Tag Archives: culture

How to request that your book is added to the catalogue of theUnited Kingdom’s National Poetry Library

If you are a UK-based poet, did you know that you can ask the National Poetry Library to consider adding your works to their catalogue. To find out how to request that the Library consider adding your work, please see below.

Having published “The Writer’s Pen and Other Poems”, on 3 September 2018, contacting The National Poetry Library is on my list of things to do. (You can find “The Writer’s Pen” here, https://www.amazon.com/dp/B07GD1LBMV.

“My poetry book is published. How do I make sure the library has a copy?

Firstly check our catalogue to make sure we don’t already have a copy.

If it’s not there, please bear in mind that we receive 200-300 new items every month and are unable to accept everything that is sent for the collection.

The Acquisitions Panel meet regularly to consider submissions.

For your book to be considered, please send in a copy including a return address; the librarians will consider it and respond to you.

Please send one book at a time. We have standing orders with most of the UK poetry publishers.

If you are a new publisher who would like to submit your books please get in touch.

We are primarily concerned with collecting UK and Irish publications so please contact us before sending publications from overseas.

Please get in touch”.

FAQ:  https://www.nationalpoetrylibrary.org.uk/visit/faqs.

 

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Today is Author’s Day

On local radio today I learned that November 1st is National Author’s Day, https://www.daysoftheyear.com/days/authors-day/. I must confess to not having heard of this celebration until early this morning and being intrigued did a little digging which turned up the above link.

From the above, it appears that Author’s Day is an American celebration (it was certainly started in the USA). However given that it was mentioned on a (UK) local radio station, this celebration would appear to have crossed the Atlantic.

I would be interested to know whether any of my readers has any additional information regarding Author’s Day?

Kevin

William Blake finally honoured with a gravestone at his final resting place

William Blake finally honoured with a gravestone at his final resting place

Students At Manchester University Paint Over Kipling Mural

Students at Manchester University have painted over a mural of Kipling’s poem “If”. They say that they where not consulted regarding the murel, that Kipling was a “racist” and an “imperialist” and that it was not appropriate for the mural to have been painted.

I agree that the students should have been consulted (as the mural was in their student union building). However I am in agreement with the editor of the Kipling Society’s Journal when she says:

““Of course he was a racist. Of course he was an imperialist, but that’s not all he was and it seems to me a pity to say so,” she said. Montefiore argued that Kipling was “a magical story-teller” and that his perspective was part of history. “You don’t want to pretend that it all didn’t happen,” she said.

“Dickens said dreadful things about black people in the Jamaica rebellion. Does that mean you don’t read Dickens?” (https://www.theguardian.com/education/2018/jul/19/manchester-university-students-paint-over-rudyard-kipling-mural).

I am not, as it happens, a fan of “If”. I feel that Kipling produced far better verse, including his “Danny Deever”, https://www.poetryfoundation.org/poems/46782/danny-deever, in which he describes the hanging of a soldier for killing a comrade “while sleeping”. However the tendency to project our own values onto the past is worrying and (if we are not careful) can end up with censorship.

In my poem “Rhodes” I deal with a not dissimilar issue, namely the demand by “The Rhodes Must Fall” campaign to have the statue of Cecil Rhodes removed from Oriel College Oxford, https://newauthoronline.com/2016/11/23/rhodes/. In the case of the Rhodes statue those campaigning for its removal have (thus far) been unsuccessful.

Is Poetry Socialist?

A little while back, a friend and I sat enjoying a curry and a bottle of wine. At some point during our conversation my friend remarked on how poetry is, in some sense “socialist” or “left-wing”. At the time I said that I didn’t agree with his perspective, and our conversation moved on to other topics.

Rather than entering into an exposition of my own views on the above question, I would be interested in hearing those of my readers. Is poetry in some sense “Socialist” or “left-wing”? If so why?

Obviously there have been (and remain) Conservative poets (for example Philip Larkin). Likewise men such as W. H. Auden where of the left. However, leaving aside the fact that poets hold different political perspectives, is there some sense in which poetry appeals more to those on the left of politics? Or is the art form, in some sense profoundly Conservative with a big or a small c?

Grime Music Star Stormzy To Help Young Writers Get Published

The Grime music star, Stormzy, has launched his own publishing brand, Murky Books, in collaboration with Penguin.

The aim of Murky Books is to help young writers to get published in a variety of genres, fiction, sci-fi and poetry.

To find out more please visit this link, https://news.sky.com/story/stormzy-to-help-young-writers-become-published-authors-with-penguin-11427689

Publishing And Diversity

On 9 June, the author, Lionel Shriver, published an article in The Spectator, https://www.spectator.co.uk/2018/06/when-diversity-means-uniformity/. To give a quote from that article which does, I think sum up Shriver’s argument:

“Second: dazzled by this very highest of social goods, many of our institutions have ceased to understand what they are for. Drunk on virtue, Penguin Random House no longer regards the company’s raison d’être as the acquisition and dissemination of good books. Rather, the organisation aims to mirror the percentages of minorities in the UK population with statistical precision. Thus from now until 2025, literary excellence will be secondary to ticking all those ethnicity, gender, disability, sexual preference and crap-education boxes. We can safely infer from that email that if an agent submits a manuscript written by a gay transgender Caribbean who dropped out of school at seven and powers around town on a mobility scooter, it will be published, whether or not said manuscript is an incoherent, tedious, meandering and insensible pile of mixed-paper recycling”.

Shriver has received a good deal of criticism. However, as a disabled (blind) poet I have some sympathy with the argument she makes (although I wouldn’t have expressed my views as Shriver does).

I wish to be judged on the merits of my poetry and not given preferencial treatment due to the fact that I am registered as being disabled. Having said that, I welcome initiatives to encourage the participation of under represented groups in the literary scene (provided that such initiatives are not prescriptive and do not entail the employment of quotas).

Amid the overreaction to Shriver’s article, one of the more balanced responses (with which I have considerable sympathy) can be found here, https://emmalee1.wordpress.com/2018/06/20/publishing-and-diversity/.

Kevin