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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 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 at most meetings


50th Anniversary Exhibition

Sunday, 12th June – Sunday 26th June at St Albans Central Library, The Maltings, St Albans AL1 3HL

We are arranging a small exhibition about Ver Poets and its work to open on 12th June and continue for 14 days. Poems, pamphlets, posters, and more from 50 years of our activities will be on display.

Poetry Afternoon – Celebrating Open Competition 2016


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

Join us for a free afternoon of prize-winning poetry. A fascinating snapshot of the contemporary poetry scene. Andrew McMillan will award the prizes and read from Physical, his prize winning collection, in the second half.

A full list of winning and selected poems is listed below:

First Prize: Ornithology: Barn Owl by L. A. Watt

Second Prize: The hospital café is almost empty by Margaret Wilmot

Third Prize: Birdspotting in Palmyra by Maeve Henry

Highly Commended:

  • West Kilburn by Deirdre Shanahan
  • This year by Neil Elder
  • Go for a 15 minute walk… by Adrian Buckner


  • The Very Skin that Hurts by Geraldine Clarkson
  • Loss by Alexandra Davis
  • The Heron by Peter Cash
  • Manhood by Simon Bowden


  • Dr Who of the ice-box by Ian McEwen
  • I took Frank O’Hara to bed last night by Maria Isakova Bennett
  • The sadness of gift shops by Bryony Littlefair
  • The year she asked for a scrubbing brush for Christmas by Bryony Littlefair
  • The town we went to by Bryony Littlefair
  • Wait by Peter Wallis
  • Tuscan Church by Sylvia Banham
  • Delivery by Cheryl Foo
  • Dirty Magic by Mark Fiddes
  • Watershed During Lunch-Hour by Neil Elder
  • Wooing Lumber by Karen Francis
  • The Proportions of Pity by David Sutton
  • E Ferro Ferrum Temperatum by Malcolm Watson
  • The Lab Technician’s Skin by Beth Somerford
  • Ringed Plovers by Tista Austin
  • Learning to Swim (at 23) by Remi Graves
  • Old Pub Furniture by Nick Pearson
  • Potatoes by Greg Smith
  • Quartet for the end of Music lessons by Melanie Stephenson
  • Choosing to live near the sea by Jenny Vuglar
  • School milk by Jennifer Hunt
  • Regatta by Jean Watkins
  • Clinging by Lewis Coyne
  • Berth by Sharon Black 
  • Trawling photos of David Bowie sporting eye-liner  by Roger Elkin
  • Daffodils by Anne Boileau
  • Kathleen by Kaye Lee
  • The animals, two by two by Caroline Davies

Our competition anthology, The Ver Prize 2016, includes all of the above poems and Andrew McMillan’s report. All those included will receive a copy. Further copies will be available at the prize giving and readings on July 2nd, or can be ordered by sending a cheque for £4 (plus £1 p&p), made payable to Ver Poets, to 181 Sandridge Road, St Albans, Herts, AL1 4AH.