Group Sheets

At each of its meetings, the Belfast Group read drafts of poetry, short stories, or other prose works of its members. To facilitate the discussion, Philip Hobsbaum—with the assistance of Cilla Craig, the secretary in the English Department at Queen’s University, Belfast, or his wife Hannah—prepared typed copies of the drafts that would be discussed. These “Group sheets,” as they are now known, were distributed to Group members prior to meetings.

There are ninety-four distinct Group sheets in the collections of Queen’s and Emory University. An additional Group sheet is in private hands. The list below details the contents of individual Group sheets, including the author and the names of the works that appeared in draft form. A selection of these Group sheets have been made available as digital editions and provide a window into the process of writing and re-writing poetry.

The Group sheets have been organized into two broad time periods, corresponding to when Hobsbaum was with the Group (1963–March 1966) and after he left (1966–1972). Most of the Group sheets are undated, but some include handwritten dates, times, and places. Absent that information, we have assumed that undated sheets in Hobsbaum’s papers are from the Group’s first time period and that undated sheets from other collections are from the second period.

A note about capitalization: our data is drawn directly from the catalogues at Queen’s and Emory. Since rules for title capitalization differ between the UK and the US, the formatting of each Group sheet reflects where it is catalogued.

Displaying 4 Group sheets.

  • Bond, John; Simmons, James. “David Gallacher,” “That sailor,” “American settler’s soliloquy,” “Confession,” no date.

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Simmons, James. “Drinker’s blues,” “Fahan Strand,” “Old lady’s song,” “Ramble away,” “The young airforce men,” “The Ulster soldier boy,” no date, two pages.

    view digital edition

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.

  • Simmons, James. “Marital Sonnets,” “Elegy for J.F. Kennedy,” “The Publican,” “A Man of Principle,” “No Land is Waste,” “Homage to Eichmann,” “Goodbye Sally,” 01 Mar 1971.

    Source: Frank Ormsby papers, circa 1967-2004 .

  • Simmons, James. “Sonnets for the class of 58,” “One man – two voices,” “On gardens,” “At Cordelia’s grave,” “Singing at a coffee party,” “Soliloquy for a ghost,” no date, two pages.

    view digital edition

    Source: Belfast Creative Writing Group 1963-6.