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Be sure to check out our state-wide poetry calendar to find events in your area!

About the Poetry Society of SC

our mission

The Poetry Society of South Carolina, established in 1921 and modeled on the Poetry Society of America, was the first state poetry society in the country. An all-volunteer group with its hub in Charleston, our purpose is to support the reading, writing, study, and enjoyment of poetry across the state.

background

We host free readings and lectures, and foster the craft of poetry by offering seminars, workshops, writers’ groups, and prizes that include cash awards and publication. Among the major American poets we have featured through the years are Edna St. Vincent Millay, Robert Frost, Henry Taylor, and Billy Collins.

readings

Our Charleston program series has brought poetry to the Lowcountry for nearly 100 years. More recently we have branched out to create Litchfield Tea and Poetry, serving Horry County, and Charleston’s (now-defunct) Main Branch Poetry series, featuring NC and SC poets. We also lend support to the Sundown Poetry Series, a part of the Piccolo Spoleto Festival, and to Poetry at McLeod, presenting major African-American poets at McLeod Plantation Historic Site. Most years we host Poetry at the VA, bringing poets of warfare to address our military veterans. Our mission is statewide, so contact us if you are interested in having a series in your area.

activities

Our twenty-two poetry contests encourage poetry-writing at all levels of skill, and include the Skylark Prize, a student competition whose guidelines are sent to every public school in the state. On occasion we also hold the Kinloch Rivers Chapbook Competition. The Writers’ Group has met regularly for discussion and critique for nearly 100 years. Our featured poets are selected for scholarship as well as showmanship, and give terrific seminars. We provide seminars in other parts of the state as well; contact us if you are interested in having one in your area.

get involved

The board of the Poetry Society meets once a month. Our work is supported by dues, contest entry fees, contributions from South Carolina businesses and charities, and the volunteer efforts of our members. If you want to lend a hand, and have or want to acquire arts administration experience, do contact us.

join PSSC

We welcome you to join the Poetry Society of South Carolina. Benefits include a copy of the Yearbook; notices of monthly meetings, contests, and other literary events; discount tuition for our seminars; free entry into all of our contests; and a supportive statewide community of poets and friends of poetry.

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book signing and reception

Billy Collins

Brian Turner, about to read; Eugene Platt, Helen Brandenburg, John Ziegler, Susan Walters, and Joe Zealberg