Red Wheelbarrow Day

One of the real joys of working on contemporary poetry is the sense of working in contemporary poetry. At the same time, I am also concerned by elements which effect my field. I’m disappointed to see that Amazon is buying The Book Depository because I feel that the monopolization of bookselling has a negative effect on publishers and in turn poets, poetry and readers. This week Mslexia also claims that most educated women have a phobia of poetry – which is to say nothing of my crippling fear of those who fear poetry (namely potential future students).

I’ve also been very distressed by the ongoing issues at the Poetry Society. The situation has been fairly well documented in the papers, and on other blogs – and I certainly won’t be launching into any allegations on here. For those of you who aren’t aware, the Poetry Society promotes poetry, runs a number of educational programmes, national competitions, publishes a journal and newsletter and does all of this, by and large, very well. In the past two months there was some schism between the trustees and the staff, resulting in a number of high level resignations and much concern from poets and poetry enthusiasts. Due to the lack of information, a requisition calling for an EGM (or rather seeking to ensure that our concerns are addressed at the GM already called…) is being delivered to their central London offices this afternoon in a red wheelbarrow. Might this be a red letter day for their governing trustees.

so much depends
upon

a red wheel
barrow

glazed with rain
water

beside the white
chickens.

– ‘The Red Wheelbarrow’, William Carlos Williams.

And, might Red Wheelbarrow Day be a reminder of our happily shared purposes for poetry and be the beginning of an end to all this mess.

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