Poetry & Money begins with a moment in a creative writing seminar when the question of value in a piece of writing, and in the creative and critical activities being undertaken, is suddenly challenged by being related to a monetary cost. The questions of value and trust raised, which will be recurrent throughout, are identified with reference to Wallace Stevens’s ‘Imagination as Value’ and Bernard Williams’s Truth and Truthfulness. They are then adumbrated by considering a reference to a payment for magazine publication in a poem by W. S. Graham. Economic pressures in poetry publishing are further illustrated by looking at the publication of a book of poems translated from Jean-Joseph Rabéarivelo in the 1970s. Ideas concerning poetry’s role and social value, as expressed in two poems by Roy Fisher written a few years earlier, are then explored.
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