Wednesday, 7 December 2011

Oswald vs. Aurum

Well, now.  This is big.  Several major poets shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize, the UK's equivalent of the Pulitzer in terms of prestige, have asked to be removed, in protest at the sponsorship by a hedge fund, Aurum.  This seems like very bad news for The Poetry Book Society.  I wonder how come no one noticed until now that in an age of austerity, poets might not want to be associated with capitalist institutions?  I am not sure the protest entirely makes sense - is Alice Oswald against all capitalism?  Her publisher markets and sells her books, and no doubt has a business account with a bank, and investments.  It seems a staggering gesture, but one that in some ways seems self-defeating.  Poets can appear aloof.  Now they appear begrudging of a potential major prize, when many people would work a year for £15,000.
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