Monday, January 16, 2012

Protesting poets

Protest against sponsor Aurum: T S Eliot Prize

TS Eliot prize: Second poet withdraws in sponsor protest

This is a good story. Heartening to read about people who say that "This does not agree with my personal politics and ethics". A great way of registering protest. It is tougher to practice politics you believe in, especially, as in this case, the Poetry Book Society is reportedly in a difficult position.

The question of whether this particular sponsor is above board is another matter. The poet who withdrew from the prize - John Kinsella endorsed the decision of another poet Alice Oswald who did the same. Oswald is quoted as saying "poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions". The prize is worth 15,000 pounds.

Here is a link to Hari Kunzru's comment on why he refused the John Llewellyn Rhys Prize sponsored by what he called "the xenophobic Mail on Sunday" in 2003.

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