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Dear Poetry Society member,

Please see below a message from Laura Bamford, Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees of the Poetry Society, including the agenda for the meeting on 22 July and Extraordinary General Meeting guidelines.

The Board of Trustees of the Poetry Society can be contacted via email:

Further Poetry Society news can be found in the Media Room page of our website.


The Poetry Society
Company Number 00190736

Extraordinary General Meeting

To be held at on Friday 22nd July 2011 at 2.00pm in Lecture Theatre 1, The Royal College of Surgeons, 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE

1. Welcome from the Chair (2.00pm)
2. Apologies for absence (2.05pm)
3. Opening response from the Chair to the requisition delivered to the Board and explanation about recent events at the Poetry Society (2.10pm)
4. Questions from members (2.30pm)
5. Outline and presentation of current and future strategy of The Poetry Society, ways of working more closely with and getting feedback from members (3.35pm)
6. Questions from members (4.00pm)
7. AOB (4.30pm)

For information - text of requisition delivered to the Board of Trustees of The Poetry Society:

We, the undersigned, constituting as we believe ten percent of the members of The Poetry Society, having learned of the resignation of the Chair of the Board of Trustees and the Director, the Finance Manager and the President of the Society, and in order to determine whether, in these extraordinary circumstances, the Board of Trustees has our continuing confidence, require the Board to hold an Extraordinary General Meeting, with a Chair elected by that meeting, to provide an explanation of the practices, policies and changes in policy which led to these resignations, and to answer questions on this matter from the floor. In order to avoid unreasonable expense to the Society, we require the Extraordinary General Meeting to be held before or instead of the General Meeting called by the Society at 2pm on 22 July 2011.


Along with the agenda for the Extraordinary General Meeting, we include these brief guidelines on the General meeting, including proxy voting which we hope you will find helpful. These guidelines are taken from the Society’s Memorandum and Articles of Association which are posted on the Poetry Society’s website

Why are we now calling this an Extraordinary General Meeting?

The Memorandum and Articles of Association refer to General Meetings; we are advised that these are in fact one and the same thing.

Who is entitled to attend the Extraordinary General Meeting?

All fully paid up members, including Honorary Members, Patrons and Vice Presidents, can attend and speak at the Extraordinary General Meeting. Membership is not transferable.

There are three wheelchair spaces available in the Lecture Hall; if you need a wheelchair space, please let Paul McGrane know – or by phoning 020 7420 9880.

Who can chair the meeting?

The Chair of the Board of Trustees should chair the meeting, as outlined in Article 38 of the Memorandum.

The requisition asked the Board to appoint an independent Chair. As we have already said in a message to all members, the Memorandum and Articles of Association do not allow for this but we do believe it will be helpful to have an independent facilitator to take members’ questions during the meeting.

Who can ask questions at the meeting?

All fully-paid up members, Honorary Members, Patrons and Vice Presidents, can ask questions at the meeting. We intend that the meeting’s facilitator will take on this part of the meeting. Roving microphones will be available.


If a vote is taken at the meeting, every fully-paid up member has a vote and it is done by a show of hands.

Either the Chair or at least two members present in person or by proxy can call for a poll if they feel it preferable to a show of hands, in which case voting cards will be available.

Proxy votes

If you can’t attend the meeting, you can appoint the Chair or a fully-paid up member to act as your proxy but you do have to complete the proxy form below:

The Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street
London WC2H 9BX

I/We, [NAME] of [ADDRESS] being a member/members of the above named Society, hereby appoint the Chair/member [NAME] as my/our proxy to vote in my/our name[s] and on my/our behalf at the General Meeting of the Society to be held on 22 July 2011 and at any adjournment thereof.

Signed    this day of     2011

The proxy form must arrive at The Poetry Society’s office at least 48 hours before the meeting, i.e. by 2.00pm on Wednesday 20 July 2011. It can be posted to the address above or emailed to

The Trustees are aware of the very deep feelings all Members have towards this, their Poetry Society. We too are Members and we share many of your concerns, which is why we called this General Meeting: to answer questions and to outline our very exciting future. It is our intention to be as open, as transparent as possible and to answer as many of your questions as possible. We realise there is a measure of grave frustration among many of you due to the silence of Trustees on recent events. As I am sure many of you will realise, there are some constraints on what we can say - these being dictated by legal process amongst other things.

We very much look forward to meeting you on 22nd July and we very much hope this will be the first of many occasions when we can share ideas, hear updates and to underline and enhance the value of the Poetry Society. Yours sincerely Laura Bamford Acting Chair on behalf of Trustees and Members of the Poetry Society

With best wishes,

Laura Bamford
Acting Chair on behalf of Trustees of the Poetry Society
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The Poetry Society
22 Betterton Street
London, England WC2H 9BX

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