Adrian Mitchell's latest collection, a tangled jungle of daydreams, pacifist kick-boxing, blues reports, animal caresses, odes to diarrhoea and dogs, songs of the howling desert and hospital jokes.
Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008) was a prolific poet, playwright and childrenís writer. His poetryís simplicity, clarity, passion and humour show his allegiance to a vital, popular tradition embracing William Blake as well as the Border Ballads and the blues. His most nakedly political poems ñ about nuclear war, Vietnam, prisons and racism ñ became part of the folklore of the Left, sung and recited at demonstrations and mass rallies. After Allison & Busby stopped publishing poetry, he brought his work to Bloodaxe. Adrian Mitchellís Greatest Hits: His 40 Golden Greats (1991) was followed by four books covering 50 years of his work: Heart on the Left: Poems 1953-1984 (1997), Blue Coffee: Poems 1985-1996 (1996), All Shook Up: Poems 1997-2000 (2000) and The Shadow Knows: Poems 2000-2004 (2004). Tell Me Lies: Poems 2005-2008 follows from Bloodaxe in 2009. His collected poems for children, Umpteen Pockets (Orchard Books), and Shapeshifters, his versions of Ovidís Metamorphoses, illustrated by Alan Lee (Frances Lincoln), were both published in October 2009.