Stanza FAQs

What do Stanzas do?

Stanzas are groups for the reading, writing, discussing, performing and enjoyment of poetry – in any combination. They take on a variety of forms – here and here are some examples.

Can an existing poetry group join as a Stanza, and would we keep our independence?

Of course! And here is the extent of the official understanding between The Poetry Society and Stanza groups.

How many people do you need for a Stanza?

It depends on the sort of group you have, the sorts of activities you are planning and whether you expect all members to come to every meeting. If three of you or more want to start a Stanza, you’re on your way! Your maximum number will depend on the size of your meeting venue, or on the focus of your group. If you find that your group is getting too busy, it might be time to split and start another one.

Local or online?

You might want to start a group of local poetry lovers who meet in person … or you might want to set up an online group via Skype or Zoom. Online groups can have members from all over the world if the time zones work for you – you could focus on a particular type of poetry or a shared interest. Both types of groups are equally welcome.

What are the benefits of being in a Stanza?

Access to news, opportunities, competitions, events and more run by The Poetry Society. You’ll be part of a network of poetry lovers round the country, and increasingly round the world.

Do all members of a Stanza have to be Poetry Society members?

As long as the Stanza Rep is a member, that’s all we need. Other Stanza participants don’t have to be PS members – although they’d be very welcome to join of course.

What rules and regulations are there for Stanzas?

There is a Code of Conduct that we ask all Stanzas to sign up to – but the way you organise your group is up to you. Communicate your preferred arrangements clearly to your current and potential members.

Are Stanza leaders expected to attend meetings in London or elsewhere?

They’re invited to the occasional meeting, but attendance isn’t mandatory. We imagine that a lot of future meetings are going to be on Zoom anyway – now that 2020 has taught us those skills.

Is there any form of paperwork connected to being a Stanza rep?

We send out the occasional survey, but that’s about it.

Would we be expected to organise anything other than our own programme of events?

No. We would invite you to take part in events and activities if there was something happening in your area, and you would only join in if it was something that interested you – but your programme is your own.

How do we attract members to a new Stanza?

You can use your existing networks, or we will put a note in a members’ newsletter with your contact details saying that there’s a new group in a particular area. We can’t send you members’ email addresses direct, but we can forward your email to people in the relevant areas. Local libraries, arts centres and bookshops are good places for posters and flyers.

I’m going to start a Stanza – what happens next?

Let us know the group’s details (contact name and email, details of meetings when and where, geographical location, any particular focus of meetings) and we’ll let you know the next steps – drop us a line at [email protected]