Perfect society for poetry lovers

It was almost 90 years ago when the Derbyshire poet Teresa Hooley decided to create a new poetry circle for like-minded academics.

She had made her name writing poems in the Daily Mirror alongside the likes of Edith Sitwell and she had a number of collections printed in the 1920s and 30s, but it was her poem A War Film for which she is best known.

Miss Hooley, who was considered to be a formidable women by many who encountered her, was the mainstay of the Derby Poetry Circle for many years.

If she were alive today she would probably be doggedly battling to save the organisation from folding.

It was renamed the Derby Poetry Society in 1955 but the current membership fears that unless they attract some new younger people they won’t be able to carry on.

For the last few years the committee has witnessed the expenditure rising while fees from membership drops and the current chairman Carol Anthony says they won’t be able to carry on for much longer.

“It would be such a shame for the society to fold so we really want to raise our profile and let people know we are here,” she said.

The group meets once a month at the Friends Meeting House, in St Helen’s Street in Derby and they have a varied programme of speakers and events that celebrate and examine poets and poetry.

There are also themed members’ evenings where they share and discuss their own poetry, and annual competitions.

Academic and teacher Nerissa Kisdon was the guest speaker at the September meeting where the society discussed the work of the Elizabethan poet John Donne.

If you are a poet or just interested in poetry, then you should go along to one of their sessions and meet them all – they will be delighted to see you. There is a visitor’s fee of £4. The annual membership is £30.

On October 14 the Derbyshire Stanza Group led by Alison Riley will be reading their poems, on November 11 they will be discussing the poetry of Alice Oswald  and on December 9 their subject will be George Orwell.

All the meetings start at 7.30pm.