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. Charles N. 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.
The organization is instrumental in assisting the Governor of Virginia with the selection of Poet Laureate. An appointed committee makes recommendations to the organization’s elected President who then forwards nominations to the Governor for his final review and decision.
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 seven regions across Virginia. Please click here to view a map of the society's designated regions
When I sang, words stuck in my teeth like seeds.
Rows of scrubbed faces swiveled into mirrors…
Something smoldered behind the rooster mask
until the whole room filled with smoke.
MEET OUR PRESIDENT
Terry Cox-Joseph is a former newspaper reporter and editor. From 1994-2004 she was the coordinator for the Christopher Newport University Writers’ Conference. She has had numerous poems, essays and articles published. Her first chapbook, “Between Then and Now,” was published by Finishing Line Press in 2018. Terry graduated from Minneapolis College of Art and Design and has lived in Newport News since 1987. Contact Terry at 757-930-1375 or firstname.lastname@example.org