Poets Anonymous originated in February 1990 at Ashburton Library, Addiscombe as a house-to-house workshop to encourage poetry writers to share their poems and offer constructive criticism. Some people attended as an aid to getting themselves into print, other to help one another, others for the pure pleasure of enjoying poetry.

In July 1991 Poets Anonymous started meetings on the First Friday of the month, originally at the Orchard pub it has since re-located to the Dog and Bull in Surrey Street, where it continues as a friendly meeting for the sharing of poetry.

In 1995 the first edition of Poetic Licence was published. Starting as a magazine for poets in Croydon, Poetic Licence now has an international reach, publishing poets from around the world.

In July 1996 the first Poetry Plus festival was held, a festival combining poets, musicians, singers, actors, dancers and artist - a festival for all the arts. This festival was very successful and in following years guest poets, including John Hegley, Roger McGough, Brian Patten, Carol Rumens, Stephen Smith, Matthew Sweeney, Greta Stoddart and Sheenagh Pugh have performed at the festival and the essential contribution of other art forms continues.

Also in 1996 Poets in the Library was established in Croydon Central Library on the Second Saturday of the month. A popular meeting at which poets share their own work and that of other poets. Guest readers at Poets in the Library have included Kate Clanchy, Selima Hill, Peter Abbs. (This meeting continues on the Second Saturday but has now moved to the United Reformed Church - see map and details on Home Page).

All this work has received financial assistance from Croydon Arts and Leisure, the Arts for All lottery programme, the Croydon Advertiser group, PricewaterhousCoopers, Waterstone's, Locks & Handles Architectural Supplies.

Poets Anonymous have also organised readings at other venues and have read on radio, in bookshops and in theatres. Poets Anonymous publish collections of individual poets and anthologies of work.

 

Committee:

 

Chairman: Peter L.Evans

Vice-Chairman: Brian Dann

Secretary: Bob Jones

Treasurer: J.Alastair Howarth

Membership Secretary: Jean Wearn Wallace

Organiser: Ted Smith-Orr