About the group

East Coker is a picturesque South Somerset village of around 1800 inhabitants, a few miles south west of Yeovil. It is famous for being the birthplace of the navigator, pirate and botanist, William Dampier, who explored the west coast of Australia, and as the burial place of the great 20th century poet, Thomas Stearns Eliot. The village was immortalised in TS Eliot's Four Quartets, published in 1943.

In my beginning is my end. Now the light falls
Across the open field, leaving the deep lane
Shuttered with branches, dark in the afternoon
Where you lean against a bank while a van passes,
And the deep lane insists on the direction
Into the village, in the electric heat
Hypnotised. In a warm haze the sultry light
Is absorbed, not refracted, by grey stone.
The dahlias sleep in the empty silence.
Wait for the early owl.

Although the poet was born in St Louis, Missouri, in 1888, he moved to England as a young man and remained here until his death in 1965. His ashes are buried in the churchyard of St Michael's Church, and there is a commemorative plaque in the church. With this heritage, there is an understandable enthusiasm for poetry in the village and we decided to form the East Coker Poetry Group.  Meetings are entertaining, informal and sociable.  Membership is free and everyone is welcome, including visitors to the village. Our meetings regularly attract 20 - 30 poetry lovers.  For many years the group met in the Helyar Arms in the village, but we will now be based at the Village Cafe :-

The group meets in The Village Cafe, The Old Coach Yard, East Coker, Somerset, BA22 9HY

For more information, contact David Cloke.

Headline News


We are having a 'ticket only' afternoon meeting at Frankham farm in late July - email for details or via the contact form by 10th July if you would like to come.

(Numbers are limited.)


Covid advice.   There is still a high prevalence of Covid19 at this time (June 2022).   Please follow any government and NHS guidance.   

If you have any cold-like or flu symptoms please avoid coming to the meetings even if you have a negative flow test.   Do wear a face mask at meetings if you wish to.

Please check this website before attending any event, just in case we have to cancel an event at short notice due to changes in the COVID situation or rules.   


Results of the East Coker Poetry Competition 2021 -  'The Elements'     

Juliet Lacey wins the long poem category and Maya Pieris wins the short poem category.

Full details are on our 'Competitions' page


Our Outside Event at 'Bales' and the September 'Open meeting' were reminders how good it is to get back to 'real' poetry meetings again.   

See the 'News' Page