Cheque Book and Pen

Symposium update, then. The Carlisle Poetry Symposium now has its own bank account. A business account no less. So now I’m in the poetry business. But not The Poetry Business, because that’s different. The Symposium now gets letters addressed to itself. And a ‘governance document’. And it has a bank card. And a cheque book. And no money. Not one bit. Oh the metaphor. The point being that one more stage is complete in order to secure funding. In fact, the last part of the Arts Council funding submission is now being written.

I have the past grinded my teeth through a range of Arts Council-funded projects, plays, books, walks… etc. There are some things (be honest) that for the full hour or so that you watch it you think ‘How the hell did this get funding?’ And you will know people… good people who have been unsuccessful at getting funding. Maybe you know people who have had their funding taken away recently – I could name a few. And these are people who will be completely deserving of money – who are doing good things. There’s a saying that goes ‘The world is run by the people who turn up.’ Maybe it should be ‘The world is run by the people who fill out their form well.’ I am not one of those. Very patent people that sound younger than me have had to help with all the stages I have undertaken so far; they slow down their speed of delivery and take an audible deep breath before they explain something to me for the second time. I don’t think anyone has had to count to ten, but I won’t be far off that.

So, when we listen to funded things and we hear good people doing good things we say ‘hurrah!’ for the Arts Council. And when we watch and hear rubbish people doing rubbish things and wonder why someone gave them the money… well: it’s just because they filled their form out right.


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