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’.
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.
I know, it’s the biggest joke in literature and not really worthy of anyone’s attention but I thought it might be a laugh to post a few of this guy’s poems here, so we could all make up our mind just how good, bad or ugly the country’s latest public face of the Taffia is…
Ah, then I encountered a slight problem. The TV presenter someone chose is not only completely unheard of, has only produced a handful of Welsh language poetry books but doesn’t actually produce anything in English. Mmm? Strange then that the language of 80% of the population should be neglected in favour of this ‘bard’. So much for democracy and appealing to the masses. Who actually voted for this bloke? Who choose him? Was it a public vote I wonder? I’d have chosen Rhod Gilbert myself.
Anyway, I shouldn’t be too negative, I’m sure he’ll come out with some absolute gems, just like the last couple we’ve had… can’t remember any, but there you go.
Oh wait, stop press, I did find something this guy has done in English. The Toilet: An Unspoken History (2012), a TV programme which sort of sums up the current Welsh literature scene.
Current National Poet of Wales, Gillian Clarke said “Ifor ap Glyn is a friend.” Never!
Literature Wales have a crap website, and they’ve been letting it run down since it’s new CEO came to power. So, it’s no surprise that now (in these times of austerity) they choose to use this ruse as a means of dishing out some cash to someone they know.
Apparently, they are: seeking an agency (i.e. one of their ‘friends’) to design and build a new public website to replace its main corporate site, which was paid for out of public money not so long back but has been neglected by it’s overpaid and underworked staff.
The new website will also incorporate a number of existing project sites (i.e. more useless crap that Literature Wales use as shell companies to dish out yet more of your taxpayers cash to their ‘friends’), either as microsites or as pages within the main site. The new website will need to be fully bilingual in Welsh and English. All copy (i.e. badly written made up nonsense) and imagery will be provided by Literature Wales.
To request a copy of the brief and for information on how to apply, contact Literature Wales, or just ring your ‘friends’. I wonder how much more of taxpayers money they will waste on this rubbish? (i.e. an innovative recycling of public funds scheme).
Did you hear about the poor old writers who are now quaking in their Hunters on their farms bought by us the taxpayer? Well, it seems that the times of cash for crap – or to put it another way, money for nothing could soon be over.
Thanks to the cuts at Cardiff council they now can’t afford to give money away to an arts establishment that already gets millions from the taxpayer in order to help finance the Cardiff Poetry competition. Not that it was much of a competition in the first place, with nearly all winners being ex-students of the various universities anyway, and very few of the winning poems being any good.
But one must ask why Literature Wales still can’t run a poetry competition? How many people does it take for God’s sake! One useless bimbo to open the envelopes, one to bank the cheques and one to divide the poems up into two piles – ‘my friends’ and the rest. Then pay a judge no-one has ever heard of to pick a pile of rubbish as winners from the ‘my friends’ list. Easy.
This month sees yet another £81,000 of taxpayers money dished out to so-called “writers” no-one has ever heard of. True, there are a few unpublished writers in there too (six we counted, although LW say it is eleven) but once again the vast majority of the cash is gifted to “published” writers – most, if not all, are unknown, talentless and worse still – previous bursary recipients! Disgusting you might say? Well, we’ll agree with you.
But if this serious business of handing out taxpayers money without scrutiny wasn’t enough, Literature Wales even have the gall to announce to the world that they have awarded over £1 million in Writers’ Bursaries to their friends and family!
And out of that million quid the only “famous” writers they can come up with are: Belinda Bauer, Lloyd Jones, Daniel Morden & Gwyneth Lewis. Yes, you’re right again, no-one outside Wales has ever heard of them.
How sad that in this, Dylan Thomas’s centenary year, LW still can’t give 100% of its financial support to new writers!
Link to who got what this year – click here.
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.
The Dylan Thomas prize for 2013 was won by Claire Vaye Watkins. She won £30,000 of our taxpayers money for a book that is set in Nevada and judging by the reviews sounds like it will be lucky to sell a few copies. Mmm? The California-born author won the prize for Battleborn.
The question we have is – why is an American, writing about America winning Welsh taxpayers money?
Meanwhile, Welsh writer Jemma L King whose debut poetry collection, The Shape of a Forest, was short-listed for the celebrated Dylan Thomas Prize. Jemma will be one of a team of writers who will deliver one hour workshops in schools throughout Wales as part of Literature Wales’ Developing Dylan project. Jemma was also awarded a New Writer’s Bursary from Literature Wales, to work on her next collection of poetry between 2013 – 2014.
I noticed that our so-called ‘poet laureate’ – Gillian Clarke has produced a poem to mark the death of former South African leader Nelson Mandela this week. I read the poem and thought ‘what a load of shit’. No real feeling, no heartfelt emotion, no political comment, not even a dig at child murderer Winnie! Very boring.
So your challenge this month is to find a worse poem written by a Welsh Academi (Literature Wales) sponsored ‘writer’. Come on, don’t be shy, there must be thousands of them out there lurking, unread in the storerooms of the LW office or gathering dust on shelves in various attractions up and down the land.
If you can think of any please post the name of the poem and poet – might be a laugh!