Poetry Book Society

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia
Jump to navigation Jump to search

The Poetry Book Society (PBS) was founded in 1953 by T. S. Eliot and friends, including Sir Basil Blackwell, "to propagate the art of poetry".[1] Eric Walter White was secretary from December 1953 until 1971, and was subsequently the society's chairman.[2] The PBS was chaired by Philip Larkin in the 1980s.[3] Each quarter the Society selects one newly published collection of poetry as its "Choice" title for its members and makes four "Recommendations" for optional purchase. The Society also publishes the quarterly poetry journal, the PBS Bulletin, and until 2016 administered the annual T. S. Eliot Prize for Poetry. Following the Poetry Society's instigation of its New Generation Poets promotion in 1994, the Poetry Book Society organised two subsequent "Next Generation Poets" promotions in 2004 and 2014.[4] In 2016 the former Poetry Book Society charity which had managed the book club from 1953 had to be wound up, with its director Chris Holifield appointed as the new director of the T.S. Eliot Prize, and with its book club and company name taken over by book sales agency Inpress Ltd in Newcastle.[5]

The British Library acquired the Poetry Book Society archive in 1988 and 1996 consisting of organisational papers, correspondence, financial papers, publicity and photographs.[6]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ "About the Poetry Book Society", PBS website.
  2. ^ "Silver Jubilee", PN Review 19, Volume 7, Number 5, May - June 1981.
  3. ^ Benedicte Page, "Duffy stages benefit for Poetry Book Society", The Bookseller, 31 May 2011.
  4. ^ "British Council Literature". Literature.britishcouncil.org. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  5. ^ Flood, Alison (3 June 2016). "Cuts-hit Poetry Book Society to close". The Guardian. Retrieved 19 May 2018.
  6. ^ Poetry Book Society archive, archives and manuscripts catalogue, the British Library. Retrieved 19 May 2020

Further reading[edit]

  • Eric Walter White (ed.), Poetry Book Society: The First Twenty Five Years, 1954-1978, PBS, 1979. ISBN 978-0950189543
  • Jonathan Barker (ed.), Thirty Years of the Poetry Book Society, Hutchinson, 1988. ISBN 978-0091710415
  • Clare Brown & Don Paterson (eds.), Don't Ask Me What I Mean: Poets in Their Own Words, Picador, 2003. ISBN 978-0330412827 [compilation from 50 years of PBS Bulletins, 1953-2003]

External links[edit]