Faber New Poets series: I love you but…

Publishing is generally regarded as unrepresentative of its readership and of the ‘multicultural melting pot’ (90s throwback reference) that is our country. Some say it’s a white-wash, a middle-class old boy’s club of privilige. Other’s just say it’s insular and hard to break into. Not poetry. Definitely not poetry. Poetry is a rich representation of the country’s talent- black, brown, white, whatever.  Poetry is ethnically rich and ethnically diverse. Poetry nights and readings are mixed, performance and audience-wise. So why are all the Faber New Poets white?

It pains me to say this because the books are great. Jack Underwood is great. Joe Dunthorne has a book out shortly and he’s one of my favourites. I’m certainly not angling for a book myself, I have nothing of note to contribute. But seriously, why are they all white? Inua Ellams, Kayo Chingonyi, Shane Solanki… why don’t they have books out? I didn’t know where else to say this, but it does need to be said and it’s an issue I don’t think I should keep to myself. Faber isn’t a whitewash publisher, and they have a rich cornucopia of ethnic writing talent. But to say that the best new poets out there at the moment are all white… I’m sorry but please…

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One response to “Faber New Poets series: I love you but…

  1. Navjot

    Interesting post to read, I like it, it carries a nice rhythm to it too.
    As far as I remember, from when I was at uni, some students on my course associated Faber with “the best of the best”, and inevitably a bit of pretentiousness.
    To me, Faber does seem to appeal to those who are “serious” about their reading, or just want to read what’s considered by others as “the best stuff out there”.
    Who judges what is the best poetry out there, and using which criteria?
    I agree with you, it’s definitely weird that Faber’s conception of new poets wouldn’t include a little more diversity. Maybe the New Poets range will be extended or have some new additions, if the range proves to be popular or there’s enough demand for it?

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