Poetry Happening Near You


Our libraries

There are six libraries in Stoke-on-Trent. City Central Library is our main hub, based in Hanley. We also have five Community Libraries, and are keeping reading alive in the community by supporting Volunteer-Led Library Services throughout Stoke-on-Trent.

Regular poetry groups

Stoke-on-Trent Libraries hosts a fortnightly poetry group at City Central Library, Hanley.

The group grew out of a beginners’ poetry course at Bentilee Library, tutored by Emma Purshouse and funded by Poetry on Loan.

Now self-running, the group has hosted workshops by poets Dave Reeves and Jonny Fluffypunk, and has organised successful library events including a Poetry Café for National Poetry Day.

The group is working on their second lever-arch folder of poetry. These folders contain work produced in meetings and at home, and are available in City Central Library for people to read.

The group’s first publication, containing four poems by each member, is in production.

Group members have read their poems in a variety of community settings, and are working with schools to devise readings and workshops commemorating the First World War.

Comments from the group:

“So many of us look forward to the meetings. We are constantly amazed at the variety and standard of the work being produced.”

The group is currently recruiting new members. Please contact Emma George if you would like to join.

For more information contact Emma George at City Central Library - emma.george@stoke.gov.uk

Library Poetry Group

The Library Poetry Group meets regularly, and woud like to share some of their poems. Here's an introduction to Bernetta Moseley, one of their members, and one of Bernetta'spoems:

Bernetta Moseley

I got hooked on poetry when I was about five years old. It all happened through a very old Ladybird book called 'The Bunney-Fluff's Moving Day.' The rhythm and rhyme used to tell the story formed a wonderful impression in my mind and has stayed with me....and I still have the book. This love of poetry spurred me on to read Shelley, Yeats, Betjeman and many others. I have written poetry for many years and enjoy its varied forms. Another great love of my life is the sea and to sit watching it is wonderful. I have written about it a great deal.

Summer Holiday

An English Summer is unreliable but when the weather is good, it provides the best of holidays.

Shimmer, shimmer on the water,
Moving, sparkling, breeze and sun;
Wispy clouds and seagulls soaring,
England’s summer has begun.

Umbrellas’ frilly edges,
Beach mats, chairs and sun-tan lotion,
And in spite of many warnings
Bodies bronzed through sun devotion.

Gone the braces, knotted hankies,
Socks with sandals, all so kitsch.
Now it’s pure sophistication,
Sea of style along the beach.

Summer, summer, English madness,
Sea salt spray and seagull scream,
Smooth-washed pebble, fluted sea-shell,
Memories for a winter dream.

B. Moseley                          


Poetry on Loan representative

Emma George is the Poetry on Loan representative for Stoke-on-Trent.

She has worked in the city as a Community Librarian for almost ten years.

Her poetry tastes are eclectic, encompassing anything from popular children’s verse through classic writers to modern contemporary poets.

Emma is particularly interested in encouraging new poets, and has worked with adults with learning disabilities across the city to facilitate their first steps in poetry.