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Poet Laureate

What if any, are the conditions attached to accepting the role of Poet Laureate?
Sun, 7 May 2023 10:03 am
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In the Netherlands, the national Poet Laureate has to represent poetry (in whatever form) for at least one term. The selection is done by a committee. Activities include train station commercials (no joke), school education, YouTube rap (no joke), TV-interviews, festival poetry, radio broadcasts and probably some self-published promotions. Languages are Dutch, local dialects & variants and probably a lot of English in between the lines.
Sun, 7 May 2023 11:11 am
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Hello Kevin.
From what you say, and from my experience, Netherlanders in general appear to be a culturally broad-minded lot.

In contrast, I imagine with great amusement, the outrage amongst our British Gammonati Illiterati, should a YouTube Rapper be appointed to the Poet Laureate.

Sun, 7 May 2023 11:31 am
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He was a multitalented actor, poet, model etc. with Palestinian background. He still is I believe.

I don't know what a Gammonati is. LOL. I like you though 😃
Sun, 7 May 2023 11:52 am
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The term began as a tongue-in-cheek, catch-all phrase for a group of voters who think a certain way – namely, right-wing, anti-immigration and pro nuclear weapons.



I think I invented the term "Gammonati" and will claim it as mine 'til I hear differently.
Sun, 7 May 2023 12:38 pm
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To answer your question Uilleam I think very little. There is a very loose agreement that the PL will compose something for certain events like Jubilees/Coronations etc but I don't think it is too prescriptive.

The role seems to be one of those 'can't refuse' type of appointments, although both CAD and the current incumbent both appear to be unusual choices, who seems to have to toe a certain line whilst in tenure.
Mon, 8 May 2023 05:58 am
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They say that Imtiaz Dharker, currently chancellor at Newcastle University, was sounded out for the job but turned it down. Philip Larkin also politely declined Margaret Thatcher's offer back in the 1980s, after the death of Sir John Betjeman, but, to be fair, he himself died a year later, and had written virtually nothing for years. It used to be a lifetime role, but after Ted Hughes, the term now lasts for just 10 years. It can be a poisoned chalice for poetic reputations, and certainly didn't do Andrew Motion any favours. Carol Ann Duffy was successful in keeping a fairly low profile. I think Simon Armitage always had his heart set on it, and I also think he does it well. People always feel themselves qualified to pick holes in poet laureate poems, for some reason. And some of poetry's 'great and good' have been doing that on social media with the coronation one. I think Armitage generally has a good sense of the national mood, certainly better than most of the more London-centric commentators.
Mon, 8 May 2023 09:24 am
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Sorry folks, I went a bit off piste there.
Thanks Kevin, Greg and Graham.

I suppose what's at the heart of my question is:
are there any Laureates (I don't know of any) who have said anything remotely disparaging / "controversial" about the monarchy?
If they should do so, what are the chances of their reputations surviving intact- bearing in mind the now overwhelming and vicious power of the right-wing press and media, including that of the BBC?
Tue, 9 May 2023 09:00 am
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