Dispossessions: News of the Fightback against Poetry Cuts in the ACE 2011.

This morning it is reported that nine poets  are disputing the Arts Council cuts in England. Poetry is an encounter, and always surprising, so I am adding in here the links and reports on what is (imo) a most utilitarian and pedestrian set of decisions regarding funding cuts across the water.

Nine leading poets call for ACE rethink on PBS cut.


“Nine of the UK’s leading poets, including laureate Carol Ann Duffy, Blake Morrison and Don Paterson, have called for Arts Council England (ACE) to “urgently reconsider their decision” to withdraw funding from the Poetry Book Society (PBS). The ACE has scheduled a meeting with PBS board members for Monday [4th April].

In a letter published in today’s Times, the poets said they were “shocked that the Arts Council has decided to withdraw all funding from the Poetry Book Society, a widely respected and unique organisation that selects outstanding poetry collections for readers and libraries.

The PBS also administers the T S Eliot Prize, an award for new collections of poetry in English, and has supported works in translation. It was established by Sir Stephen Spender, with T S Eliot and Philip Larkin among previous board members.

In the letter, the poets, which also included Simon Armitage, Wendy Cope, David Harsent, Jo Shapcott, Christopher Reid and George Szirtes, added: “We ask the Arts Council to urgently reconsider their decision which will have a devastating impact on poets, publishers and, especially, on readers of contemporary poetry.”

Vice-chair of the PBS board, Desmond Clarke, said ACE has now contacted the PBS and arranged a meeting for Monday [4th April]. He said: “Clearly the PBS and the T S Eliot Prize are the most high-profile casualty of the Arts Council cuts. This letter is very powerful and it’s great that nine of our country’s leading poets have come out in support. To lose the T S Eliot Prize, the highest profile prize in the English language, would be very very sad.”

Save the Poetry Book Society

Here is the Poetry Book Society Petition-link, both Salt Publishing and the Poetry Book Society have suffered 0% funding, similar indeed , to the cuts to our Irish Writer’s Centres, which are areas of resource for writers :

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