posted by Michele
Bookman Beattie has logged the uproar over the proposed cut here and it seems likely the Listener will reconsider its decision. Here’s my letter to the editor, dispatched yesterday. The readership figure is cited from the latest Nielsen Media Research National Readership Survey.
30 October 2008
Dear Listener editor/s
A lot of time and effort is put in by poets, publishers and readers to get poetry into public places. When poems reach the walls of galleries or cafes, the signboards of buses and trains or the surfaces of beaches and pavements, public response is positive and everyone is reminded that poems live in the world as well as on the page. So why has The Listener decided to discontinue its weekly poem, the one place in this country that prints a poem which reaches 286,000 potential readers every seven days? Cost? I wouldn’t think $150 per week (the current fee) is too high a price to pay for the preservation of an honourable tradition that tells us poetry engages hearts and minds wherever it goes. Please put the poem back.