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Adrian Mitchell Biography

(1932– ), Poems, Out Loud, Ride the Nightmare, The Apeman Cometh, On the Beach at Cambridge

Literature Reference: American Literature, English Literature, Classics & Modern FictionEncyclopedia of Literature: McTeague to Nancy [Freeman] Mitford Biography

British poetand playwright, born in London, educated at Christ Church, Oxford. After graduating, he worked as a journalist until 1959, when he became a freelance author. Poems (1964), Mitchell's first substantial collection, gained him recognition as a persuasively original writer on social and political themes. Subsequent volumes include Out Loud (1969), Ride the Nightmare (1971), The Apeman Cometh (1975), and On the Beach at Cambridge (1984). For Beauty Douglas: Collected Poems 1953–1979 appeared in 1982; a selection from his work was published under the title Adrian Mitchell's Greatest Hits in 1991. A forceful and idiosyncratic use of rhyme and rhythm characterizes his most memorable poems, in which the earnestness of political and ethical elements often co-exists with considerable humorous and imaginative energy. Among his numerous dramatic works are U.S. (1966), centring on American military activity in Vietnam; Tyger (1971), a celebration of the life and works of William Blake; and Man Friday (1973), his adaptation of the story of Robinson Crusoe. Mitchell has also published several novels, including If You See Me Comin' (1962) and Wartime (1973). See also underground poetry.

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