The Poetry Book Society needs your help!

As you’ll probably know if you live in the UK, the Arts Council has decided to withdraw all funding from The Poetry Book Society from April next year. As you might also know, The Poetry Book Society is a widely respected and internationally unique organisation that selects outstanding poetry collections for readers and libraries, and which also – through its own bookshop sales – is an immensely significant source of revenue for poetry publishers, and so also for poets.

The Arts Council’s funding choices must be very difficult in these tight financial times but this is a very bad, sad decision. The PBS was established by the Arts Council at Stephen Spender’s suggestion, and both T.S. Eliot and Philip Larkin served on its board in their time; it still has enormous prestige in a world where poetry is often the neglected child of the writing world. And the society continues to make a genuine difference to poets and poetry, and it is desperately important for it to continue to operate. Honestly, you guys, it really matters.

There are several things you could do to help, and I hope anyone reading this post who cares anything at all about poetry will do at least one of them.

1. To sign the petition to the Arts Council asking for a restoration of funding, click here.

2. To buy a poetry book through their online bookshop, click here.

3. To read about the PBS’s work, or even better to become a member of the PBS, click here.

3.  To read the letter that over 100 poets have sent to the Arts Council in support of the PBS, click here.

4. To email Dame Elizabeth Forgan, Chair of the Arts Council, to express your dismay, here’s the email to use:  chiefexecutive@artscouncil.org.uk

6. To read Carol Ann Duffy’s poem of protest in The Guardian tomorrow, wait until the site for Saturday’s paper is up and then click here.

5 Responses to “The Poetry Book Society needs your help!”

  1. Elizabeth Welsh Says:

    You are doing a very commendable thing, Belinda! Supporting societies by making their plights more visible helps so much. I have tried to do as many actions on the list that you suggested as possible. It looks like it is a fabulous society and one worth funding!

  2. admin Says:

    Thanks for that support, Elizabeth. We do have to fight for the things we admire when they’re in trouble – surely, if we don’t, nothing will change.

  3. A cut back « Keithpp's Blog Says:

    [...] The Poetry Book Society needs your help! – [...]

  4. Keith Says:

    http://keithpp.wordpress.com/2011/04/09/a-cut-back/

  5. admin Says:

    Thanks, Keith, for your input and support.

Leave a Reply

You must be logged in to post a comment.