Cambridge Poetry Society and the Association of Cambridge Poetry Societies: Records

Scope and Content

The collection is comprised of two main groups of records. Items 1-126 are papers of the Cambridge Poetry Society, covering 1982-1984. Items 127-200 are papers collected by John Wells in the course of organising poetry events in Cambridge; from item 133 onwards these can be considered as papers of the Association of Cambridge Poetry Societies, covering the years 1984-1986. The papers of both organisations are financial and administrative in nature, and include correspondence, accounts, agenda, bank books and statements, claims for expenses, invoices, membership records, minutes, and prospectuses. Some of the principal correspondents are Laurence Staig, Pamela Clunies-Ross, Clive Wilmer, and Graham P. Allen. The documents do not preserve a full record of the organisations' affairs and there is no correspondence with poets who read in Cambridge.

Administrative / Biographical History

The Cambridge Poetry Society was active from 1982 until 1984. Its officers included John Alexander, Michael Gowar, Clive Wilmer, and James Whitley. The Association of Cambridge Poetry Societies arose from the discontinutation of the C.P.S., some of whose members joined the new organisation, although there is no clear date marking the end of one organisation and the beginning of the other. The title 'Association of Cambridge Poetry Societies' was suggested by Laurence Staig in a letter of 29 Oct. 1984 (MS.Add.8681/145). The Association continued until 1986, and its officers included John Wells and David Armitage, who was treasurer.

Access Information

Open for consultation by holders of a Reader's Ticket valid for the Manuscripts Reading Room.

Acquisition Information

Presented by John Wells, 1988.


Description compiled by Robert Steiner, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives.

Other Finding Aids

Additional Manuscripts Catalogue.