After last year's Sturm und Drang which came near to seeing the end of SPS as we knew it the Society has now entered calmer waters ( though some of us may regret that the previous skipper had so determinedly nailed his colours Poetry Anglia to the mast that he felt he had to jump ship altogether).
Real thanks to everyone who came, read,sang, clapped, made cakes, ate cakes, moved chairs -- we certainly broke the silence of the Meeting House on Saturday!
The Chairman and especially the Treasurer were very happy - we more than covered our costs!
What variety! I think I enjoyed the dialect poems best and some of the music. But I should like your views!
If we have another event on similar lines (say next year) what would you like to see?
Last night was a rapidly-assembled gathering of 31 poets from all parts of the English-speaking world to protest against the Arts Council's undoing of its support for the Poetry Book Society. It was also a fund-raising event to help make up the deficit. The redoubtable Carol Ann Duffy, the Poet Laureate, was the driver.
The Extraordinary General Meeting on the 20th March at Woodbridge was ordinary (and orderly) in everything but name. Our President, Pauline Stainer - and if you haven't read her wonderful and serene
poetry, there is treat in store for you! - opened the meeting and created an aura of calm, which persisted throughout the proceedings.
Suffolk is a sleepy, gentle, poetic county and so one might think the Annual General Meeting of its venerable Poetry Society would be a calm and non-controversial event. But at its 59th AGM on the 30th January some of the poetic tongues were sharpened and piercing as daggers and a clash reminiscent of Beowulf was only just averted.
Those of us who live in Suffolk (or as in my case just on its borders) enjoy many delights of nature and society. Members of the Suffolk Poetry Society also have the annual pleasure of attending a poetry presentation at the Stoke by Nayland Priory by courtesy of the Englehearts, whose family have been linked to SPS since its foundation. This was my first visit and it was on a beautiful late summer day. The galleried and oak-panelled room in which we gathered put me in mind of Yeats's Lisadell....great windows opening to the south.
Poetry is undoubtedly flourishing today - maybe most people will have heard of half a dozen poets, and Carol Ann Duffy is doing a great job. It is wonderful to read of the Poets for Haiti Appeal. Suffolk is one of the best places to be with the four cafe poetry groups, the Aldeburgh Poetry Festival and its own county-based poetry society.
‛The Isles come to Sudburyʼ may seem a strange title for the event held in the Quaker Meeting House of Sudbury on the 14th November. But we British are all islanders, none of us living more than 100 miles from the sea, and the songs and poems mainly from the Atlantic fringes of our country touched the vein of deep nostalgia that is perhaps inside us all.