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Are you a poet from a Black or Asian background? | 20-Jun-05

Are you a poet from a Black or Asian background? Do you know anyone who is? Would you like to see more opportunities for poets to be published?

Spread the Word has been commissioned by the Arts Councils of England, Scotland and Wales to undertake the first ever survey into publishing opportunities for black and Asian poets throughout the whole of the UK.  The aim is to find out why, in a culture where black and Asian authors are topping bestseller lists, poets of the same background are failing to make an impact in print.

The 2004 'Next Generation Poets' list the UK's twenty most vibrant new poets featured only one black poet, Patience Agbabi.  As a result, the Arts Council commissioned Spread the Word, an organisation which supports new writing, to find out why so few new culturally diverse poets are appearing in print. 

For the central part of this research, Spread the Word is asking black and Asian UK poets, both published and unpublished, established and just starting out, to complete a short survey to find out their experiences and ambitions. If you are a black or Asian poet and you can spare just 15 minutes, this questionnaire will help us to make real changes in the publishing industry. The information you give us will be anonymous if you wish.

We will also be surveying poetry publishers of all sizes and our report and practical recommendations for change will be published by all three Arts Councils late in 2005.

Our aim is to reach EVERY black and Asian poet and poetry publisher in England, Scotland and Wales by the end of June 2005


Every fully-completed questionnaire will be entered into our prize draw to win one of ten prizes of £30 book tokens each.


ONLINE: You can complete the questionnaire online by visiting

POST: You can either print off the attached questionnaire or phone us and we'll send you as many copies as you need. All questionnaires can be returned to our FREEPOST address.

SPREAD THE WORD: We hope you agree this is an important project. Please spread the word to anyone you know about the research and pass on this email to as many people as you can. You can also direct people to our website at

INFORMATION: If you know of any other poets or groups who work with poets, online groups, poetry writing courses, poetry publishers then please either pass on this email to them, direct them to our website or let us have their details so we can contact them.


You can contact us with any queries, requests for questionnaires, or for information at or call us on 020 7735 3111

We hope you will agree this is an important piece of research and can spare a small amount of time to take part.

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