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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Making a lot more money

From:

[log in to unmask] (Peter Riley)

Reply-To:

[log in to unmask] (Peter Riley)

Date:

Tue, 17 Feb 1998 18:32:00 +0000

Content-Type:

text/plain

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

text/plain (41 lines)


At CCCP we maintain a strict principle of equal pay for equal work, and
give the same fee (now 100) to poets who haven't yet had so much as a
pamphlet published as to internationally known figures. In seven years
we've only had one poet saying it wasn't enough. I think this is the only
fair way to do it since you can't measure the quality of poetry against a
fee. But if Nottingham what-not can go and ask for public money just to
get Andrew Motion I don't see why anyone else can't to get any other poet.
Most AC literature officers these days are sympathetic to extreme versions
of artistic practice as long as the demand is clearly there; the days of
"quality control" in the British-Council sense (which was not a quality
control at all but an artifical constraint on the market) are over (except
in the British Council).

Actually 200 is peanuts in the higher levels. I'm sure that some of those
Irish women poets command 500 and one or two British poets probably get
into four figures. This is still fair enough on free-market principles of
course, or would be if we were certain that the market was not being
manipulated.

It isn't the amounts that matter, but the distorted public perception of
what constitutes contemporary poetry, which produces them. This distortion
takes the form of a drastic narrowing rather than a substitution. I have
previously said that I think a lot of the blame for this lies in the
"small-press" zone itself, and I still believe that, though it's not the
whole story. I have horrific anecdotes....

April's CCCP is still in a state of flux: Anthony Barnett cannot come, for
obvious reasons. Deanna Fergusson cannot come. The Australian Gig Ryan will
be coming. Two french poets have not yet replied.... Developments will be
posted in this channel.



/Peter Riley




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