Set up by T S Eliot and friends in 1953 ‘to propagate the art of poetry’, the Poetry Book Society is a unique poetry society, providing information, reviews and discounts on the best contemporary poetry for an international community of readers.
The Poet Selectors choose the best new poetry collection of the quarter, which is sent to full members as part of their membership. All members also receive the Bulletin, the quarterly review of new poetry, which contains the Poet Selectors’ reviews of the Choice and Recommendations and the selected poets’ comments on their own work.
Awarded by the PBS to the best new collection of poetry each year, the The T S Eliot Prize for Poetry is the largest and most prestigious award of its kind in the UK and has been described by the Irish Independent as the ‘world’s top poetry award’. The 2009 Prize was won by Philip Gross for The Water Table. Every year on the night before the prize-giving, the 10 short-listed poets are invited to take part in the T S Eliot Prize Readings, the biggest event of the poetry year. The T S Eliot Prize Shadowing Scheme encourages A level students to ‘shadow’ the judges and read work from new and established writers.
With a great fanfare, the PBS also has relaunched its online poetry bookstore, the Poetry Bookshop Online, which sells all the 90,000 poetry titles in print in the UK and a wide range of CDs, including those from the Poetry Archive, featuring one-hour recordings of over 130 poets reading their own work. The Poetry Portal is the best place online for recommendations, reviews, interviews and discussions on anything poetry-related, and its events database will provide details of poetry events in the UK and Ireland.
Why join the PBS? Full members receive the Choice and Bulletin review each quarter, keeping them up-to-date with the best new poetry. Associate, Charter (for libraries) and Education memberships are also available.
The current PBS membership offer is a free copy of Identity Parade (edited by Roddy Lumsden), an anthology of the best new British and Irish Poets, and a free £10 voucher. You can join online.