This is a volunteer-run and donation-reliant hardship fund for poets in the UK.
After a decade of punitive austerity and a brutally mismanaged pandemic, we thought that a simple way of getting a bit of money to poets who require it is both long overdue and much needed. While the scale of what we’re dealing with far exceeds any of our individual capacities for making change—the problems we’re seeking to address extending far beyond any discernible ‘poetry community’—we see this fund as, at least, ‘a start’. As a result, we’re looking for donations to build up a modest fund for the duration of the pandemic, and maybe beyond, with the aim of beginning to distribute money on Monday 22 February 2021. The premise is simple: give when you can and take when you can’t.
As we’ll be entirely reliant on the contributions of people who can afford to support us, generous donations and real material support is essential to the fund’s functioning.
For those of you with the means to donate right away, either in the form of a one-off payment or a monthly standing order, please do so. It’s massively appreciated and will help us begin to get a sense of what funds we might have available.
If you’d like to donate, we’re using PayPal’s donation function for the time being: https://tinyurl.com/poetshardshipfund. If you’d like to send us a donation another way, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org and we can work something out.
With a view beyond these initial donations, we are currently in the process of printing the first issue of a new bi-monthly magazine [ LUDD GANG ] full of some of our favourite poets and mates, in the hope of turning the fund into something more sustainable and reliable for all of us. Anyone who sets up a monthly direct debit to the fund of at least £2.50 per month will be entitled to receive a subscription of every issue we produce, with one-off donors also being entitled to copies on request. In either case, when making your donations please state in the PayPal message box whether you’d like a copy of LUDD GANG and the address we should post it to. The first issue will be out on Wednesday 3 February: see the LUDD GANG page for more details.
Because we’re running with no outside funding, we have to be realistic about the funds we will be able to distribute. As a result, we will only be accepting requests for one-off payments of funds up to £50. Whilst we know this is absolutely insufficient in terms of providing long-term stability to those of us who need it most, we hope this initial figure will prove overcautious, and the capacity to establish a more fully functional hardship fund will be achievable before too long. From the start of April, we’re also saying anyone who has requested funds can re-request for another £50 and we’re continuing that forward for the start of each month. This is partly to help us keep track of payments and also to serve the place of a monthly recurring payment.
So – for those wishing to request funds, please email us at email@example.com with how much you need and the details necessary for transferring money to your PayPal account. We will aim to reply to every message within 48 hours, with the plan to distribute funds within a 72 hour window from the date of the request.
Finally, and most importantly, every message we’re sent will be strictly confidential. We are highly aware of the fact that donors and those of us wanting to use the fund are putting a lot of trust in us. In the hope of making requests for funds more accessible for everyone there’ll be no explaining or form-filling required. We will also accept anonymous requests, or requests made on the behalf of others. The money doesn’t have to be for a project or a book; you’re a poet if you write poems. That’s it.
It would help us massively if anyone reading this distributed it to channels where it might make a difference. Whether that’s securing donations, gathering potential contributors for LUDD GANG, or getting word of the fund to those who need it, this whole thing is reliant on existing communities of poets. If you wish to sign up to a mailing list communicating information and updates about the fund and LUDD GANG, please let us know at firstname.lastname@example.org. All donors and contributors will be signed up automatically.
Similarly, if you have any questions or concerns please contact us and we will try and clear them up for you as soon as possible. And lastly, if you’d like to get involved in helping out with the fund, or have any ideas about ways to encourage donations, get the word out, or do anything better, please just get in touch – we need all the help we can get.
Love and solidarity,
A, D & T