Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poets Are Mad to Bash the Bankers Who Fund Them

Newspaper article The Evening Standard (London, England)

Poets Are Mad to Bash the Bankers Who Fund Them

Article excerpt

Byline: Sebastian Shakespeare

[bar] IRST the Tate gallery says it is considering its 20-year sponsorship deal with BP -- which expires next year -- because of ongoing environmental protests. Then this week two poets, John Kinsella and Alice Oswald, withdrew their names from the TS Eliot Prize awarded by the Poetry Book Society because it is sponsored by Aurum, which is -- horror of horrors! -- an investment firm. Can institutions and individuals afford to be so high-minded in these austere times? With the cuts in government funding to the arts, who else is going to make good the shortfall? Oswald said: "Poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions." Note she said poetry, not poets. But how does poetry question such institutions? Who wants to read a poem about the iniquities of Aurum? It sounds very dull to me and I am not sure she has yet risen to that challenge.

Besides, TS Eliot worked in a bank for years. That doesn't stop us reading his poetry, nor does it diminish him as a poet. Even poor poets have to earn a crust. Oswald is published by Faber & Faber, where TS Eliot was a director, so presumably logic would dictate that she should withdraw her name from its publishing list because of his mammon-worship.

She also fails to acknowledge that Aurum finances the children's charity ARK. …

Search by... Author
Show... All Results Primary Sources Peer-reviewed

Oops!

An unknown error has occurred. Please click the button below to reload the page. If the problem persists, please try again in a little while.