Tuesday, May 18, 2010

To be fair to Artslinks

To be fair to Artslinks they took the trouble to reply and give feedback. The panelists said.....

'No supporting material. I'd like to see some of his poetry and also
experience in editing a journal / magazine for publication'.

'No supporting material supplied. The proposal is poorly written, which
does not auger well for a publication project'.

I have to take this on the chin.Although in my defence I thought the project and stellar line up spoke for itself for anyone who knows anything about poetry.And funnily enough though I supremely lack talent in life to an enormous degree ,if there is one tiny area where I might show a modicum of ability it is writing, so 'poorly written' stings.

I will forward a copy of the finished article to Artslinks.

I think the problem is that the Arts funding system is, at best,(I'll keep my 'at worst' theories to myself for now) based on the survival of the slickest. Artslinks admits as much by running courses that include tuition in how to apply for funding.This is in itself a good thing in the current system.I however believe we should fuck the system.

Arts shouldn't be a slick business surely it should be a haven for the bumbling the wordly inadequate the shy but talented people who have opted out of the commercial business slick world?
It worries me that only a certain proficient type of voice can be tolerated while others less 'loud' and 'shiny' regardless of the promise or talent they may harbour, go unheeded and unfunded.

I think too that we are fucked because we are poets.That puts us at the bottom of the pile.We are literatures poorer cousin who itself sits beneath all other forms of art with visual art the only true artistic form.

I think they may be right.You cannot compare a picture to a poem.They are a different species.Artists/ art boards/ arts councils do not understand poetry.

In fact I would like to declare that they are right.Poetry is NOT an art.Fuck it till we get our own boards our own category seperate from 'Art' we don't stand a chance.To make matters worse here in Ireland we are, on a government department level, lumped in with 'Tourism culture and sport' How the fuck can that be? That's too wide a spectrum.It's totally absurd.

So we are on our own, out in the cold, and by fuck I'm more delighted than disappointed. Hell hath no fury nor determination like an EEjit scorned. GRRrrr!

28 comments:

Lorenzo — Alchemist's Pillow said...

You're right TFE: poetry is not an art; it simple daily hygiene. ;)

Anyway, don't get too riled or discouraged and thanks for fighting 'the good fight'.

NanU said...

Yep, they've got these preconceived ideas of exactly how one ought to write this sort of proposal. And poetry, well, there's for playing fast & loose with language. No rules at all. This frightens them, the poor dears.
We will find some way of gathering together and self-publishing. I'm in for two copies of the finished beast. (not a very poetic entourage, I'm afraid, and gifts would be worse than fruitcake!)

Brigid said...

Why don't you go for the flattery angle and compose a poem about how wonderful it would be if you got the grant ? or, ask one of the bus companies to sponsor 'the peoples poetry', a bit like they do on the Dart???
Then it would really be the 'Poetry Bus', just a thought.

Mojo said...

Well they've certainly put the "slink" in "Artslinks".

Niamh B said...

Definitely put them down for a copy, it's only fair if it's helping keep your ire (and therefore energy) going! We could include some quotes from them on the inside cover as well, if you like...
:-)

Padhraig Nolan said...

You raise some very good points TFE .

I'd guess their comments regarding your writing refers specifically to 'proposal writing', which is a (dark) art unto itself. I personally think it's a good thing that these orgs offer tutoring in 'how to write a proposal ' but take your point that, in isolation, this does can lead to 'survival of the slickest' (brilliant!) - a term which mirrors thoughts I've heard expressed elsewhere in a similar context recently.

It's important though to take advantage of ANY forum to engage with these issues - I'd encourage attendance at these workshops - one way to tackle inadequate systems is from within (easier to address flaws in the process if you speak the lingo etc.)

But you're also right about the structural support being needed just as much (if not more) by those whose strengths may not be in the area of bureaucratic process. Its why a community of peers is so valuable - whether to get an open mic night going, or put out a publication, hang a group show, start a writers group - all these things feed strengths and bolster weaknesses. And they inevitably become perceived as 'proof of process' by the gatekeepers!

So don't sweat the finances - keep on keeping on! You're doing - and that's how things get done. Including Poetry, which is definitely an art in my book - possibly THE art.

About Mags Treanor said...

I've always found that grants are for those who can beg well. You'd want to see the state of some of the wroiters in Galway who get grants. When I did an M.A. in creative writing, I was always fascinated at how the most uncreative of participants who were going nowhere with their writing always got a first class honours, cos like you say, there's a certain kind of academic/grantspeak language, and I don't know it either, but I do know that it aint poetic.

Totalfeckineejit said...

We'll keep fighting, Lorenzo.It's all we know.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks NanU ,Every copy ordered is a shot in the arm to me and a poke in the eye to them.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Hey Brigid, the bus company sponsorship might be a runner!

Totalfeckineejit said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Totalfeckineejit said...

I likes the cut of yer jib ,Mojo!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Nivby, I really like the idea of the quotes, in fact I might just do that.Thankly ye!

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Padhraig,you too make some really good points.Sang froid is needed, I'm too emotional.I bruise easy.But curb that and I'm uncreative corporate docile and toothless.

Totalfeckineejit said...

Thanks Mags and welcome!It's good to talk and share and realise you're not alone!

Domestic Oub said...

I'll give them supporting material - a supporting kick up the arse.

Heather said...

Don't be too disheartened TFE. Brigid's idea sounds quite promising.

Jeanne Iris said...

Hey TFE,
Once, I attended a week long writer's workshop at Wesleyan Univ. and Chris Offutt, fiction author of _No Heroes_, _The Same River Twice_ and _The Good Brother_, told me that he "envied poets" because we are the "true masters of language." Maybe, you could quote him in your next proposal.

Brigid has some wonderful ideas that may work here!

If you ever want a second set of eyes to look over a proposal, send it my way. I'd be more than happy to give it a look-see. : )

Titus said...

I was so angry I posted this in the wrong place.

Hang on, I'll just rage a bit.
Arghghgh!

Right, having worked in the good old voluntary sector for over ten years, there is a language to grant applications that is unlike that spoken by any man. Or woman.
Did you use the keywords "socially excluded", "sustainable", "inclusive", "innovative", "accessible", "partner agencies" and "out-reach"? And are you multi-generational?

Jessica Maybury said...

'survival of the slickest' I like that

ArtSparker said...

Is that second quote accurate? Because "auger" is not how it is spelled, it's "augur" (an auger is a tool for boring wood) ...although I understand if you were upset when you posted.

Karen said...

...and sadly, I see Ireland as much more appreciative of poetry than is America!

Karen said...

I say huck 'em.

Dominic Rivron said...

I'm just about to rant on about something I ought to know more about, which is a dangerous thing to do...

What bothers me in arts funding is this: When I was younger I don't know but I got the feeling that arts funding was given in support of things that were felt to be worth doing but which might never be commercially viable. Now a major criterion seems to be commercial potential. Arts funding is not there to enable the creation of art, it's there to promote an arts industry. Not quite the same thing. (If commercial potential is lacking, then involve the community - that goes down well, too).

This is probably a reflection of a sea change. Talking of music, in the post war era there was very much a sense of the artist as explorer. Now, I think, there is more a sense of the artist who gives the public (or the art establishment that passes for the public) what it wants. We're going through an era of going through the motions.
A lot of new classical music seems to be commissioned something like this:
"We've got a grant for the orchestra to commission a new work. Could you write us a symphonic poem -not too long- with a wierd title that'll get the old folk reading their programme notes even if they don't want to listen and can you put in a load of strange percussion so they've got something to look at?" Hours and hours of this stuff has been written (based on very honourable 20th century antecedents). It gets played once, everyone claps, and that's that. Crud. 90% has all the engaging lustre of a Marks and Spencers quiche. Bring back Stockhausen. All is forgiven.

Art, poetry, literature, music... It's supposed to be an adventure!

Argent said...

Aw, you didn't use more than a handful of 'fecks' in yer proposal did ya? They're mot big on that king fo thing. Anyhoo foolishness aside, it might well be worth going on one of those proposal writing thingies (if it's free). The poeple will not be silenced!

the watercats said...

hhhmmm.... wish I owned a publishing company... and I didn't realise they wrote notes on the application (I didn't bother asking for material to be returned).. darn, I might have found something out about where I went wrong (apart from not being a business graduate).. :-)

Enchanted Oak said...

I wrote a grant application for my city to receive a national award when I worked for a small nonprofit dedicated to a restored downtown area. We won. I happen to be one of those weird people who can do the arss-wiping begging letter with smooth verbiage, and who writes poetry too. I worked in magazine journalism for 20 years. I can write just about any shit there is. Except techno geek. Don't know techno geek.
So if you want a hand with grant-writing, I'd be happy to give it a go and send you some sort of draft copy. I'm also a lifelong magazine editor who can clean up, spit n polish any kind of text, including an Eegit-generated piece (not talking of poetry here, of course, just whatever it was you did that was pooh-poohed by the Slick People).
If I can help, send me a note either through my email, if you have it, or via comment on my blog, which lands in my email inbox first before I publish it.
Regards, Chris

Don't Feed The Pixies said...

see - i agree with you, and yet differ.

Look at Factory Records of Manchester - run by a bunch of enthusiasts who believed in freedom of expression and whose contract with their artists was written in blood and said they could basically fuck off when they wanted to and take everything with them.

Result - Factory went bust. So you have to play the system sometimes. Once you're established the system basically bends as you want it to - i bet if J.K. Rowling said to his publisher "I want to write a book of poems about wiping my arse" they'd say "yes JK, of course JK"

the rest of us have to put up with the shit (see what i did there) in the meantime