Shocking news of cut backs to the poetry world
Daljit Nagra - 31 March 2011
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?