Pullman attacks ACE poetry cuts

Pullman attacks ACE poetry cuts

Authors including Philip Pullman have warned the "biodiversity of poetry publishing in England" is in "jeopardy", following Arts Council England's funding cuts to poetry presses Arc, Flambard and Enitharmon.

In a letter in today's Times, the 16 signatories, including Pullman, poets George Szirtes, Kate Rhodes, R V Bailey and Duncan Forbes, said the cuts represented "no pruning back of a few redundant branches in the literary copse; they initiate the felling, in full bloom, of a mature, shade-giving orchard".

The letter said there was a "danger" the cuts to the three "key" poetry presses would go unnoticed, saying the smaller publishers "provide indispensible alternatives to the mainstream lists". It said: "The full 'biodiversity' of poetry publishing in England is now in jeopardy".

ACE announced its new portfolio-funded organisations for 2012-2015 last week, with some previously regularly funded organisations losing funding from April 2012. It also incorporated new organisations into its funding, including Poet in the City, an organisation designed to widen audiences for poetry, and Faber's New Poets not-for-profit scheme.

It follows an exchange of correspondence in the Times between ACE and The Poetry Book Society, which will also lose its regular ACE funding from April 2012.