Saturday, 25 April 2015
Last updated 1 day ago
Dec 13 2011 | 2:15am ET
Two of the 10 British poets shortlisted for a prestigious award have dropped out of the running to protest the prize’s sponsorship by a hedge fund firm.
Alice Oswald and John Kinsella said that they will not accept the $23,000 T.S. Eliot Prize due to the recent three-year deal to sponsor it signed by Aurum Funds. The agreement followed the British Arts Council’s decision in April to stop funding the prize.
“I’m uncomfortable about the fact that Aurum Funds, an investment company which exclusively manages funds of hedge funds, is sponsoring the administration of the Eliot Prize,” Alice Oswald, who won the award in 2002, said. “I think poetry should be questioning not endorsing such institutions and for that reason I’m withdrawing from the Eliot shortlist.”
An Eliot Prize board member defended the Aurum sponsorship, noting that the firm is “respected” and counts “public sector pension funds and Oxford University” among its clients. And T.S. Eliot himself worked at Lloyd’s Bank before winning fame as a poet.
Nor is Aurum the only alternative investment firm to sponsor such a prize. The Booker Prize, arguably the most prestigious literary award in the U.K. and its former colonies, has been sponsored by the Man Group since 2002.
Mar 20 2015 | 12:45pm ET
StreetWise Partners, a non-profit organization that works with low-income individuals to help them overcome employment barriers, raised over $275,000 at the 2015 Raising the Ante Charity Poker Tournament and Casino Event last Wednesday evening at Capitale. Here are some photos from the event. Read more…