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This report is taken from PN Review 26, Volume 8 Number 6, July - August 1982.

MidNAG
Magisterially dismissing a recently-published book in the pages of the Times Literary Supplement, Douglas Dunn described it as 'the sort of publication which would not exist were it not for the interest of local Arts Associations in subsidising local writers and artists'. There are Arts Associations and Arts Associations, and it is worth celebrating here the work of one such Association which publishes work that merits publication not only on provincial grounds, not because a Literary Officer is desperate to spend his budget, but because important work which is beyond the financial competence of the major houses needs doing, and nobody else is doing it.

I have in mind the excellent work done by MidNAG (Mid-Northumberland Arts Group) for poetry under the direction of George Stephenson. On a modest budget, with long-term objectives, MidNAG has made a permanent mark, and its achievement might stand as a model for other Arts Associations-though, of course, the chief ingredient is a rare one-a committed and informed Director who stays at his job for a number of years and is willing to stick to his guns against the odds-financial and otherwise.

MidNAG started publishing late in 1968 with a poster poem -Norman Nicholson's 'Have you been to London?', which sold for 7s 6d. Many handsome posters followed. The object was to make poetry visible, and 'poetry' was taken to include English and foreign writing of the present and past. Most of the posters are of contemporary work, many by writers associated ...


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