arts council

Shite of the Year 2016

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It’s that time of the year again. When the unelected people who give your taxpayers money to their friends and family give even more of it to even more of their friends and family and even charge you for the privilege of watching them rub their greedy little hands together. This year it seems that a number of University Professors have fallen on hard times as well as the usual suspects like Owen ‘bad boy’ Sheers, ‘Gross Writer’, ‘Horrid Henry’ and ‘Gloating Gower’.

shit

This year, in Pulp of the Year 2016 the nominees are: Philip Gross (previous parasite)Paul Henry (bursary regular – £6,425)Stephen Payne (Professor who needs the cash?), Kate Hamer (bursary score – £5,000), Thomas Morris (lives in Dublin but still got a ticket)Owen Sheers (more public cash thrown at him than any other shit writer?), Jasmine Donahaye (Cash score – £20,000+), Eluned Gramich (other public money – £1,000), Daniel G. Williams (Professor who needs more cash), Mererid Hopwood (bursary score – £6,000), Gruffudd Owen (Arts Council Trougher)Cen Williams (big jobs for the boys), Jon Gower (bursary score – £8,000), Caryl Lewis (Wales Literature Exchange)Dewi Prysor (was interesting until he made this list), Simon Brooks (bursary score – £2,003), Gruffydd Aled Williams (another hard-up Professor) and Emyr Glyn Williams.

Each category winner will receive £1,000 (even though they’d never sell that many books), and the main award winners in each language get an additional £3,000.
And the real sting in the tail… Literature Wales, that gets millions of pounds a year to promote literature even has the cheek to charge you £5 a ticket for this crap!
It truly is a great time to be part of the Welsh Taffia and Gravy Train Circus. This truly embarrassing event is also sponsored by the Arts Council, Welsh Assembly Government, Aberystwyth University, Welsh Books Council and others. Once again proving that austerity just happens to other people as far as these bastards are concerned.
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Wales Book of the Year 2015

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Money - PoundsWell, summer’s here and the time is right for dishing out cash for crap again. Yep, Literature Wales announced that Other People’s Countries by Patrick McGuinness is the English-language Wales Book of the Year 2015. Didn’t he win a pile of cash before? Judges were Alex ClarkTessa Hadley (£4,810) and Paul Henry (£6,425).

The winner of the Roland Mathias Poetry Award 2015 went to hanger-on Tiffany Atkinson (£3,849). The winner of the 2015 Fiction Category went to Cynan Jones (£6,800).

The winner of the Wales Arts Review People’s Choice Prize 2015 was Jonathan Edwards (£4,000).

So basically, four crap writers (if you could call them that) and three unheard of judges.

Note:

More cynical observers might also note that most of the names above have already had cash from Literature Wales (figures in brackets) or the Arts Council (no figures for these) for other crap they’ve been involved in.

Welsh Book Publishers

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The Welsh Books Council gets cash from government, about £4.5 million, I understand. It doesn’t promote or sell any decent Welsh writers so I guess most of that money must just get dished out to the so-called ‘Welsh book publishers’ – there’s Seren, Cinnamon, Parthian, Gomer, Y Llofa, Gwasg and maybe some others hidden away in somebody’s cousin’s uncle’s wardrobe. Anyway, heard this the other day and thought what a joke!

Those nice people at Chapter are allowing Seren Books (and Parthian) to try to flog their truly awful books to the Cardiff, Evian-drinking, pseudo middle-class.

The shop was opened on 6 December as part of small business Saturday, a nationwide campaign which aims to highlight small business success and encourages consumers to ‘shop local’ and support small businesses in their communities. Wait! Hang on a minute! Did I just read ‘small’ three times?!

How is a publisher that gets a large share of £4.5 million a ‘small’ publisher!  They are only small in their ambition! They are only ‘small’ because they don’t sell any books! And we all know why. Because they are rubbish. Oh dear!

Fancy £25,000 anyone?

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That well known writer (joke), Martin Daws, has just received a Creative Wales Ambassadors Award of £25,000.  Why you might ask?  Good question.  Well the answer is simple.  This bloke wants to go on holiday to the USA and so we (the great Welsh taxpayer) need to be able to (in his own words) “develop his skills as a poet”.

The Creative Wales Ambassadors Awards are made by nomination and recognise significant individual achievement in the arts, along with the aim to raise the profile of Welsh culture outside of Wales. Alongside Martin, Julia Griffiths Jones and Richard Gwyn have also received the prestigious Creative Wales Ambassadors Award 2013/14.

Professor Dai Smith, Chair, Arts Council of Wales, father of Owen Smith MP  has congratulated this year’s successful ambassadors:

“We are pleased to have been able to augment these awards in difficult times.”

Too bloody right they are difficult times!!  Well, they are for the rest of us, but once again the Taffia seem to be able to snap their fingers and cash appears…  Yep, sick indeed.

Dylan Thomas 100

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dtDylan Thomas was a great poet and short story teller – one of the best Wales has ever produced.  In fact his begging letters for money were legendary!  But, in these difficult times should the WAG be giving millions to the arts council to dish out to their friends in order to ‘celebrate’ the poet’s birth?

If you do a random search of the internet you find lots of ‘projects’ where millions of pounds is to be given to the usual hangers-on in order to remind us all how good DT was.

Here’s just a few:

http://www.artswales.org.uk/what-we-do/funding/dt100

http://www.developingdylan100.co.uk/

http://dylanthomas100.org/english/

http://www.literaturewales.org/news/i/143870/desc/a-dylan-odyssey/?

http://www.literaturewales.org/news/i/143892/desc/developing-dylan-cross-art-form-workshops/?

Oh yes and who is getting paid with your taxpayers money to be involved in all this?  Yes, you guessed it, the same old names and faces. You know, the ones you see on the bursary list etc.

Owen Sheers, Gillian Clarke, Joe Dunthorne, Bethan Gwanas, Carol Ann Duffy, Martin Daws, Huw Stephens (Meic Stephens‘ son), Andrew Davies, Clare Potter, Gwyneth Lewis, Huw Williams, Dan Anthony, Jemma L King, Cynan Jones, Eurig Sailsbury, Phillipa Davies and many more.

Welcome

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gt1 copyLiterature Wales is the national organisation that is supposed to be responsible for developing and promoting literature in Wales.

It runs Wales Book of the Year, the National Poet of Wales, writing courses at Tŷ Newydd and numerous other events, most of which they charge an entry fee for.

They also get rather a large wad of taxpayers money to help them do this.

Literature Wales is supposed to represent the interests of Welsh writers in all genres and languages. It is also supposed to offer advice, support and bursaries to writers.

Literature Wales works with the support of the Arts Council of Wales and the Welsh Assembly Government. It is one of the resident organisations of the Wales Millennium Centre.

Scandal

In early 2013, the UK national press including the Daily Mail and The Telegraph revealed some astonishing facts and figures about how literature is run in Wales.

‘In the past five years the Welsh Books Council and Literature Wales have received more than £42m from the Welsh Assembly and Arts Council Wales, which in turn receive their funding from Westminster.

Welsh authors can apply for grants of up to £10,000 to work on any kind of book, and they keep the money even if their work is never published.’

– By Gordon Rayner, Chief Reporter, Telegraph, 01 Jan 2013

The reports were critical of the cost to British taxpayers, with the Daily Mail stating that the money went to pay for Welsh books that only sold ‘a handful of copies’.

Makes you wonder where all those millions go doesn’t it? Some would even say that this level of funding is in dire need of some serious scrutiny.

We have done a bit of digging around and found that the same names seem to crop up time and time again. It seems taxpayers money is being given to a small, select group of people, in the form of bursaries, prizes, judging and appearance fees, year after year after year.

So please read on and be disgusted. Oh yes, and maybe tell your friends about us too. Just send them this link:

https://literaturewales.wordpress.com/