Poetry ID and Libraries

Posted on April 13, 2012 in Things to Do by We ❤ Libraries

In November last year We Heart Libraries worked alongside North Herts poetry group Poetry i.d. to help celebrate National Libraries Day in Letchworth. In this guest post John Gohorry explains more about the group, how you can hear them perform, and how you can get involved yourself.

Poetry i.d. is a lively, outward-looking group of poets, set up in 1999 as the North Herts Stanza of the UK’s Poetry Society. We meet from 7.30pm to 10pm every Thursday evening during term time in The Settlement, Nevell’s Road, Letchworth Garden City, SG6 4UB, and outside term time on an ad hoc basis.

Evenings start with a stimulus of some kind put forward by one of the members – an object, an image, some written material (recently, a film) – and then there is a quiet time in which members work towards a poem of their own. After a short break for refreshments, members have an opportunity to present what they have been doing in a readaround, though there’s no pressure to make work in progress public. Members identify strengths they can see in any drafts that are made public. Evenings often end with members bringing back work that has started in an earlier meeting and has reached a more finished state.

We sometimes start with a discussion of some poems by an established poet, and then use this as a stimulus for our own writing.

We like to get out into the community and we think of ourselves as having an important contribution to make in regard to local, national, and international issues. Our poems have been appearing in The Comet as part of National Poetry Day annually for the past few years. We’ve been involved in local celebrations of George Bernard Shaw (2010) and of George Orwell (2011), and we’re currently signed up to contribute readings to the 2012 Letchworth and Hitchin Town Festivals.

We helped support National Libraries Day back in February with readings in Letchworth Library; we were on hand last year to celebrate the installation of the new statue of Sappho in Letchworth, and next month we’ll be reading some of our own poems to mark the opening of the refurbished Howard Park Gardens. We’re building up a presence in some local pubs as well, particularly The Highlander and The Sun Runner in Hitchin. We run a blog at https://poetryid.wordpress.com which has lots of information and some poems by members. You can access this through Facebook.

The group is inclusive, and welcomes anyone with an interest in writing poems. You become a member by coming along and paying £3 towards the cost of room hire on the night. You don’t have to attend every Thursday. A stimulating evening is guaranteed.

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