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Underground Poetry

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A phrase used to describe the work of a number of writer‐performers active in Britain between the late 1950s and mid‐1970s, including A. Mitchell, Jeff Nuttall (1933– ), Tom Pickard, Alexander Trocchi (1925–84), Heathcote Williams, and the Liverpool poets. The open forms and protest or folk song bias of this poetry reflected the experimental anti‐war aspirations of the ‘alternative society’ of the 1960s, and found its public largely through readings, events, and little magazine publications. Michael Horovitz's populist magazine New Departures, founded in 1959, and his Penguin anthology Children of Albion (1969) record the mood of the movement.

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