Ever since Out Loud in 1968, Adrian Mitchell has been one of Europe’s bestselling poets. His poetry’s simplicity, clarity, passion and humour show his allegiance to a vital, popular traditional embracing William Blake as well as the Border Ballads and the blues. His most nakedly political poems – about nuclear war, Vietnam, prisons and racism – have become part of the folklore of the Left, sung and recited at demonstrations and mass rallies.
Bloodaxe recently published Adrian Mitchell’s Heart on the Left: Poems 1953 – 1984 and Blue Coffee: Poems 1985 – 1996, which was a Poetry Book Society Choice and shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize. All Shook Up is his latest collection, a tangled jungle of daydreams, pacifist kick-boxing, blues reports, animal caresses, songs of the howling desert and hospital jokes.
‘Adrian Mitchell is no more naïve than Stevie Smith, but like her he has the innocence of his own experience… real inner freedom and the courage of his own music. Among all the voices of the Court, a voice as welcome as Lear’s fool… Humour that can stick deep and stay funny.’
- Ted Hughes
‘Nobody else writes like him. And it is becoming more and more evident that his achievement endures… Nobody has ever departed with such language for such a destination.’
- John Berger
‘Explosive energy, well-directed rage, undimmed idealism, a tremendous sense of how poetry can speak directly, and an innocence which is believable because it is wise.’
- Andrew Motion
‘Joyous, acrid and demotic tumbling lyricist Pied Piper determinedly singing us away from catastrophe.’
- Angela Carter
‘This is Adrian Mitchell, the British Mayakovsky.’
- Kenneth Tynan
Adrian Mitchell is a poet, playwright and children’s writer whose best loved poems include many about his family, friends and animals. His CD The Dogfather is available from 57 Productions. His other Bloodaxe titles are Greatest Hits, Heart on the Left and Blue Coffee.