Let's have some funding for independent poetry podcasts
When it comes to Poetry, I think my consumption of podcasts is in danger of outstripping both my own writing and reading of it.
One of my favourites is Alice Allan's, Poetry Says (and not just because I appeared on it). The conversations she has with poets about poetry is almost the only further education I get in Australian poetics and in appreciating contemporary poets in my own country. It provides a digital salon-like atmosphere, that can't be replicated in print.
A case in point, her recent episode, Poetry Says - Ep 52. Inside a poetry workshop.
For very little money the state could support a vital service like this (supporting Australian content), and while it's up to Allan to put in funding submissions, a quick perusal of the Australia Council for the Arts, Grants site , shows you how tight the competition is.
Indeed I have known successful, internationally award winning small publishers, be continually knocked back for projects.
I have been reading Henry Lawson recently and even in the early 1900's he had to go cap in hand to governments to apply for free travel, to find work and carryout literary research. He was ignored too. And yet certain ministers will sit in Parliament and have the gall to be seen reading poetry from this period, basking in the "cred" of supposedly appreciating and supporting the arts.
Perhaps I have some rose tinted view of other countries and their treatment of the arts but at least in the United Kingdom, where perhaps the support for the arts is/was a little better, David Turner of Lunar Poetry Podcasts was able to secure funding to a) buy equipment b) pay himself a wage c) pay feature guests d) travel the country.
Check out his grant funding report here.
I am aware that I am pushing an old barrow here. And what applies to poetry podcasts could equally apply to any number of other worthy projects. I'd just like to see more of my taxes spent on supporting Australian poetry.