Our guides are a survivor of Europe's most bizarre political regime, a poet who wishes to be abducted by aliens, and the author himself, reluctant aid worker, tourist with a computer tan, regretting his decision to call in at The Zoo for a quick one.
In these essays the writer travels from the impoverished of Albania to the scorched suburbia of Silicon Valley. On the way he encounters a foreign country called England, twenty thousand frozen lakes, and a desert of dinosaur bones. The people of Badlands include Coleridge and Ryan Giggs, Colonel Sanders and Freud, plus a host of minor deities from the numbing world of celebrity. Urban and rural, tragic and absurd, Badlands is a real place. But where the borders of Badlands begin, or finish, is difficult to say.
Robert Minhinnick is the prize-winning author of two volumes of essays and seven volumes of poetry. He has also edited a book on the environment in Wales, written for television and provided columns for The Western Mail and Planet. He is the co-founder of the environmental organisation, Sustainable Wales, and is currently the editor of Poetry Wales.