Remembering Sue Wrinch and Sylvia Herbert

We are sorry to hear of the deaths of Poetry Society Members Sue Wrinch and Sylvia Herbert.

From Isabel Rogers, on behalf of North Hampshire Stanza Group:

Sue Wrinch, Poetry Society Member, founder member of North Hampshire Stanza and organiser of Winchester’s Loose Muse monthly writing and performing event, died suddenly in July.

“All of us in Hampshire who knew Sue are terribly shocked by this dreadful news, both for the loss of her as a much-loved person and for the formidable organisational skills she deployed running Loose Muse. Since 2015, she booked a dazzling array of writers to speak at her events, including poets Liz Berry, Sarah Howe, Jo Bell, Helen Mort, Tania Hershman and Kim Moore. She also championed local writers with a popular Open Mic spot every month. In 2017, Sue was Director of the UK-India Festival of Words.

As well as celebrating other writers, Sue was a fine and accomplished poet in her own right, publishing two collections: Down By Wild Water (2015) and Stained Lips (Morgan’s Eye Press, 2020).

I’ll miss her fabulous poems, her laugh, and her hilariously wicked emails. She leaves a gaping hole in our Stanza group, and in Winchester’s poetry fabric overall. In addition to all her other work, she had recently started to lead regular poetry workshops that were very much appreciated. Sue had the special ability of being able to bring out the best in other people, and her commitment to and enthusiasm for poetry has developed a number of talented poets in the Winchester area whose writing goes from strength to strength. Fellow poets will remember her with gratitude and affection. This will be her lasting legacy.”

From Elizabeth Barton on behalf of Mole Valley Poets Stanza:

“Mole Valley Poets was formed at the turn of the century and has been nurtured and grown by its member poets ever since. One of the founder members was Sylvia Herbert, whose death in late April saddened us all. Sylvia was a retired teacher of Modern Languages with an interest in the marvels and intricacies of language, and a special interest in Lorca and the Spanish poets. Her fascination with the delights of language led her to poetry and to story – she was also a key member of the Moles Storytellers. Her own poetry dealt with faith, the natural world, travels, and memory. Sylvia was a faithful member of the group, always engaged and always encouraging. For many years she acted as treasurer and her contribution to the group was marked on her retirement from that role by her being given the honorific of Life President. She remained a regular for 20 years. She will be much missed.”

Silver sea laps over quiet sand
And darkness never seems to fall,
But sleep comes gently
On a prayer of light.

From ‘Evening in Iona’ by Sylvia Herbert

Visit for more of Sylvia’s poems.

29 July 2020