Poet in residence

This term's poet in residence

Daljit Nagra

Shocking news of cut backs to the poetry world By Daljit Nagra
31 Mar 2011 - 02:01 PM

I was saddened to note the devastating cutbacks imposed on the poetry world as a result of Government policy. Several poetry publishers have either lost all or most of their funding. My particular concern is for the Poetry Book Society of which I am a Board Member. The PBS has lost 100% of its funding and now faces closure. I think it is an important organisation that needs our help. What do you think about the PBS or any other poetry organisations that have suffered cutbacks?

The PBS was set up by TS Eliot and colleagues in 1953. It publishes a quarterly booklet about the latest poetry books published and its judges recommend books. In addition the PBS has an excellent online bookshop where books can be bought at a reduced price. The PBS is best known for the TS Eliot prize, which is now the biggest poetry prize and perhaps the best advert for contemporary poetry because it makes the popular news, and the shortlist is promoted to schools around the country in an innovative way. One thing I think we could all do is to become members of the PBS to off-set its loss of earnings. Other ways will include appealing to businesses that the PBS is an important national institution that enriches the lives of so many and should therefore be supported. What are your thoughts about cut backs to the poetry world? What are your thoughts about the PBS? Am I being perhaps too sentimental and is it time that other poetry groups were funded instead?

5 Comments at the moment

Christian Ward at 2 Apr 2011 - 05:33 PM

I was saddened to hear about PBS. Promoting poetry through its recommendations and the T S Eliot Prize to a wider audience benefits poets and poetry as a whole, so I think the Arts Council has been a little shortsighted in its decision making. Whilst I appreciate this is a difficult time economically, we must not ignore the benefits an organisation like the PBS provides for the sake of miniscule savings (same goes for ARC Publications which lost all its funding and publishes a wide range of poets from across the globe)

Daljit Nagra at 3 Apr 2011 - 10:21 AM

Yes, other organisations to have suffered include, as you say Christian, ARC, and Enitharmon, Flambard and Anvil. That's quite a few quality poetry publishers brutally dealt with in one fell swoop.

Nina Boyd at 5 Apr 2011 - 02:37 PM

My subscription to the PBS is the only one I could never cancel! Sad days for poetry and those who care.

Radhamani Sarma at 5 Apr 2011 - 05:30 PM

I am writing this from INDIA. As an avid lover of poetry, I do understand the colossal loss to the PBS AND the poetry world in particular. I can only wish that ARTS COUNCIL revokes its decision; or evoke some measures to rehabilitate the sudden economic crisis PBS might face in future. It cannot be gainsaid the untold beneficiary through the PBS to the poetry world.

Radhamani Sarma at 5 Apr 2011 - 05:31 PM

I am writing this from INDIA. As an avid lover of poetry, I do understand the colossal loss to the PBS AND the poetry world in particular. I can only wish that ARTS COUNCIL revokes its decision; or evoke some measures to rehabilitate the sudden economic crisis PBS might face in future. It cannot be gainsaid the untold beneficiary through the PBS to the poetry world.

Search for a poem or a poet:

My Archive

Create lists of your favourite poems and poets and share them with friends.

Browse all poets by name

View all poets

Browse all poems by title

View all poems

Glossary of poetic terms

View full glossary
Poet In Residence Archive

You are welcome to explore our archive of past residencies and read some of the lively and varied discussions you'll find there.

This part of the Archive is full of poems chosen specially for children. Click here to meet old favourites and make new discoveries.