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 David Armitage and John Wells.
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. Principal correspondents include 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.
Presented by John Wells, 1988-89.
Please cite as Cambridge University Library, Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, Cambridge Poetry Society and the Association of Cambridge Poetry Societies: Records, MS Add.8681
Additional papers of Clive Wilmer are at MS Add. 9958.
An item-level paper handlist is available for consultation in the Manuscripts Reading Room.
Catalogue record prepared by John Wells of the Department of Manuscripts and University Archives, April 2012