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Welcome to Ver Poets. We are a St Albans based poetry society with a national and international membership. Please explore our website to find out about our programme of poetry events, poetry competitions and benefits of membership. Also visit our Facebook Page. Venue for monthly meetings, see below.

See below for details of our open competition and forthcoming events. See the competitions page for the results of previous Ver Poets Competitions.

Venue for monthly meetings:  St Michael’s Church Parish Centre, St Albans AL3 4SJ unless we indicate otherwise (opposite the Verulamium Museum – plenty of free parking available). Usually on the 3rd Friday of the month at 8 pm. Entry: £4 non-members; £2 members. Refreshments served at the interval. Open Mic in second half at most meetings

Ver Poets Open Competition 2016

Adjudicator: Andrew McMillan

Closing Date: April 30th 2016

Click here to download the entry form.


This year’s Open Competition is to be judged by Andrew McMillan. Andrew McMillan was born in South Yorkshire in 1988 and lectures in Creative Writing at Liverpool John Moores University. His debut collection, physical, was a Poetry Book Society recommendation, shortlisted for the Forward Prize, the Fenton Aldeburgh First Collection Prize and longlisted for the Guardian First Book Award. He has contributed to The Echo Chamber on BBC Radio 4 and Free Thinking on BBC Radio 3. He is one of the judges for the 2015 Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Poems must be no more than 30 lines in length. They may be on any theme and in any form. The competition is open to anybody aged 16 or over. Competitors may submit any number of poems for a fee of £4.00 per poem, 3 poems for £10, £2 per poem thereafter.

Selected and prizewinning poets will be informed by post in June and prizes will be awarded at our poetry afternoon on Saturday, July 2nd 2016 at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans.

Forthcoming Events

Shakespeare the PoetShakespeare portrait

Friday, April 15th at 8.00 pm at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans AL1 3HL

In 1592 the theatres in London were closed because of the plague. How could actor and budding playwright Shakespeare survive? He appealed to aristocrat Henry Wriothesley for patronage and dedicated two best-selling poems to him.

Henry WriothesleyVer Poets present dramatic  readings and commentaries from the Bard’s major poetical works, including the Sonnets and the Rape of Lucrece.  Raunchy, mystical, cynical, and lyrical, the poems contain many mysteries that 400 years of intense scholarship have failed to crack.

Come and discover the Shakespeare that the Elizabethans knew well, but whom we  have allowed to slip beneath the shadow of the world’s most famous playwright.

Terry Jones will lead this event.

Tickets £8 or £7 advanced booking on website www.maltingsartstheatre.co.uk

Anniversary Exhibition

Sunday 24th April – Sunday 8th May 50th

Poems, pamphlets, posters, and more from 50 years of Ver Poets’ activity on display at St Albans Central Library.


Lessons of Chernobyl 30 Years Onchernobyl repairs b and wBison walk in the 30 km (18 miles) exclusion zone around the Chernobyl nuclear reactor near the village of Babchin


Tuesday, May 3rd at 7.30 pm at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans AL1 3HL


Thirty years ago the world’s worst nuclear accident happened in Ukraine. This performance of the award winning book Heavy Water by Mario Petrucci, will highlight the bizarre human errors that led to the explosion, the terrifying consequences for people living nearby and how they responded to the disaster.

Like it or not, we live in a nuclear age. Alongside some great poetry and music, we will hear arguments for and against nuclear fission. And ask – can human beings handle high technology?

Songs, poems, history and questions about the planet from Ver Poets and The Company of Ten.

Tickets £8 or £7 advanced booking on website www.maltingsartstheatre.co.uk

Wheel of the Stars Anthology Launch

Friday 3rd June, 7.00 pm for 7:30 start

The Ver Poets 50th anniversary anthology, Wheel of the Stars, will soon be published. Contributors included in the anthology are invited to read their poems at the launch reading at St Michael’s Parish Centre, St Albans, our usual venue.

Poetry Afternoon – Celebrating Open Competition 2016

Saturday, 2nd July at 2.00pm at The Maltings Arts Theatre, St Albans AL1 3HL

Join us for an afternoon of prize-winning poetry. Andrew McMillan will award the prizes and read from physical, his prize winning collection, in the second half.