Tuesday, 5 April 2011

PBS: Halleluyah! It's a gold!

So all is well.
Antonia Byatt in her letter published today [yesterday] in the TIMES (Arts Council: we support poetry) says "We have also recently invested more than £1 million in poetry for the Olympics, much of it engaging young people."
So it's all OK because writing a few poems about the Olympics will benefit young people so much more, according to Ms Byatt. That's what poetry is all about, £1,000,000 for that, and nothing for the PBS, NALD, Poetry Trust, Arc, Litfest etc etc. Let's hope the kids bring home a few medals for ACE to display in their trophy cabinet. What a wonderful cabinet that will be, and think of the heads along the wall!

As if even ACE believed that! Shame on them for even daring to boast with such drivel. The government glove puppet speaks unto the people.


Cliff Laine said...

How can an intelligent person agree to abase herself like that? It's degrading to everyone involved. I hope they publish a rebuttal from someone who still has a degree of independence of mind.

charles said...

I suspect the Olympics taradiddle is similar to the AHRB knowing that they're only going to get government money if they agree to fund research projects that accord with government priorities ('the big society'). Murky waters.

panther said...

By the by, I'm also not convinced that English PEN should have had their funding from the Arts Council TRIPLED this year. Yes, they do great work with translators and yes, they advocate for many writers in prison round the world (I write to two such writers), but in this age of austerity I don't think ANY organization should get their funding tripled.

And as for reach and scope, English PEN for all its virtues might as well be re-named London PEN. They hardly ever have an event outside the Big Smoke. If they have 2 events per month, say, then that's 24 in the year. Maybe 2 of those will be Somewhere English That Is Not London. They do charge slightly less per subscription to us benighted souls who inhabit the provinces, but it is only slightly less.

Friends in high places is the phrase that comes to mind. Michael Schmidt at Carcanet has had his funding cut but only a bit, whereas Anvil have had their funding cut by 42%. Which leads me to suspect that Michael Schmidt has friends in high places and that the folk at Anvil have friends in rather lower places.

George S said...

I am rather hoping Michael Schmidt has friends in high places. I can't see them from down here.

I have not yet seen the headline 'Anvil get Hammered'.

Forgive me, I am so tired I can only speak in frivolities.

When I wake up I will be sensible again. PEN is pretty London bound, that is true. It's like the Royal Society of Literature which I can never get to despite being a Fellow of it. Perhaps if Moniza is one, or becomes one, we could found a Wymondham branch.

Winger said...

You should organise a march, George. Poets carrying poetic banners would be just about the best protest group ever.

"Stanza Up for Your Writes!"

*joins in the frivolity*

George S said...


George S said...

IAMB4PBS etc, ad naus. [collapses}

Dafydd John said...

Sonnet to 'em!!

Anonymous said...

Is not the starving of PBS of funds a cynical assumption by the powers that be that Mrs T S Eliot will step into the breach and save at least the Prize if not the whole caboodle which her late husband founded. Meanwhile she will also doubtless be expected to save East Coker from becoming a ribbon development called South Yeovil. This is what the Government and ACE and the Culture Secretary are now expecting of philanthropists - to fund the Arts and let everyone else off the hook. One cannot help feeling that Eliot as a most courageous and unstinting public intellectual must be turning in his unquiet East Coker churchyard.

A. N. Author said...

"Haiku, haiku, it's off to Riot we Gew*"

* this banner says: Made in Norfolk