Tag Archives: Society of Authors

Does Poetry Pay?

RBS £1 note

“We are planning to put together a number of case studies on where authors and other creators get their income from and we’re inviting authors to be featured in blogs on the subject. Don’t be shy! These figures really help us in campaigning and negotiating.”

I’m a long-term member of the Society of Authors, which I’ve always found to be a supportive and smart organisation. When I saw this recent call for a blog post I decided to respond, partly to help with the SoA’s campaigning for a better deal for writers, and partly as a way of reflecting on my own situation now and over the past 14 years when I’ve worked freelance.

If you’re interested in how I’ve been making a living as a poet you can read my contribution here. The page gathering all the various authors’ case studies, which will be expanded in the coming weeks and months, is here.

The Road North – published by Shearsman

the road north front cover

After the road-trips of 2010 and 2011, Alec Finlay and I wrote a long poem about our travels on The Road North. It’s now been published in book form by Shearsman as the road north: a journey through Scotland guided by Bashō’s oku-no-hosomichi, 15 May 2010–15 May 2011.

You can buy the book via the Shearsman website.

You can download an audio version free of charge from iTunes – search for ‘The Road North (Alec Finlay & Ken Cockburn).

With thanks to Tony Frazer at Shearsman, and Tomohiko Ogawa for the cover photograph – it’s a postcard of Scotland which Alec sent to Tomohiko, who ‘matched’ it with a landscape in Japan.

If you’re interested in the background to the project, click on the link below to read an article I wrote for The Author, the magazine of The Society of Authors, earlier this year.

KC TRN The Author

And you can still read the original blog, written while we were on the road.

the road north back cover