'The Bad Seed' by Dee Sunshine

Let's face it, most people think poetry is a pile of pish; and it's no surprise, because it's been the plaything of privileged Oxbridge graduates for what feels like forever. The Poetry Society and Arts Councils are overrun with them. All the major poetry publishing houses are run by them. Almost all the Arts Council funded literature magazines are edited by them. Go into Waterstones and pick up almost any poetry book, read the 'about the author' section, and the chances are they'll have gone to a private school, followed by Oxford or Cambridge. It's small wonder that few people dig poetry, when the poetry world is controlled by such a tiny, privileged elite.

Fortunately, there's a sizeable minority of poets out there who haven't trodden the well worn boards of academia, who have developed a distinctive voice of their own. They struggle to find outlets for their work, but where there's a will there's usually a way, and as a result, there's a burgeoning underground poetry scene. You'll never hear this sort of poetry on Radio 4's 'Poetry Please' and you'll probably never read it in 'The Poetry Review', but it's out there nonetheless. Dee Sunshine is one of the leading lights of this alternative scene. His first collection, 'The Bad Seed', is a chemically-distorted, kaleidoscopic view of the underworld; an hallucinogenic trawl through the dark underbelly of Thatcher's Britain, peopled by drifters, dreamers, losers, lunatics, the unemployed, the homeless, junkies, punks and other assorted 'skum of society'. This is poetry, Jim, but not as you know it...

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