There has been some drama at the T. S. Eliot Poetry prize over the last weeks with two poets withdrawing over the partial sponsorhip of the prize by a hedge fund management firm. I've written a piece on it for Rochford Street Review:

Just wondering what people think about the ethics of poets or poetry organisations accepting sponsorship from large and sometimes questionable Corporations? Is it any different from working for a company that doesn't align with your political, social or ethical views?

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I would not be comfortable with this. My question is why would they sponsor a poetry comp. in the first place?

Joh Featherstone agonised over this with me one night many years ago re the Red Room taking corporate sponsorship, and I couldn't see any problem with it. There are poets happy enough to take grants from a government whose actions they won't always agree with, and yet who recoil from private backing as though the beneficiary were selling out. All a little "1975" for mine.


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