Today's official message in the ongoing Poetry Society scandal - now five resignations, no explanations - came from Laura Bamford, Acting Chair of the Board of Trustees:
NOTICE OF GENERAL MEETING
The Poetry Society (Incorporated)
Company Number 01557657
NOTICE IS HEREBY GIVEN that a General Meeting of the above-named company will be held in Lecture Theatre 1, The Royal College of Surgeons, 35-43 Lincoln's Inn Fields, London WC2A 3PE on Friday 22 July 2011 at 2.00pm for the following purpose:
To outline the future strategy of The Poetry Society and to receive members’ input
Dated 30 June 2011
By order of the Board
Yes, we wanted a meeting. But no, this is not the one we wanted. We want to know WHY five people have now resigned from the Staff and the Board of Trustees of the Poetry Society. Not what the Board hopes to achieve in the aftermath of those resignations.
Fascinating though it will be to 'outline the future strategy' and deliver our input as members, there does not appear to be any room for manoeuvre in the Agenda of this General Meeting.
And why on earth is this being called a GM, not an EGM? Is that so the Board can look as though it is not bowing to any external pressure by calling this meeting, but has done so of its own sweet accord in order to be helpful to the membership?
Members need to be aware that this is rapidly becoming a game of rock-paper-scissors. We hold out paper, they go for scissors. We produce scissors, they show us a rock.
I, for one, intend to stick to my original purpose in signing the list of members who require an EGM to be called by the Poetry Society.
And that is not only to ask for full and frank disclosure of the events leading up to the recent resignations of four Staff members and now the Chair of the Board of Trustees, so that I may be confident that everything has been done in accordance with the rules of the Society, but also to ask why so many of our administrators felt the need to resign.
These are questions that must be asked of the Board. Nothing less than the whole, unadulterated truth can be accepted.
I would strongly urge any remaining members who have not yet given their names to Kate Clanchy in support of an EGM to do so now, so we may get to the bottom of this travesty of democracy as soon as possible.