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UK Poetry Society Director Resigns in Chaotic “Internal Coup”

By Harriet Staff

What a lead! “Is there anything so vicious as a fight in the literary world?” We hope not. Londoner’s Diary reports that after an “internal coup,” UK’s Poetry Society, founded in 1909 by Lady Margaret Sackville, has lost its director, Judith Palmer, as well as its financial officer, “leaving no one to sign the cheques.” The Society, which receives £260,000 from Arts Council England, due to rise to £360,000 next year–that’s over half a million dollars!–has a stated mission to “to advance public education in the study, enjoyment and use of poetry,” but has been in the hands of an editor otherwise interested: “According to sources, [the coup] is because Fiona Sampson, editor of the Poetry Review, the magazine overseen by the Society, had asked for autonomy from the director, and has been pushing the focus of the society from education to promoting high-profile poets.” (We wonder who has been thusly advanced?) With “howls of protests from members…”

The whole story here.


Posted in Poetry News on Wednesday, June 8th, 2011 by Harriet Staff.