Carol Ann Duffy is definitely shaping up to be one of our most interesting Poet Laureates. I've quoted her amazing Last Post before, this one is her response to the Art Council's decision to cut all funding from the Poetry Book Society from April next year. It originally featured in the Guardian, and I'm quoting it from Belinda Hollyer's blog. Here's how you can help the Poetry Book Society.
A CUT BACK, by Carol Ann Duffy
It’s no go the LitFest, it’s no go up in Lancaster,
though they’ve built an auditorium (still quite wet, the plaster)
a bar, a bookshop, office space … well, they won’t need wheelchair
All we want is a million quid and here’s to the Olympics.
London’s Enitharmon Press was founded in 1967,
but David Gascoyne and Kathleen Raine are writing now in heaven,
with UA Fanthorpe, John Heath-Stubbs; dead good dead poets all.
The only bloody writing now’s the writing on the wall.
It’s no go the national art, it’s no go cake with icing.
All we want are strategic cuts, it’s no go salami slicing.
It’s no go the Poetry Trust, it’s no go in East Suffolk;
Aldeburgh’s east of Stratford East. As Rooney says, oh f-fuck it –
because it’s no go First Collection Prize, it’s no go local writers.
We’ve been asked to pull the plug, the rug, by coalition shysters.
National Association of Writers in Education?
No way, NAWE, children and books, the train’s leaving the station.
It’s no go your poets in schools, it’s no go your cultures.
All we want is squeezed middles and stringent diets for vultures.
It’s no go the pamphlet, the gig in Newcastle no go.
All we want is a context for the National Portfolio.
Three little presses went to market, Flambard, Arc and Salt;
had their throats cut ear to ear and now it’s hard to talk.
They remember Thatcher’s Britain. Clegg-Cameron’s is worse.
Deathbyathousandcuts.co.uk, the least of which is verse.
It’s no go the avant-garde, it’s no go the mainstream.
All we want is a Review Group, chaired, including recommendations.
Stephen Spender thought continually of those who were truly great;
set up the Poetry Book Society with TS Eliot, genius mate.
But it’s no go two thousand strong in the Queen Elizabeth Hall.
Phone a cab for the Nobel laureates as they take their curtain call.
It’s no go, dear PBS. It’s no go, sweet poets.
Sat on your arses for fifty years and never turned a profit.
All we want are bureaucrats, the nods as good as winkers.
And if you’re strapped for cash, go fish, then try the pigging