you’d like me to add your own blog or website to the Links page, please write to  ThePoetrySocietyUK@GMail.Com, or directly to Martin@Alexander.Org

AGM Proxies

August 16, 2011

Please post here if you need a proxy for the AGM or if you would like to offer to be a proxy for others. You can see links and dates, and download a proxy form from the AGM page or click here. (Please note that this is the updated form.)

The key issue for which proxies are likely to be needed is the appointment of new Trustees.

This page, like the EGM proxy page, is a sort of dating agency where Members can pick a Proxy who will represent their views at the meeting. It’s absolutely NOT a mechanism for harvesting votes or packing the ballots with a single view!

If you want to offer to be a proxy, please post a comment and either include contact details or assume that I shall pass on your e-mail address to anyone who says he or she wants to choose you as a proxy.

If you can’t attend the AGM yourself and would like a proxy, have a look at the names and comments of the people who offer themselves. Either respond directly to the e-mail given, or if there isn’t one, I’ll put the two of you in touch.

Please let your proxy know which prospective Trustees you would like to support. Details of each nominee will be distributed by Poetry Society staff by e-mail to all Members before the AGM. If there is another issue on which you think there may be a vote, you should either trust the judgment of your proxy or let him or her know how you would like your vote to be counted.

Please get in touch with me through the address on the About page if you have any concerns or questions.

Martin – admin