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BRITISH-IRISH-POETS  1998

BRITISH-IRISH-POETS 1998

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Subject:

Re: Making a lot more money

From:

R I Caddel <[log in to unmask]>

Reply-To:

R I Caddel <[log in to unmask]>

Date:

Wed, 18 Feb 1998 09:02:29 +0000 (GMT)

Content-Type:

TEXT/PLAIN

Parts/Attachments:

Parts/Attachments

TEXT/PLAIN (47 lines)

On Tue, 17 Feb 1998, Peter Riley wrote:
> 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.

- 'twas thus in the old Poetry Secretariat days too, and a very sound
principle it was/is. As far as I know it operates yet in the NorthEast
(Colpitts, Morden Tower) but with the proviso that fees may be reduced for
group readings, and sometimes funds are short at the end of the year...

> 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.

- and moving beyond the little world of poetry, of course, 200 is washers.
But within the small budgets marked out for poetry, such a fee is - well,
2xCCCP poets for a start. 1xAM=2xCCCP? Sack the administrator, I say. And
as for the "well-why-shouldn't-he-if-he-can-get-away-with-it" defence, it
stinks.

 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.

- let's look at that expression "free-market principles" a while...
hmmm...

> 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.

- Yup, exactly so. And then someone says, oh, but the Big Names attract
audiences for / create a platform for / provide a context for the
less-well-known, and I say, no they don't. The whole "market" paradigm
damages in the same way that agricultural drainage (also a market product)
damages, produces atrophy and "distorted perception" - ecosystems get
pushed out, and where there were once little patches of sustainable
wetland, you get the "drastic narrowing" of the range as the resources
gets channelled off into (wait for it) the Mainstream. See my thesis on
bardic bog survival systems.

RC



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