The Poetry Society: About us

Our mission is to advance the study, use and enjoyment of poetry.

The Poetry Society was founded in 1909 to 'promote "a more general recognition and appreciation of poetry". Since then, it has grown into one of Britain's most dynamic arts organisations, representing British poetry both nationally and internationally. Today it has nearly 4000 members worldwide and publishes the leading poetry magazine, Poetry Review.

With innovative education and commissioning programmes and a packed calendar of performances, readings and competitions, the Poetry Society champions poetry for all ages. As well as the Foyle Young Poets of the Year Award, the Poetry Society runs the National Poetry Competition, one of the world's longest-running and most prestigious prizes for an individual poem, and the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry – the prize founded by Carol Ann Duffy from her honorarium as Poet Laureate.

"The Poetry Society is the heart and hands of poetry in the UK – a centre which pours out energy to all parts of the poetry-body, and a dexterous set of operations which arrange and organise poetry's various manifestations. It has a long distinguished history, and has never been so vital, or so vitalizing as it is now." Sir Andrew Motion

A charitable organisation, we provide support, information and merchandise for specialists and the general public. We engage with and support diverse poetry audiences.

Through events, publications, the Poetry Café, promotions and prizes we ensure the highest artistic quality; we create a central position for poetry in the arts and continue to build new avenues to promote poets and poetry in Britain today.

Our education work provides development opportunities for poets, teachers, pupils, and emerging writers, creating a central position for poetry in education through our advocacy and links with national arts and government initiatives.

Further information

Support the work of the Poetry Society – become a member

Join the Poetry SocietyBecome a member of the Poetry Society and join a growing community of writers and readers of poetry. Your membership supports the Society in its work to promote and develop poetry across the UK as well as providing you with fantastic benefits including, but not limited to: subscription to the premier poetry journal in the UK, Poetry Review, regular copies of Poetry News and discounted entry into the National Poetry Competition – as well as monthly e-bulletins sent straight to your inbox and a whole host of other poetic goodies.

Full membership starts at just £42 a year. Click here for more information.

Other ways you can support our work 

Donate to the Poetry Society

Visit the Poetry Café

Join our email list to keep up-to-date with Poetry Society events and goings-on