This listing of poetry writing groups is taken from the old Poetry Can website and some of the groups have yet to be verified.
The group names in blue are links to their online presence where you will find further information about the group.

If you run or are a member of a group that does not appear in this list, please contact Poetry Can at with information about your group.


Joining a Poetry Writing Group


South West Poetry Writing groups

Listed alphabetically


Bath Writers' Workshop

Meets on the first and the third Saturday of every month. New members are very welcome.



Blue Gate Poets

BlueGate Poets is a poetry group based in Swindon which is advancing the enjoyment and development of reading, writing and listening to poetry by encouraging local talent and voices at every level.


Bournemouth Writers Circle

Meetings are run on a less formal basis. The emphasis is on discussion and participation with the meeting dividing into smaller groups to discuss various subjects. This affords opportunities for members to express themselves and to find out the views of other members in a warm and supportive atmosphere.


Brewery Arts Writers, New Brewery Arts Centre, Cirencester

On the last Thursday of each month. Doors open 7.00pm - readings 7.30-9pm. £3 on the evening. A friendly group of writers who will be reading their work, including poetry, short stories and life writing. Share your own creative writing, chat about your ideas and inspirations with like-minded people, or just sit back and listen while you sip a glass of wine or a coffee.


Brixham Writers Club

A small, professionally-minded club whose members write for pleasure but aim to produce work which will be acceptable commercially. The emphasis is on fiction, both short stories and novels.


Circle in the Square

Company Of Poets

Cornwall Poetry Group Listing

Cotswold Writers’ Circle


Devon Community Writing Group Directory

'Devon's community directory at the click of a button'

Dillington Poetry Group


East Coker Poetry Group

Meetings are entertaining, informal and sociable. They are held either in the Skittle Alley, or the Apple Loft Restaurant of the Helyar Arms. Membership is free and everyone is welcome, including visitors to the village and guests staying at the Helyar Arms. Meetings regularly attract 20 - 30 poetry lovers.

East Dorset Poets

East Street Poets

Exeter Writers Group

A welcoming group of writers who wish to improve their craft through discussion and critique.


Exmouth Writers Circle

Falmouth Poetry Group

Falmouth Poetry Group meets fortnightly for critical workshops, and acts as a discussion forum for work-in-progress. FPG endures as a dynamic and influential source of inspiration and encouragement to poets in Cornwall, and has an excellent record of achievement. Meetings are on the 2nd Monday of each month at 6:30pm in Falmouth Library. New members are welcome to come and “try it out” before joining. Please bring 10-12 copies of your poem. 


Falmouth Writers Forum

Fire River Poets

The Fire River Poets group was set up in Taunton in 1988 by a small number of enthusiastic poets to serve Taunton and the surrounding area. They meet on a Wednesday evening from 7.30pm to 9.45 pm once or twice a month. The aim is to provide thoughtful, positive criticism in a supportive setting that is an honest appraisal, but also offers encouragement.

Football Poets

Founded on the work of Stroud Football Poets who were referred to by Radio 4 as "..the world's only known collective of football poets.." This is an online group for all football poets, lovers of football and maybe even lovers of (alternative) poetry. They are actively looking to sign more poets and will be delighted to discover unknown's in the lower leagues right on down to the school playground.

Freedom Writers


Frome Writers' Collective
A not-for-profit initiative which aims to help provide an accessible network for local writers of all genres, sharing resources, providing information about different aspects of writing and publishing, running writers' projects, events and market stalls as well as the annual Frome Small Publishers' Fair and administering their own book brand, Silver Crow Books. The Collective operates as a not-for-profit unincorporated association and is run by volunteers.

Honiton Writers’ Circle

Ilfracombe Writers’ Circle


Indian King Poets

Kick Start Poets

An independent group of poets, founded in 1997, sponsored by The Arts Council of England, Southwest. Regular meetings are normally on the third Thursday of every month at Sarum College in Salisbury Cathedral Close. Non-members are welcome at all regular meetings. Less formal gatherings devoted to close textual scrutiny of new work are held on the first Monday of every month and are not open to non-members.


Mendip Writers

Moor Poets

A Dartmoor-based group of writers with the aim of encouraging creative writing in people of all abilities.

Penwith Writers Group

Plymouth Writers’ Circle

Poetry Appreciation Group - Westbury Library

Poetry Dorchester


Poole Writers’ Circle

Fortnightly meetings on Wednesday from September to June at 7.30 - 9.30 PM Poole Advice Centre 54, Lagland St Poole. Varied programme: speakers before Christmas and workshops after January. A support group with competitions and events.


Portway Writers


Salisbury Poetry Cafe

Salisbury Poetry Cafe is a forum for poets and writers to share their work in a relaxed and friendly environment, providing the opportunity for budding writers to meet people, make new friends and take part in the open mic sessions.


Scavel an Gow


Sidmouth Poetry Reading Circle

South Molton Writers


Southway Community Writers


St Austell & Fowey Poetry & Writing Circle


The Language Club


The Poetry Society of Cheltenham


Writers Meet


Yate and District Writers Group

Directory of Writers Circles South West

  Acoustic Night logo Acoustic Night

A long running fortnightly open mic night in Bristol for both poetry and acoustic

music primarily aimed at poetry promotion. A friendly and supportive atmosphere

that makes Acoustic Night an ideal place to try out new work or cut your teeth as

a performer/reader.




  Apples and Snakes

Apples & Snakes

South West

Englands leading performance poetry organisation whose aim is to 'stretch

the boundaries of poetry in education and performance'. The South West Programme

Coordinator, Gina Sherman, who is based in Plymouth, can be contacted by emailing:




  Asian Arts logo Asian Arts Agency

Dedicated to raising the profile of Asian Arts across the South west region working to

develop and promote Asian arts events and programming; promote participation in

Asian arts; enhance  opportunities for Asian artists and provide a network and resource

to profile Asian arts.



  Brewhouse logo

Brewhouse Theatre


The Brewhouse in Taunton aspires to be a cultural hub for innovation, creativity of local,

regional and national distinction presenting live performance and art exhibitions of the

highest quality. Home to the regular Fire River Poets readings.




   Bridgewater logo  Bridgewater Arts Centre

A community Arts Centre dedicated to creating opportunities for people to take part in

and experience the arts as well as developing and supporting the work of professional

performing and visual artists in the region.




  Bridport logo Bridport Arts Centre


A thriving theatre and gallery venue in West Dorset which is the home of the

Bridport Prize.





  Epicentre logo

Epicentre Bookshop/Cafe



A bookshop and vegetarian cafe in the heart of Paignton that run regular writing groups

and poetry reading and performance nights.




  Exeter Phoenix logo Exeter Phoenix


A large theatre and gallery complex in th middle of exeter that run regular poetry events

and is the home of Uncut Poets.





  Poetic Licence


Poetic Licence organise the monthly Lansdown Poetry Nights readings in Bristol.

Contact Charles Thompson on 07969987102.





  Merlin logo

Merlin Theatre



A 240 seat theatre on a college campus in Frome (Somerset) with an outstanding

reputation for presenting the very best in performing arts and run an extensive

community and education programme.





  The Plough logo

Plough Arts Centre



A small venue with a big reputation! Providing opportunities for all people to

experience a wide and vibrant range of high quality arts events.




  Restromel Arts logo

Restromel Arts

St Austel

Restormel Arts aims to promote a programme of professional and amateur arts activity

and to engage the local community as both audience and participants.

Their main focus is on engaging local communities in arts related activities and projects

that engage young people.




  Salisbury Arts logo Salisbury Arts Centre


A vibrant and exciting community Arts Centre presenting a wide range of professional

theatre, music, dance, film, workshops and visual arts. Home of Salisbury Poetry Cafe.





  Spiel Unlimited

Marcus Moore and Sara Jane Arbury work together producing poetry slams

and workshops throughout the central southern region including events at Cheltenham

Literature festival, Swindon Literature Festival and others.





  The Lighthouse logo

The Lighthouse



A unique mix of venue, programming and culture with a mission to become the leading

regional arts centre in the South West. Occasional poetry events.





  Poetry Slam logo The Poetry Slam


A Bristol-based organisation specialising in promoting slam poetry and using

performance poetry as a tool for working in schools, business training and at

arts festivals.





  The Winchester

The Winchester 



Pub/club venue holding alternative music and DJ events with a monthly popular poetry

night, Freeway Poets.





  Wondermentalist logo



A collective of performing artists based around the Totnes area who organise poetry

events in Totnes and Exeter




  Word of Mouth


Bristol-based spoken word events organisers based at The Thunderbolt and now also running events at The Old Vic, Bristol.


  davidhalllogoweb The David Hall Programming open and professional poetry events.

The David Hall, Roundwell Street, South Petherton, Somerset, TA13 5AA.










Dennis O'Driscoll


Poetry Can was very sad to learn of the death of Dennis O'Driscoll on Christmas

Eve, 2012. Dennis, of course, made a remarkable and very beautiful contribution to

poetry, he was a poet, editor, critic, reader and ambassador.

He was also a patron of Poetry Can. 

 Read more


Quick links:

Magazine Publishers     Book Publishers 
      Full list of Publishers   Developing a Publishing Strategy a website dedicated to poetry magazines


Poetry Publishers in the South West include:

Magazine Publishers:


 Acumen Logo


Acumen Literary Journal

General editor: Patricia Oxley

'A beacon of invention in the west, Acumen's guiding light is valued throughout the wider world of letters. Printing the best, and not necessarily the most celebrated, is its policy.'  
Peter Porter


 Areopagius Logo


Areogagus Magazine

Editor: Julian Barrit

A quarterly 32 page A4 sized Magazine.
This is a colour printed magazine, not an internet publication. It publishes subscribers' fiction, poetry and articles. Regular features include Letters to the Editor, book reviews, a Prayer Page, and a column called 'Quotations'.

Critical Quarterly


Critical Quarterly

Editor: Colin MacCabe
'Probably the most influential English literary-critical journal in the academic field over the post war decades.'
John Holloway, New Pelican Guide to English Literature.




Graffiti Magazine

Editor: Rona Laycock
Members of the Catchword writers group produce a writing magazine Graffiti to help showcase new writers.
The magazine is available from small shops in Cirencester and around the Cotswolds, and from the Brewery Arts Centre in Cirencester.

Margins Magazine



Dr. Ann Pulsford

A 48-page issue of 4 articles, 12 poems and 12 short stories - on all aspects of Dartmoor and its way of life, past and present.






Obsessed with Pipework

Flarestack Poetry's quarterly magazine of new highwire poetry "to surprise and delight".




 Poetry Cornwall


Poetry Cornwall /
Bardhonyeth Kernow

Editor: Les Merton

Poetry Cornwall/Bardhonyeth Kernow publishes around 70 poets per issue. This includes a blend of well known names and encouraged newcomers, with a range of themes, poetic forms and styles.
Every issue features poets from around the world.





Editor: David Pike

Poetry webzine published quarterly and edited by David Pike.





A Bristol-based literary magazine, published by Loxwood Stoneleigh, and imprint of Falling Wall Press.
Co-edited by Matthew Barton and Jeremy Mulford.
(publication currently under review)


 Shearsman Logo


Shearsman Magazine

Editor: Tony Frazer

A contemporary poetry magazine with a clear inclination towards the more exploratory end of the current spectrum. Notwithstanding this, however, quality work of a more conservative kind will always be considered seriously, provided that the work is well-written.




 Stride Magazine

Editor: Rupert Loydell

A gathering of new poetry, prose poems, articles and reviews (or whatever takes our fancy), Stride is regularly updated with new contributions.


Tears in the Fence Logo


Tears in the Fence

Editor: David Caddy

A 168 page book of poetry, prose poems, fiction, essays, translations, interviews and reviews published three times a year.



HQ logo


The Haiku Quarterly

HQ QuarterlyMagazine

Editor: Kevin Bailey

An international poetry magazine that publishes a broad range of work - from the highly experimental to the very traditional. The emphasis is on quality and originality. About one third of the magazine's space is given over to haiku and haikuesque poetry; the rest to mainstream poetry and reviews and articles.




 The Interpreter's House

Editor: Martin Malone


Over 500 writers have appeared in The Interpreter’s House pages, some very distinguished (Elizabeth Bartlett, Ruth Bidgood, Alan Brownjohn, Toby Litt, Sheenagh Pugh, Carole Satyamurti, Penelope Shuttle, R.S. Thomas) and some for the first time ever.


Tremblestone Logo

Editor: Kenny Knight

Tremblestone is International in outlook and publishes contemporary poetry.





Poetry Books Publishers:


awen logo


Awen Publications

Publisher: Kevan Manwaring

A small press specialising in high-quality writing that may not be highly commercial but deserves to find a readership. They like work that is imaginative, boundary-pushing, eco-conscious, enchanting, and challenging to received wisdoms.


Bluechrome logo


Bluechrome Publishing

An independent publisher of poetry and literary or experimental fiction. They published their first book in January 2003 and have since developed a reputation for spotting interesting and unusual fiction, which they have promoted alongside a growing list of high quality poetry.



Burning Eye Books


Burning Eye Books

Founder: Clive Bernie

A small independent publisher in the South West predominately specialising in promoting spoken word artists. We aim to dispel the assumption that performance poetry does not transfer well to page as well as give emerging and established artist opportunities to be published where they might be rejected from other traditional poetry publishers.

City Chamaeleon


City Chameleon

Editor: Bertel Martin


Bristol-based small independent press.


Etruscan Books Logo


Etruscan Books

etruscan books publishes concrete, Gaelic and modernist poetry with an ear for the lyric and the made up word. They give attention to spatiality, experiment and the lyric. The books are carefully edited, and still sewn on good papers.


Fal Publications



Fal Publications


Based in Truro, Cornwall, fal is committed to producing fine books of contemporary writing from Cornwall. The books are beautfully produced and some fully illustrated by local artists. They have attracted local and national reviews and prestigious prizes.



Flarestack Poets

Poetry that dares outside current trends, even against the grain... collections that aren't bus queues, from poets forging their own linguistic connections with the root-ball of experience.


Hesterglock Press

Twitter: @H_G_Press

Bristol-based small press publishing mainly experimental poetry, run by Sarer Scotthorne and Paul Hawkins.
Who also co-curate ANATHEMA events.




Hippopotamus Press

01373 466653

 Small press based in Frome, Somerset.



Shearsman Logo


Shearsman Books

Editor: Tony Frazer

Shearsman Books was founded in 1982 in order to offer collections to authors involved with the magazine. In 2003 the shifted up to short-run digital and print-on-demand production for most of their titles.

They also make some e-chapbooks, in PDF form, available for free download from their website.


Oversteps logo


Oversteps Books

Editor: Alwyn Marriage

Oversteps Books publishes some of the best in contemporary poetry, covering a wide range of established and new poets. There is a rigorous editorial policy, and the books are produced to the highest standards both in terms of editorial accuracy and the beauty of the finished books.





For a full list of Poetry Publishers in the UK:  The Poetry Library 










This area of the site contains information on:

poetry competitions

poetry publications

poetry promoters

poetry groups

colleges, universities and libraries

poetry and literature festivals

for young writers

poetry organisations

Online Resources


If you are an organiser, or involved with any of these areas of poetry activity in the South West

please email details to












Liberated Words logo






Poet and novelist Lucy English and videopoet and arts writer Sarah Tremlett,

working with Poetry Can, introduce a brand new poetry film festival and

competition for 2013.

Liberated Words invites poets and film makers to create new work in

response to set poems and also enter their own poetry films for competition.

Selected films will be showcased during the Liberated Words Poetry Film

Festival at Bristol Poetry Festival 2013

For full details visit this link: Liberated Words

Literature Works


        Visit the Literature Works website 

      The South West Literature Portal



Quotes featured at the top of the page come from: The Bloodaxe Book of Poetry Quotations 

Edited By Dennis O'Driscoll. Available here:

Poetry Can
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