Poetry Book Society

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The Poetry Book Society was founded in December 1953, under the auspices of the Arts Council of Great Britain, its purpose to "further the education of the people of this country by fostering and propagating the art of poetry and particularly by promoting knowledge, appreciation and enjoyment of the published work of contemporary poets." The first directors of the society included B. H. Blackwell, Joseph Compton, R. N. David, T. S. Eliot, Sir George Rostrevor Hamilton, and Erica Marx. Eric W. White became the society's first secretary. For further information about the society's beginnings, see Poetry Book Society: The First Twenty-Five Years, 1954-1978, by Eric W. White (London, 1979: Poetry Book Society).

Charles Osborne, assistant secretary of the society in the period represented in the Archives of the Poetry Book Society, was born in Brisbane, Australia, in 1927. He published more than fifteen works on opera and several novelizations of Agatha Christie stage plays. His best known work is W. H. Auden: The Life of a Poet (Harcourt, 1979).

The Poetry Book Society celebrated its fiftieth birthday in 2003. It continues to publish a quarterly Bulletin which is mailed along with a selected poetry book to subscribers. It also sells poetry books, offers poetry education programs and materials for teachers, and awards the annual T. S. Eliot Prize for poetry. The society is based in London. Its web site is http://www.poetrybooks.co.uk (last accessed April 2021).

From the guide to the Poetry Book Society records, 1962-1970, majority 1966-1970, (University of Maryland Libraries)

Archival Resources
Role Title Holding Repository
referencedIn William Empson papers Houghton Library
creatorOf MANDEVILLE PRESS PAPERS. Vol. XXIII E (ff. ). Letters sent to Peter Scupham and John Mole from publishers, companies and organisations: Penguin Books -ZLR.includes:ff. 1-3 Penguin Books; publishers: Patrick Hardy, of Penguin Books: Letters to Pete... British Library
creatorOf MANDEVILLE PRESS PAPERS. Vol. XXIII C (ff. ). Letters sent to Peter Scupham and John Mole from publishers, companies and organisations: Agenda -Country Life.includes:ff. 1-4 William Cookson, editor, 'Agenda' Magazine & Editions: Agenda; magazine a... British Library
creatorOf SOLO SONGS. Vol. I C (ff. 18). 'Counting the Beats', set by Sir Lennox Berkeley (ff. 1-5b), Nicholas Maw (ff. 6-14) and Humphrey Searle (ff. 15-18) for the Poetry Book Society Festival, 1963; June 1963 (f. 5b), 7 June 1963 (f. 14), 8 June 1963 (f. 18... British Library
creatorOf Poetry Book Society archive, 1952-1996 British Library
creatorOf Poetry Book Society. Poetry Book Society records, 1962-1970 (majority 1966-1970) University of Maryland (College Park, Md.). Libraries
referencedIn Fuller, Roy, 1912-1991. Roy Fuller manuscripts, 1965-1969. Columbia University in the City of New York, Columbia University Libraries
referencedIn Papers of Robert Graves: Correspondence (arranged by correspondent), c1909 to 2004 St John's College, Oxford
creatorOf White, Eric Walter, 1905-1985. Correspondence files concerning publishing the Poetry Book Society Christmas 1966 supplement in memory of John Hayward, 1966. Pennsylvania State University Libraries
Role Title Holding Repository
Relation Name
associatedWith Brown, Victor person
associatedWith Brown, Victor. person
associatedWith Clarke, Austin, 1934- person
associatedWith Cole, Barry person
associatedWith Cole, Barry. person
associatedWith Dodsworth, Martin. person
associatedWith Dunn, Douglas person
associatedWith Dunn, Douglas. person
associatedWith Eliot, T. S. (Thomas Stearns), 1888-1965 person
correspondedWith Empson, William, 1906-1984 person
associatedWith Fuller, John person
associatedWith Fuller, John. person
associatedWith Fuller, Roy, 1912-1991. person
associatedWith Graves, Robert Windham, 1858-1934 person
associatedWith Grigson, Geoffrey, 1905- person
associatedWith Grigson, Geoffrey, 1905-1985. person
associatedWith Guest, Harry. person
associatedWith Gunn, Thom. person
associatedWith Hamilton, Ian, 1938-2001. person
associatedWith Harsent, David, 1942- person
associatedWith Heaney, Seamus, 1939- person
associatedWith Hecht, Anthony, 1923-2004. person
associatedWith Hewitt, John Harold, 1907-1987. person
associatedWith Hill, Geoffrey person
associatedWith Hill, Geoffrey. person
associatedWith Holbrook, David person
associatedWith Holbrook, David. person
associatedWith Hughes, Glyn, 1935- person
associatedWith Jennings, Elizabeth, 1926-2001. person
associatedWith Kinsella, Thomas person
associatedWith Kinsella, Thomas. person
associatedWith Marx, Erica, 1909-1969. person
associatedWith Montague, John person
associatedWith Montague, John. person
associatedWith Osborne, Charles, 1927- person
associatedWith Porter, Peter person
associatedWith Porter, Peter. person
associatedWith Roberts, Bernard person
associatedWith Roberts, Bernard. person
associatedWith Stallworthy, Jon person
associatedWith Stallworthy, Jon. person
associatedWith Thomas, R. S. 1913- person
associatedWith Thomas, R. S. (Ronald Stuart), 1913- person
associatedWith Whigham, Peter. person
associatedWith White, Eric Walter, 1905-1985. person
associatedWith Williams, Hugo, 1942- person
Place Name Admin Code Country
Newcastle upon Tyne ENG GB
Publishers and publishing
Publishers and publishing
Publishers and publishing
Publishers and publishing
Poetry, Modern
Poetry, Modern

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