Meet the Sussex Sticks Poetry Reading Group

Large sussex sticks group laughing

Formed in October 2016 by Jill Munro and Susan Castillo Street, Sussex Sticks Poetry Reading Group is a small group made up of published poets who discuss not only their own work, but also any other poetry that speaks to them, from any country and any era. Their favourites include Pablo Neruda, Rosemary Tonks and Philip Larkin, but the possibilities are endless!

The group – also including Louisa Campbell, Sarah Miles, Siân Thomas and Lawrence Wilson – choose one poem per meeting to discuss, based on personal preferences and bringing books from their own personal libraries. Some of them are lifelong poetry lovers, while others are newer to poetry, but they often refer to other literature and forms of writing in their discussions, sharing their knowledge and ideas. They sometimes have a theme or will do an activity, for example recently, they blanked out the poet and had to decide if was written by a male or female writer.

The benefits of poetry

“Reading and writing poetry can offer a welcome break from the chaos of our busy lives, and discussing poetry has brought the group’s members closer together, sharing personal experiences that arise through the poems we read.”

Large sussex sticks books and soft focus people

Get involved

Want to tell us more about your reading group? Send us your story and we might feature you in an upcoming article.

Make sure you don’t miss any of the latest reading ideas and offers – sign up to our free monthly newsletter.

Review your most recent books, and see what other readers have thought.

Not yet in a reading group? Find one in your area, or read out tips for starting your own.

Does your reading group read poetry? Who are some of your favourite poets? Review your most recent books, and see what other readers have thought.

Join in the conversation online – find us on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram.


Log in or Sign up to add a comment


Keeping your reading group active while social distancing

Are you wondering how your reading group can continue to meet, even while you’re social distancing? With many people at home with family, flatmates or on their own, we know that books are so important to provide comfort, solace and escapism. Staying socially connected, and keeping your regular reading group meetings in your diary, is going to be very important in keeping up morale and supporting everyone’s mental health as we adjust to a new way of living.

Medium screenshot 2020 03 27 at 12.24.50

How to start a reading group

Interested in joining a reading group or starting one of your own? Download our quick guide to getting started.

Thumb reading between the wines with books  2

Hive and The Reading Agency

The Reading Agency loves books, in every form, and we know you do too. We love it when people borrow books in every format from their brilliant local libraries. We love it when reading groups get exclusive free proofs from our publisher partners. We love it when readers pick up a pre-loved book from a second-hand bookshop for a song. And we also love it when you buy yourself or someone else a brand new book from a high street bookshop. We also know that buying online is quick and convenient...

Medium hive