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Thursday, December 29, 2011

Another poet backs away from TS Eliot Prize

 From the BBC
John Kinsella Kinsella said the sponsors are at the 'pointy end of capitalism'

John Kinsella has become the second poet to withdraw from the TS Eliot Prize in protest over its sponsorship by investment firm, Aurum Funds, which apparently specializes in hedge funds.

The Australian, who was shortlisted for his collection Armour, said he was withdrawing on "ethical" grounds.

Prize organisers The Poetry Book Society made the deal after losing its public funding earlier this year.

Alice Oswald withdrew from the shortlist on Tuesday saying she felt "uncomfortable" with the sponsorship.

In a statement, Kinsella said he was grateful to his fellow poet "for bringing the sponsorship of the TS Eliot Prize to my attention".

"I regret that I must do this at a particularly difficult time for the Poetry Book Society (PBS), but the business of Aurum does not sit with my personal politics and ethics.

"I am grateful to everyone at the PBS for all they have done to promote my work and that of poetry in general."

My own comment:  While I greatly admire ethical stands, I wonder what T.S. Eliot -- who worked in the finance industry -- would have thought about it.

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