UNHOLY EMPIRES, Alexis Lykiard's fiercely witty collection deals with what he terms "the 3 Rs" that cast shadow on humanity — rulers, royalists, religionists. In UNHOLY EMPIRES, rhyme and metre are used artfully and memorably to focus some angry yet often hilarious satire.
Earlier poetry collections by Lykiard - including Safe Levels (1990), Skeleton Keys (2003) and Judging By Disappearances (2007) - tackled issues of nuclear catastrophe, civil war and collaboration, sexuality and Aids, feminism versus political correctness, and the current consumer culture. UNHOLY EMPIRES highlights the Iraq invasion and its dire consequences; the poisonous evasions and absurdities of Bush, Blair & Co, alongside late-capitalist decadence and the troubling rise of assorted forms of fundamentalism.
Alexis Lykiard, the "uncompromisingly direct", "mucky bard", also dubbed "the true lineal heir to Rochester and Swift", has remained an independent, concerned but provocative voice. The 'controversial' label has led to censorship or banning of his work in various countries and contexts. Though resolutely anti-political, Lykiard is pleased to have been praised by the Morning Star and vilified by The Sun.
Ted Hughes once described a poetry book by Lykiard as "sharp, cleaving, carving, piercing - bright, sharp, clean stabs." UNHOLY EMPIRES is Alexis Lykiard on top form, hard-hitting as ever.
Available from Anarchios Press, PO Box 619, Exeter EX1 9JE - price £7.99