About the Poetry Society of Virginia

In May 1923, a small group of poets, desirous of fostering and stimulating an interest in poetry in the Commonwealth, met in the Chapel of the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary. There they drew up a constitution and bylaws for the organization and named it The Poetry Society of Virginia. They elected Dr. C. E. Feidelson to serve as its first president. Since then, the Poetry Society of Virginia – through publications, readings by members and visiting poets, poetry events around the state, contests, workshops, in-school programs, poetry festivals, and other activities – has helped to advance the cause and appreciation of poetry throughout Virginia. Visiting poets have included Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, Richard Wilbur, Donald Hall, Charles Wright, and many others. Membership in the society has grown to over four hundred, with about fifteen percent from outside Virginia.

Our Mission?

The Poetry Society of Virginia seeks to promote the writing and enjoyment of poetry through a wide range of programs and monthly events, offered in five regions across Virginia.

Click here to review our bylaws.

Frequently asked questions:

What are the Five Regions?

Northern, Western, Central, Eastern, Southeastern

How Do I Know Which Region I Belong To?

When you submit an application form, your regional vice president will contact you.

Who are we?

In May 1923, a small group of poets, desirous of fostering and stimulating an interest in poetry in the Commonwealth, met in the Chapel of the Wren Building at the College of William and Mary. There they drew up a constitution and bylaws for the organization and named it The Poetry Society of Virginia. They elected Dr. C. E. Feidelson to serve as its first president. Since then, the Society, through publications, readings by members and visiting poets, poetry events around the state, contests, workshops, in-school programs, poetry festivals, and other activities, has helped to advance the cause and appreciation of poetry throughout Virginia. Visiting poets have included Robert Frost, Edna St. Vincent Millay, Carl Sandburg, Richard Wilbur, Donald Hall, Charles Wright, and many others. Membership in the Society has grown to over four hundred, with about fifteen percent from other states.

What do we do?

We sponsor and hold events across the state to foster the writing and appreciation of poetry for both beginning writers and experienced writers of all ages.

What events do we sponsor?

We hold an annual poetry contest with numerous categories for both members and non-members to enter. Winners are celebrated at an annual banquet. Each spring, we hold a poetry festival with reading by established poets, workshops, open mike poetry readings, and a banquet. Regionally, we hold numerous workshops, readings, and open mike events. We sponsor events at various locations and institutions across the state. We provide facilitators and instructors to schools of all levels in public and private schools.

Why Join Us?

By joining you receive notice of events though our monthly newsletter, fellowship with other practicing poets, opportunities to present and have your work critiqued, and the opportunity to further the art of poetry throughout the state. Additionally, all contest fees are waived for members.

How Do I Join the Poetry Society of Virginia?

Complete the online form under Membership with the opportunity to pay the fee using a credit card though Paypal. Written application forms are available at all Poetry Society events.