HIDDEN CULTURE, FORGOTTEN HISTORY
Paperback 6" x 9" 208pp - ISBN – 978-1-326-95741-4
Published March 2017
This is a piece of passionate scholarship that illuminates an area of our culture that has been all but forgotten, if it was ever remembered by the mainstream in the first place. This is a veiled history, a history that has been at the back of the collective mind for decades, and which can now be brought blinking into the light.
This book reminds me why I began to read and write poems; I’m a little younger than the writers featured in this book but I remember the same excitement of hunting down small mimeographed and badly stapled magazines and pamphlets and going to raucous readings in the upstairs rooms of pubs on the edge of towns that were deemed to be far, far from the centre of things. This was in the distant pre-internet days, of course, and so a movement could be truly underground, could exist way off the radar of what the establishment told us was the acceptable face of poetry and art. The problem with being an underground movement of course is that you get buried, and Bruce Wilkinson has done a fantastic job of digging and digging to find treasure that would otherwise have remained unseen.
Here is literature and activism that grows in a corner of Lancashire and takes on the world and is informed by what is happening across the globe; it’s a scene that is happy to take influences from pop culture, from America and Europe and from a deep-seated Northern opposition-ness that sets its face against the prevailing cultural wind.