Wednesday, December 07, 2011

Alice Oswald withdraws from TS Eliot prize in protest at sponsor Aurum

Alice Oswald: 'I think poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions' Photograph: Antonio Olmos
Award-winning poet Alice Oswald has pulled out of prestigious poetry award the TS Eliot prize in protest over its sponsorship by an investment company.

Oswald's new collection Memorial, a retelling of the Iliad focusing on the 200-plus ordinary soldiers who died rather than on the quarrel between Agamemnon and Achilles, was shortlisted for the £15,000 TS Eliot prize alongside nine other books in October. The Poetry Book Society, which runs the award and loses its Arts Council funding next year, a decision which was protested by more than 100 poets in April, announced a new three-year sponsorship for the prize from private investment management firm Aurum Funds at the same time as it revealed its shortlist in October.

But Oswald, who won the TS Eliot award in 2002 for her collection Dart, said today in a statement released by her publisher Faber & Faber that she was withdrawing from the running for this year's prize.

"I'm uncomfortable about the fact that Aurum Funds, an investment company which exclusively manages funds of hedge funds, is sponsoring the administration of the Eliot Prize; I think poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions and for that reason I'm withdrawing from the Eliot shortlist," said the Devon-based poet.
Full piece at The Guardian.
And in The Telegraph.

No comments: