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JD Bar Bistro, Claremont, Hastings - venue for Hastings Stanza meetings

A start to stanza

Stanza groups are offshoots of the Poetry Society, and consist of people in a given area who come together to talk about poetry – whether to workshop their own work, hear readings or talks by poets, or discuss poetry generally, writes Antony Mair.

For almost two years now I’ve been attending meetings of Brighton Stanza, which has workshops each month, and have found it enormously helpful with my own writing.  One or two people then suggested I might start a Stanza in Hastings, and after a contact with the Poetry Society to try and gauge the extent of interest, I took the plunge and organised a meeting a couple of weeks ago.  I’d been tipped off about an available space at JD Bar Bistro, so seven of us congregated there for the inaugural meeting.  I’d suggested we follow the Brighton pattern of workshopping our poems, which everyone seemed to be happy with, and the result was an interesting evening with very varied work.

Hastings isn’t Brighton, and it’s going to be interesting to see the direction we take as time goes on.  The Brighton Stanza is well established after eight years or so, and attendances, while varying, are usually in the teens – on one occasion there were twenty-three of us, which is rather more than ideal.  There’s a good spread of both age and talent, which makes meetings stimulating.  Our little fledgling in Hastings has a long way to go before we have that kind of zing, but I have every hope we’ll get there.  After our first gathering, I just felt delighted that I’d set the ball rolling.  Meetings are now to take place on the second Wednesday of each month, and I’m already looking forward to May 14.

Republished with kind permission from Postcards from Hastings

Stanza meetings are set for the second Wednesday of each month, from 7 to 9 pm on the 1st floor, JD Bar Bistro, 4 Claremont, Hastings TN34 1HA

Posted 10:19 Monday, Apr 21, 2014 In: Poetry

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