Poetry Happening Near You

Regular poetry groups - Birmingham

Poets’ Place 

Café Mezz, Library of Birmingham

Fortnightly, Sat 7 & 21 Feb, Sat 7 & 21 March, Sat 4 & 18 Apr (3pm – 5pm)

Organised by the Library of Birmingham and Apples & Snakes, Poets' Place is an informal gathering of poets that meets twice a month. The Poets’ Place is an opportunity for local poets to meet like‐minded people, where poets can give and solicit feedback on poetry, or just sit back and write for a couple of hours without interruption. Poets’ Place can be used to make new friends, discover new poets, find out about poetry events, share and have your work critiqued, make useful connections, set a writing schedule...

Local poet Jasmine Gardosi leads on Poets’ Place and whether you are a published poet, a slam champion, or someone who is just wondering whether poetry might be worth a try, stop by. There is no need to sign up or book a place: just show up with your poems or a blank notebook. There will be someone there to make you feel welcome and advise you on how to make the most of your time there. The Poets' Place can be whatever you as a poet decide to make of it.

There is a Poets’ Place facebook group that contains up to date information on session themes and poetry from the Group, find us at www.facebook.com/placeforpoets.


Ballsall Health Library

Balsall Heath Library, every Thursday, 5-6 pm: Poetry Drop In - facilitated by local author Chris Fewings. For more information see www.readwritelive.co.uk or email Chris on chris@fewin.gs, or phone 07952 909804.

Shard End Library

Just Write is a small group that meets weekly, on Mondays at 12 noon, during term times only, at Shard End Library. They are keen to recruit new members! It's free to  attend and anyone with an interest in creative writing is welcome to come.

For further details please contact the staff at Shard End Library on 0121 464 6779.

Frankley Library

The readers’ group at Frankley Library, although it does not focus on poetry, is always happy to hear poems written by members - enquire at Frankley Library for details.

Northfield Library

Northfield Library has a thriving poetry group that meets on the second Tuesday of each month, 10 am - 12 noon.

Soon they will be having a special event - a visit from the current Birmingham Poet Laureate, Stephen Morison-Burke and Meredith Andrea from Flarestack Poets, who was the founding member of the Poetry group ten years ago. 

Normally the poetry group base their meetings around a theme or poet and members bring in poems to read and discuss  about that poet or theme. 

Unfortunately the group is full at the moment and is not accepting new members, but if you would like to enquire further, contact Northfield Library, 0121 464 1007.

And look out for their forthcoming event open to anyone - see above for details.

Cannon Hill Writers' Group

Cannon Hill Writers' Group - meets weekly, every Thursday, at Hall Green Library (8 pm to 9.45 pm) with workshops on the first Thursday of each month.

About Cannon Hill Writers

When Phil Coker was the librarian at Hall Green in the late 1990s, his great interest in poetry led him to create a Hall Green Library Poetry Group at what was already a Poetry Place library. Pauline and I live close to the library and we were the earliest and most enthusiastic members of the group, hardly ever missing a monthly meeting.

What did we do on those Monday evenings? We tried to write poems to take along to the group, on topics suggested by Phil. The library was intent on getting in the best new poetry books and I remember writing brief reviews of some of the new titles.

Wide selection of poetry

Phil encouraged us to read a wide selection of poetry, especially modern poetry. Some of us took it in turns to do talks on a modern poet, illustrated with poem examples, and I did one on Vernon Scannell and another on Norman MacCaig. For more than one National Poetry Day Phil used a new digital voice recorder to record appropriate poems that Pauline and I had written, for subsequent playing in the library.

Poetry readings

The best of the meetings were when we had published poets along to read us their work and talk about it. Of the Birmingham Poets Laureate, we had Julie Boden and Roi Kwabena. I also remember good sessions with Kit Wright in about 2000 and Chris Tutton in  about 2003.

Present day Cannon Hill writers

When MAC closed for its long refurbishment in 2009, Cannon Hill Writers' Group, which had met there for over 25 years, found a home at Hall Green Library, meeting there every Thursday evening. This was (and still is) a group welcoming writing in all forms: poems, stories, articles, plays and portions of longer works.

Phil Coker moved to take charge of Weoley Castle Library in 2009 and the Hall Green Library Poetry Group became part of Cannon Hill Writers. The current situation is that Cannon Hill Writers' Group still meets weekly (every Thursday) at Hall Green Library (8 pm to 9.45 pm) with workshops on the first Thursday of each month. We still have good poets along to run workshops for us (most recently Stephen Morrison-Burke, the 2012-3 Birmingham Poet Laureate).

We still welcome new members, produce occasional booklets of members' work and run competitions.

December 5th - It's your workshop

For this workshop meeting we are inviting members to bring along a short writing exercise.

The idea is to let members who don’t want to run a whole workshop give us a taste of their ideas. Anyone who wants to participate (we have spaces for up to four) gives us a short writing exercise for us to have a go at  - it can be of any flavour – and we will write for about ten minutes before reading out some of our efforts. If you are interested in giving us a taste of our own medicine please let Pauline know and if possible, what your idea is.

December 12th - Annual poetry competition

The year the theme is Lessons From Life which was decided by last year’s winners.  To enter all you need to do is to bring along a poem of less than 2,000 words and read it on the day.Not only will there be prizes for those voted as best by those present, there will also be refreshments.If you don’t have a poem, come anyway, the more who vote, the better the occasion.