Tuesday, May 22, 2012


Formed in 1988 by Margaret Weir and Jean Cumbour.

The group met at St Mary's Centre in Middlesbrough and was, at the time, an important and lively group.

It's story began when Trev Teasdel visited The Middlesbrough Writers Group at Acklam Library to distribute copies of

Margaret Weir4
 Outlet Magazine and network. Margaret Weir had been elected chair and there was a small group, mostly from Gt. Ayton, who wanted more of a poetry group. Margaret, Jean Cumbour and Demaris Perry were keen on forming a poetry group and asked Trevor to help. 

As with the Redcar group, they set a date and booked Acklam library (later moving to St Mary's Centre) and Trevor notified Outlet poets and many of those who had been in his Middlesbrough classes and were interested in poetry. Margaret, through Trevor got very involved with the Write Around committee eventually joining the Outlet editorial board and became a Creative Writing Tutor for Leeds University adult education.

Margaret had been a regular member of Trevor's Becoming a Poet course for WEA at Teesside University around that time and continued to provide exercises and triggers and encourage discussion and feedback of work. As an Outlet editor and leader of the group,Margaret worked with Richard 

Phoenix Poets
Briddon to develop a federation of local groups to organise joint readings and events. The Phoenix Poetry group led the way in 1989, bringing together the Phoenix group, Bramblethorn Writers, Redcar Writers, Guisborough Writers, Yarm Writers, Poetry 20+ for joint readings / workshops. It was a lively time for writers and the culmination of 5 years development work by the Outlet team.

The Phoenix initiated some performance nights too,at the Sun Inn in Stockton as part of the first Write Around, in Guisborough and at Acklam Library. The Phoenix group only lasted to about 1991 after Margaret and Trevor became parents and therefore had other commitments.

From Outlet No 10 in which the Phoenix Poetry Group had a double page spread.

The Phoenix Poets.
"The Phoenix Poets were formed a year ago (1988),when it became evident that there was a need for a meeting place in the centre of Cleveland for poets who had attended the various Creative Writing classes in the area as well as for contributors to Outlet magazine and for poets whose needs were not met by any other group.

We are a friendly, informal group and exist to give each other moral support, a first audience to read out to and get constructive criticism from. We also write within the group and set themes to write at home,although these are purely optional.We hosted one live event for 'Write Around' 1989 and are working towards another one to be held at the end of October. All poets and creative writers are welcome at any of our meetings and events.

Phoenix Dates / Proposed Agenda - Summer 1989.

Aug 31st - Margaret Weir - Talk on American Poets
Sept 14th - Poetry 20+ Join us for the evening.
Sept 28th Workshop Session
Oct 12th Preparation for Live event
Oct 26th Live event in Guisborough - The Globe -music and poetry.
Nov 9th Terry Lawson (Co-editor of Outlet) gives a poetry workshop

Everyone welcome at St. Mary's Centre Middlesbrough (opposite Odeon Cinema) on the second and last Thursday of every month. 

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