Books & arts
Tackling UK poetry's ethnic imbalance, with no help from Jeremy Hunt
2010-09-30, Issue 498
Under one per cent of poetry books published in the UK are by black or Asian poets. 'This is, quite simply, not fair,' says Bernardine Evaristo, one of the editors of Ten, a poetry anthology published by Bloodaxe Books. A week before the launch of Ten, Jeremy Hunt, the secretary of state for culture, Olympics, media and sport told delegates at the Media Festival Arts that he is firmly in favour of 'broadening participation' in the arts and is 'very ashamed' that we still live in a country 'where many, many people don't get a chance to access the arts'. Unfortunately, writes Lara Pawson in the London Guardian, what he said next was not as hopeful: 'The debate has got to move on from the kind of box-ticking targets approach that says that in return for your grant from the Arts Council, you will get so many people from particular ethnic or social backgrounds.'