The Society was founded in 1981 to promote a wider and deeper knowledge of this remarkable poet. It currently has about 550 members worldwide. We publish a newsletter three times a year, and a peer reviewed journal once a year (received at the end of the subscription year).
On the weekend nearest to Clare’s birthdate (July 13th) members and friends gather for our annual festival in Helpston, Clare’s birthplace. The festival is open to everyone – you do not have to be a member or a member’s guest in order to attend. At the festival, there is always a variety of Clare books for sale, some published by the society (see our Publications and Merchandise page). The festival also includes poetry readings, tours, stalls, talks, live entertainment and the Annual General Meeting of the society. The News and Events section of this website gives more information about the festival as well as other Clare related events which we hope will be of interest. The video below shows an original performance of songs and music from John Clare’s songbook from the 2013 festival.