Friday, 29 July 2011

Poetry Society may be in Meltdown

The Poetry Society, a 102-year old institution, the English equivalent of America's Poetry Foundation, appears to be melting down faster than the Fukushima Daiichi reactors. For all we know, the melt-through stage has already been reached.

George Szirtes is desperately circulating a petition to save the Poetry Society. Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy has added her 'By Royal Appointment' signature to the steadily growing list of save the society campaigners.

So what exactly is going on? Nobody seems to know, or at least nobody is telling. The whole affair is shrouded in secrecy and misinformation of almost TEPCO proportions.

There are surfacing allegations of shady board meetings, hushed-up money-go-rounds, the misappropriation of grant money - that is public money!, intimidating behaviour by certain trustees, and secret deals being struck behind the ex-director's back.

And all this may be only the steam from the corium.

A fog of secrecy is drifting over the scene like the clouds leaving TEPCO's reactors at night. Someone should get in there and investigate. And they should do it NOW!

If I was a member (thankfully I'm not) I would call in the Fraud Squad.

Silkworms Ink is reporting developments.


  1. We have easily exceeded our target 1,000 signatories, Gwilym. Press release goes out today.

    No question of fraud or 'hushed-up-money-go-rounds' - but of money spent on law and PR that need not have been spent and Arts Council grants either lost or suspended as a result of poor decisions. No one has made an accusation of financial impropriety.

    I should make it clear that I myself am not on the board and am not looking to be. In respect of all this I am an ordinary member. All the petition wants is the reinstatement of the former director.

  2. George, Congratulations on easily reaching the 1,000 signatures!
    I suppose my piece is saying that it's sadly a matter of the general impression that the mass resignation of officials and the elbowing out of the former director gives to outsiders like myself - jumped or pushed? - so obviously now time reorganize the troops and clear the casualties off the battlefield - unless somebody pops up and fires another salvo.
    Well done George!


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