Hastings and St Leonard’s has inspired poets and authors for centuries, some mainstream but most alternative. Today’s local literary creatives offer impassioned insights into our town, together with national and global perspectives, whether through romanticism or stark realism. Explore or contribute to the ‘scene’ here:

• Bookbusters independent bookshop offers a full range of local writers and publishers. It hosts Sheer Poetry open mic each third Thursday of the month 6-8 pm – £2 donation includes wine. Intimate and friendly.

• Hastings Slam Dunk is at The Printworks each last Thursday of the month 7-10 pm – at least eight 3-minute slam spots available on the night plus a full set from last month’s winner and an out-of-town headline act. £5 (£3 for slammers) Craft bar. Riotous fun.

• Borough Wines Beers and Books independent off-licence, bookshop and venue hosts poetry and book readings including the infamous Weird Shit – check out their Facebook page. Quirky literary vibes.

• Kino Teatr hosts regular book readings, poetry events and other literary happenings – details on their website, kino-teatr. Classy alternative venue.

• The Bookkeeper independent bookshop champions local writers and holds occasional readings and poetry evenings. On Facebook. Friendly writers’ hangout.

• Printed Matter Bookshop holds regular book launches, readings and a Reading Group – see their Facebook page for details. Dedicated literary fiends.

• Hastings Writers Group meets fortnightly at White Rock Hotel on Mondays 7-9 pm – readings, support and competitions. Established 70 years. Details on their website.

• Hastings Poetry Stanza meets monthly to workshop and organise poetry events – see Facebook. Local poets in supportive solidarity.

• PaperAndInkZine is Hastings’ own contribution to the burgeoning alternative printed literature scene. Founded by Hastings poet Martin Appleby, issue 12, an all-female collection, is out now – £3 but they sell out fast. See Facebook or Etsy.

We hope you have enjoyed reading this article from Hastings Independent Press. The future of this volunteer led, non-profit publication would be far more secure with the aid of a small donation. It only takes a minute and we would be very grateful.