While I’m on a Radio 4 kick, I heard Mark Lawson interviewing the soon-to-be-stepping-down Andrew Motion and Andy Burnham, Secretary of State for Culture, Media and Sport, on Front Row yesterday evening about the appointment of the next Poet Laureate. Apparently, although they were quick to say it wouldn’t be a TV talent contest, there’s going to be much more public input into the choice of Motion’s successor—which comes with a serious quantity of very nice sherry by way of compensation.
I think it’s time to start the campaign on behalf of George Szirtes. As soon as there’s a ballot box to stuff, I’ll be on the case. Imagine what the Daily Mail will think: the first official asylum seeker versifier to the House of Windsor and the kingdom of England.
How do we get this campaign rolling?
I haven’t a clue, but I am going to be listening out for any announcements explaining how the Great British Public can get involved in the selection process. Perhaps I should start a Facebook group…
Don’t be mean to George. The Laureateship pretty much kills off its holders as worthwhile poets. Give it to Harold Pinter, who whilst not at all deserving of the honour is entirely deserving of its consequences.
Give George the Queen’s Medal For Poetry instead, assuming that he hasn’t got it already. A proper writer’s accolade.