• For Writers and Poets everywhere it’s always good news ,and perhaps the only news worth hearing and reading , whenever the literary arts are included in the day’s news agenda.  Yesterday , for instance ( Thursday, October 4th. ) ,was the U.k.’s National Poetry Day and the mere mention of poetry on morning news programmes affirmed Oscar Wilde’s dictum ,that it is better to be talked about than not talked about.  Kind of , I suppose , maybe ; it is after all an assertion that by its very nature defies quantification, after all are there , over a given period of time ,more poetry books being bought and more school classroom time being devoted to the practise and study of poetry ?  A little over a week ago our daily media agenda was bursting at the seams with coverage of J.K.Rowling’s new novel for adults. And to-day it’s replete with references and articles  ” celebrating ” the 50th. anniversary of James Bond and curiously , the same anniversary of the advent into popular music charts of The Beatles. Writing ,writing ,writing. The entire edifice of modern , contemporary popular culture defines writing and is defined by and created through the medium of the literary arts.  Knocking a few holes into stone doesn’t do it.Neither does daubing on canvas or leaving an unmade bed for punters to gawp at.  Multi-billion pound industries have developed and continue to flourish because the likes of Ian Fleming ,J.K. Rowling, John Lennon and Paul McCartney and tens of thousands of others just like them picked up a pen and started writing stories. And given all of that , the celebrations ,the folk-memories ,the inspirational spiritual and cultural values and traditions transmitted and kept alive by and through Writing : why does Literacy in schools continue to be the poor relation ? and why are the Literary arts apparently still only ever well promoted and funded when accompanied by an elite name and the right sort of connections ?

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