Our Meetings

The Society meets at  various venues  throughout the year. See below for details of our next meeting.

We have a diverse programme of readings, talks, workshops etc, as well as an open forum, when members have the opportunity of presenting their own work.

You are always very welcome to join us as a visitor.  The visitors’ fee varies between £3.00 and £5.00 per session (depending on location).

If you’d like to become a member, you can do so at any meeting, or if you prefer, you can send a cheque with your details to our Treasurer.

Membership of the Society is £25 per annum (£20 for students): cheques should be made payable to ‘Nottingham Poetry Society’ and sent to the Treasurer at 4 Devonshire Court, Devonshire Avenue, Allestree, Derby DE22 2AZ. Please include your contact details – name, address, phone number and email address.

Members are entitled to free entry to all our events. Membership is not exclusive to those who write poetry but also those who enjoy listening to poetry and attending poetry events. Membership fees are what enable us to pay poets a reasonable fee and expenses – which as a Society devoted to the health of poetry in the culture is important for us to be able to do.

Contact us at:


June Poetry Reading with Roy Marshall, supported by Tony Challis

Monday, 19th June, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm

At Five Leaves Bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham, NG1 2D

Book tickets via Five Leaves: Poetry with Roy Marshall, supported by Tony Challis – Five Leaves Bookshop

Roy Marshall wanted to be a writer as a child and young man but became distracted for about twenty years during which time he found himself variously employed as a delivery driver, gardener and coronary care nurse, amongst other occupations. Since leaving nursing he has worked in adult education, both in community and as a part time university lecturer.

Roy’s  first full collection The Sun Bathers (Shoestring Press , 2013) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy award. A second collection, The Great Animator, was published by Shoestring Press in 2017.  Roy’s versions of poems by the Italian poet Eugenio Montale, After Montale, were published in 2019, also Shoestring Press

Roy’s reading will be supported by Tony Challis:

Tony has had a long writing life and has been writing poetry since the 1980s. His poems have been published in various anthologies, he had a poem commended in a national poetry competition, and his prose has appeared in Late Outbursts (2014) and in Desire, Love, Identity (2019) both published by Bold Strokes. In 2018 Nottingham Writers’ Studio made him their Poet of the Year. For some years, Tony facilitated a Rainbow LGBT Writing Group in Nottingham Writers’ Studio. Tony is Chair of Nottingham Poetry Society, is keen on  performing his poetry at spoken word events, and is keen to share his substantial body of poetry with the world.

Online Poetry workshop with Charlotte Lunn

We will be holding a workshop with poet Charlotte Lunn on Zoom . Charlotte’s debut poetry collection Metamorphosis from Verve Poetry Press.

During this workshop, we will explore the senses through a series of prompts to create new poems. Though there is no pressure to do so, you will be encouraged to share your work at the end. Please bring an object with you to the workshop. This will be used as part of a prompt. I look forward to meeting you.

This will take place via Zoom on May 18th, 7pm – 8.30 approximately (we have a little leeway timewise at the end). This will be free to NPS members or £4 for non-members.

Please contact Adrian Buckner on to book a place on this workshop.

Past meetings:

Second Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday Lecture with Speaker John Lucas

Poet and Publisher John Lucas will be talking about lost poet Norman Cameron

Our next event will be on  Wednesday 1st March, 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm at Five Leaves Bookshop . This is the second Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday lecture, to be delivered by Beeston-based poet John Lucas, who runs Shoestring Press, the region’s biggest poetry publisher. John will be talking about the poetry of Norman Cameron, who was a contemporary and friend of Dylan Thomas, WC Sellar (who wrote 1066 and all that) and Robert Graves.

Born in Bombay, Cameron spent time in many countries, including teaching in Nigeria and in pre-war Germany, where he saw evidence of early concentration camps. His own war service ranged from writing radio comedies for the BBC through to parachuting into Yugoslavia to act as a translator in negotiations with Tito. Apart from translations, Cameron’s output came to seventy poems.

John Lucas will be delivering the 2nd Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday lecture on  poet, Norman Cameron (1905-1953).  The inaugural lecture was delivered by David himself last year, initiating a series the Society have established  to honour David’s  contribution over many decades  as a long serving stalwart of the Society and a man of immense learning, always worn lightly and graciously. The Society and the poetry loving public of Nottingham know that  no individual  embodies the spirit of this new annual feature of our programme than John Lucas.  

Andrew Taylor and Martin Stannard Reading

On Thursday, 2nd February 7:00 pm – 8:30 pm, we are very pleased to have Andrew Taylor  and Martin Stannard reading for us in lieu of the Orbis at 200 event at Five Leaves Bookshop. 

Tickets are free to members of Nottingham Poetry Society, or for non-members £3.00 including refreshments. Book through Eventbrite:

Andrew Taylor is a poet, editor, critic and senior lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University. Andrew will be reading from Northangerland, his re-versioning Branwell Brontë’s poetry.

In Northangerland  Andrew Taylor has taken the black sheep of the Brontë family and pushed him centre-stage, repurposing Branwell’s pseudonym as a title. ‘Re-versioning’, as Taylor dubs his process, is not so much offering a parallel text or a commentary on the original, but effects a distillation of it, isolating its essence, updating. He resembles Basil Bunting deleting and scribbling his way through Shakespeare’s sonnets, as he exchanges Brontë’s rhetoric for sculpted lines and deft sound-shapes (the rhymes chiming internally across their precise new line-breaks). Taylor is like an architect decluttering the Brontë Parsonage into a modern minimalist and open plan living space: ‘forms refuse the real/ & unreal to confuse phantom/ paths of joy’. For all its careful acknowledgement of sources, this is an assured work for our times.

Martin Stannard will be reading from Postcards to Ma

Martin Stannard’s latest poetic production is in his trademark witty and sardonic style. This is a single long poem in which the postcard mode is transformed through fantasy and imagination into a surreal, moving and funny meditation on contemporary culture.

Both are published by Leafe Press.

Poetry Workshop with Sue Dymoke – 26th November

On Saturday 26th November, 2pm – 3.45pm, poet Sue Dymoke is running a poetry workshop for us at the International Community Centre, 61B Mansfield Road, Nottingham NG1 3FN.

Sue Dymoke is an Associate Professor in Education at NTU where she researches Young Poets’ Stories and other aspects of creativity. She has three full collections with Shoestring Press including What They Left Behind. In 2021-22 she was a virtual writer in residence for Melbourne UNESCO City of Literature and also developed Poetry Place, a series of online workshops and an exhibition using Inspire’s digital photographic archive. The exhibition is currently touring libraries in Nottinghamshire until Spring 2023. for more information visit her website

The workshop on 26th November will focus on two main inspirations for writing poetry: Found Poetry and using archival photographs and maps. Each aspect will be introduced with reference to Sue’s recent work described above. The workshop will provide starting points for writing and opportunities to share rough drafts with others in the room within a safe, supportive and critical space. If you are coming to the workshop you might find it useful to bring a copy of a newspaper with you or have access to a digital version.

This workshop is free to NPS members or £5 for non-members. Note that we are trying to keep our prices as low as possible in these challenging times.

Rory Waterman Reading

Nottingham Poetry Society’s first reading of 2022 will be by the highly accomplished poet Rory Waterman.

  • Date – Saturday 29th January 2022
  • Time – 1pm-3pm
  • Venue – Canalhouse – 48-52 Canal Street, Nottingham NG1 7EH
  • Cost – £5 (free for Nottingham Poetry Society members)

Rory Waterman’s full-length collections, all published by Carcanet, are: Tonight the Summer’s Over (2013), which was a Poetry Book Society Recommendation and was shortlisted for a Seamus Heaney Award; Sarajevo Roses (2017), which was shortlisted for the Ledbury Forte Prize for Second Collections; and Sweet Nothings (2020). He is also a critic for the TLS, PN Review and other publications, and has published several books on modern and contemporary poetry. He co-edits New Walk Editions. Rory was born in Belfast in 1981, and grew up mainly in Lincolnshire. Since 2012, he has worked at Nottingham Trent University, where he is Associate Professor of Modern and Contemporary Literature and leads the MA in Creative Writing.

Nottingham Poetry Society presents An Evening of Gregory Woods

  • Place: Waterstones, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham, NG1 2GR
  • Date: Thursday 30th September, 2021
  • Time: 7pm onwards

We are delighted that our first live reading of 2021 will be with Poet and Emeritus Professor of Gay and Lesbian Studies at Nottingham Trent University, Gregory Woods, who will discuss his new poetry collection Records of Incitement to Silence.

Gregory Woods is a critically acclaimed writer and poet. He is the author of five books of literary and LGBT+ Studies criticism, and eight poetry collections: We Have the Melon (Manchester: Carcanet, 1992); May I Say Nothing (Manchester: Carcanet, 1998); The District Commissioner’s Dreams (Manchester: Carcanet, 2002); Quidnunc (Manchester: Carcanet, 2007); An Ordinary Dog (Manchester: Carcanet, 2011); Very Soon I Shall Know (Nottingham: Shoestring, 2012); Art in Heaven (Littleover, Derby: Sow’s Ear, 2015); Records of an Incitement to Silence (Manchester: Carcanet, 2021).

Tickets are £5 (or £4 with a store plus card).

To book a ticket, follow the link:

Alternatively, people can book in-store or by phone at 0115 9470069.
Please note that because of social distancing, there is a limit of 20-30 audience members (depending on social bubbles).

Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday Lecture (postponed because of pandemic)

Saturday March 28th – 2.30pm-4pm

Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ. £4 entrance fee or free to members.

We are pleased to announce the inaugural Nottingham Poetry Society David Holliday Lecture.  We intend this to be an annual event and our speaker this year is, of course, David Holliday himself. David will be talking about his life in poetry and magazine editing. He edited the literary magazine Deuce (1957-60) along with Eric Hermes; was on the editorial board of Envoi (1958-60); and was editor of poetry quarterlies Scrip (1961-73) and iota (1988-2002). It will be fascinating to hear about his insights into the literary world. David has a long association with us at Nottingham Poetry Society and we are immensely grateful for all he has done for us over the years – he has been Secretary, Chair and President at various times. David’s manifest support for and love of poetry will make for an interesting and informative lecture.

Nottingham Poetry Society Slam

Saturday 9th May 2020, 2.30pm-5pm 

Nottingham Mechanics, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ

£4/£2 (students with ID)

Our annual Poetry Slam is back! For this slam there will be two rounds with an interval between. Everyone has three minutes to read in the first half, then half of the competitors are selected to read again in the second round. So every competitor needs to bring six minutes of poetry. There will be first, second and third place – £25, £15 and £10.

This year our event will  be adjudicated by dynamic spoken word poet Bridie Squires! The first 20 to sign up take part, so arrive in good time!

Our past events:

Helen Mort reading


Tuesday 18th February, 2020 – 7pm-8.30pm

Five Leaves bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH
£4 on the door; £2 for students (free for NPS members). (Reservations are essential

We are very excited to welcome the acclaimed Helen Mort. Helen is a five-time winner of the Foyle Young Poets award, received an Eric Gregory Award from The Society of Authors in 2007, and won the Manchester Poetry Prize Young Writer Prize in 2008.In 2010, she became the youngest ever poet-in-residence at The Wordsworth Trust, Grasmere. In the same year she was shortlisted for the Picador Prize. She was the Derbyshire Poet Laureate from 2013 to 2015.In 2014, she won the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize for Division Street. She has published two pamphlets with Tall Lighthouse press. In 2014 she was named as a Next Generation poet by the Poetry Book Society. Her 2016 book No Map Could Show Them was a Poetry Book Society recommendation. Helen has published one novel with Chatto In June 2018 Helen was elected Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in its ‘40 Under 40’ initiative. She lives in Sheffield and teaches creative writing at Manchester Met.

AGM and Poetry Reading: Tony Challis and Teresa Forrest
Saturday 25th January, 2020 – 2pm-4pm (2pm-2.45pm AGM; 3-4pm reading)
At Nottingham Mechanics 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ. £4 entrance fee for visitors who attend the reading (£2 for students).
Come and join us at our AGM and have your say in the running of Nottingham Poetry Society. Volunteers to help us in 2020 are welcome! If any members have books or pamphlets they want to sell or events they want to publicise then we can set up a table for you at the AGM.

Tony Challis is a longstanding (many would say outstanding!) member of NPS and a very fine poet. He is Chair of Nottingham Poetry Society. He has had poems in various publications including Nottingham Writers’ Studio journals, was Nottingham Writers’ Studio Poet of the Year in 2018 and has been our Featured Poet twice. He enjoys spoken word events and is a skilled orator.
Teresa Forrest is Secretary of Nottingham Poetry Society. She is a member of The Writer Highway and her poems have appeared over the years in Poetry Nottingham, Iota, Dream Catcher, Nottingham Writers’ Studio Journal, South and The Interpreter’s House.

Poetry in Translation: David Duncombe and Alan Baker

Thursday 28th November, 2019 – 7pm-8.30pm

Five Leaves bookshop, 14a Long Row, Nottingham NG1 2DH

£4 on the door; £2  for students (free for NPS members). (Please let us know you are coming on

David Duncombe will be reading from the forthcoming publication by Smokestack Books of his translation of the Spanish poet Marcos Ana: Poems from Prison and Life. Marcos Ana was the longest serving political prisoner under the Franco regime, imprisoned as a teenager at the end of the Civil War and released 23 years later, after international appeals spearheaded by Pablo Neruda. His poems have been described as beautiful, clear, musical, painful and compelling.

Work by David Duncombe includes five poetry collections, junior fiction, radio drama and stories. He has travelled widely, especially in Spain and now lives in Derbyshire. He is a long-serving member of Nottingham Poetry Society.

Alan Baker will be talking about the work of the French poet Yves Bonnefoy and the Morrocan Abdellatif Laâbi, and reading his own and others’ translations of their poetry.

Baker’s most recent poetry collections are Letters from the Underworld (Red Ceilings, 2018) and Riverrun (KFS, 2019), a sequence of poems about the River Trent. He is publisher of Leafe Press and the online magazine Litter.”

Poetry Reading: Pam Thompson and Deborah Tyler Bennett

Monday 21st October, 2019 – 7pm-8.30pm
Waterstones, 1-5 Bridlesmith Gate, Nottingham NG1 2GR
Entrance fee: Free
Pam Thompson is a poet and educator based in Leicester. Her publications include The Japan Quiz (Redbeck Press, 2009) and Show Date and Time (Smith | Doorstop, 2006) and Strange Fashion (Pindrop Press, 2017). Pam has a PhD in Creative Writing and is one of the organisers of Word!, a spoken-word night at the Attenborough Arts Centre in Leicester. She is a 2019 Hawthornden Fellow.

Deborah Tyler-Bennett’s forthcoming volume, Ken Dodd Takes a Holiday, is out from King’s England Press in 2019. She also has two recent volumes from the same publisher – Mr Bowlly Regrets – Poems, and Brand New Beat: Linked Short Fictions Set in the 1960s (both 2017). In 2019 she won a Various Artists poetry gold listing. She’s had seven collections of poetry published, some previous volumes being Napoleon Solo Biscuits (King’s England, 2015), poems based on growing up in the 1960s and ‘70s, and Kinda Keats (Shoestring, 2013) work deriving from a residency at Keats House, Hampstead. In 2001 she won the Hugh MacDiarmid Poetry Trophy.

Matt Black Edinburgh Fringe Show and workshop

Saturday 28th September, 2019 – 2-5pm
Nottingham Mechanics Institute, 3 North Sherwood Street, Nottingham NG1 4EZ
£5 on the door but FREE to our members
The animal inside, the animal outside
This writing workshop will be a 3 course meal: some preparatory writing games, a 50 minute show entitled The Snoopy Question (or One Dog’s Answer to World Peace), followed by discussion and further writing time.
Matt Black was Derbyshire Poet Laureate 2011-2013. His most recent publications are Spoon Rebellion (Smith Doorstop, 2017) and Tales from the Leaking Boot (Iron Press, 2018). His play The Storm Officer will tour in 2020, and he hopes to have a new collection of dog poems out to accompany his dog show.

Poetry Reading: Davina Prince and Maria Taylor

Thursday 30th May, 2019 – 7pm-8.30pm

Five Leaves bookshop, 14a Long Row Nottingham NG12DH

£3 on the door, refreshments included. Please let us know you are coming on

DA Prince has two full-length poetry collections from HappenStance, the second of which, Common Ground, won the East Midlands Book Award in 2015. She has now returned to pamphlet format with Bookmarks (HappenStance, 2018) in which the everyday ephemera we use to mark our pages is only a starting point.

Maria Taylor’s first collection Melanchrini (Nine Arches Press) was shortlisted for the Michael Murphy Memorial Prize. Her most recent publication is her pamphlet from HappenStance, Instructions for Making Me. Some of her favourite poetry collections are actually pamphlets.

Nottingham Poetry Society Slam

Saturday 27th April, 2019 – 2.30pm-5pm

Nottingham Mechanics,

£4/£2 (students with ID)

£1 observers

Our annual Poetry Slam is back!  For this slam there will be two rounds with an interval between. Everyone has three minutes to read in the first half, then half of the competitors are selected to read again in the second round. So every competitor needs to bring six minutes of poetry. There will be first, second and third place – £25, £15 and £10.

The event will again be adjudicated by poet and Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature team member, Leanne Moden. The first 20 to sign up take part, so arrive in good time!


3 thoughts on “Meetings

    1. nottinghampoetrysociety

      Hi Ratna, thank you for getting in touch. I have just updated our meetings page. Our January 25th meeting will be the AGM followed by a poetry reading by myself and Tony Challis, our chair. This might give you a good overview of what we’re all about. Our February meeting will be in collaboration with Five Leaves bookshop and will feature Helen Mort. Advance booking is essential for this event. All details about both these events are now on our meetings page. Looking forward to meeting you at one of our events!
      Kind regards, Teresa (Secretary)

  1. Pingback: Found Poetry writing workshop – Sue Dymoke Poetry

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