Wednesday, December 03, 2008
Any fans of Father Ted out there will remember Tom, the village/island idiot, who gives Ted a lift one day and stops to nip into the post office. Cue the sound of a rifle being discharged and Tom’s comment, on getting back into the car, that he ‘doesn’t like filling out the forms, Father’.
I sympathize entirely, as will anyone who has ever filled out a grant application to an arts funding body. But spare a thought for that excellent poetry magazine, The SHOp, described by John Montague as ‘the best poetry magazine in these islands’. Its new issue arrives with a letter apologizing for its inability to pay contributors, owing to the loss of a grant from the Arts Council of Northern Ireland. The saga goes something like this. All applications these days must be made not to the Arts Council of Northern Ireland but a body called ‘Awards for All’, any reference to Lewis Carroll being strictly unintentional, I presume. Some bureaucratic stickings points, such as the magazine not possessing a Northern Irish bank account, dragged proceedings out to the point where a whole annual cycle elapsed and the (twenty-page) application had to be begun all over again. This new application was also rejected. I quote: ‘The most bizarre [of the requirements outlined by ‘Awards for All’] was the demand that, because we sometimes publish poems by teenagers and also by “vulnerable adults”, we were to secure the endorsement of an independent referee with “ANI clearance” and “up-to-date child protection training.’
The SHOp’s failure to provide these credentials means ‘we won’t be receiving the £4500 sterling that we had hoped for from that oddly-named body’, which I presume represents something like the amount it has received in the past.
Communicate your displeasure at this absurd injustice to:
Awards for All
1 Cromac Quay
Tel: 028 9055 9090
Fax: 028 9055 1444
Textphone: 028 9055 1431
Send your support, financial or otherwise to: