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).
For many poets in Suffolk writing in their garrets and emerging to face the daylight every month at a local Cafe Poets SPS may seem an irrelevance. In fact the new chairman Anne Boileau acknowledged that the cafes are where the action is. They go from strength to strength, run with the minimum of bureaucracy and on a pay-as-you-go basis.
Most poets probably subscribe to a 'small is beautiful' philosophy. Our local rootedness is something we nurture. Suffolk is a large county. I live within the postal county but just outside the historical county. My nearest Suffolk town Haverhill is a world away from Woodbridge or Halesworth. What has SPS to offer me?
Well, it brings me a new level of contacts and friends, the opportunity to learn about and attend workshops and readings by nationally celebrated poets, an entree into the broader community of poets. But maybe it needs to catch up with the cafes (particularly Poetry Aloud) in making greater use of the internet (the existing postal portfolio makes you wait up to a year before you hear back comments on your poems) and making itself friendlier to the younger generation(s). The signs are that under its new leadership and committee all these needs are recognised.
Peace is a bonus: maybe Suffolk should be wary of its close homophone: suffocation!