Poetry Society takes on the Free Verse Fair

The Poetry Society is taking on Free Verse, home to the Poetry Book Fair and the Poetry Magazine Fair, and will run the 2018 Free Verse Fair on Saturday 22 September at Senate House, University of London. 

Free Verse is a market that celebrates the vitality of contemporary poetry publishing in the UK, showcasing a wide range of publishers large and small, experimental and traditional.  The event is accompanied by a programme of poetry readings and discussions.

Free Verse was originally set up in 2011 by Charles Boyle of CB Editions; the first Free Verse Fair hosted 23 poetry presses at the Holy Redeemer Church in Exmouth Market, London with a readings programme coordinated by Chrissy Williams.  The annual Fair has grown over its seven years and last year featured over 80 exhibitors at Conway Hall.

Chrissy Williams, who took over the directorship of Free Verse in 2014, recently forged a partnership with the Institute of English Studies at the University of London to secure Senate House as a new venue for the 2018 Fair, allowing Free Verse to become even bigger, and to enable the Poetry Book Fair and the recently established Poetry Magazine Fair – introduced as a distinct Free Verse event in 2017 – to be combined into one larger event.

Following the Fair’s increasing scale and success, Chrissy, and her co-organiser Joey Connolly, have decided to pass on the Fair to The Poetry Society, “Joey and I are delighted that The Poetry Society are taking on the Free Verse Fair – the Fair needs to keep expanding and they can offer it a more stable and secure future. We’re proud to have built up what feels like an essential poetry event over the past seven years, and look forward to seeing how The Poetry Society move it onward.

Visit the Free Verse website for further information and latest updates on the Fair