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This review is taken from PN Review 91, Volume 19 Number 5, May - June 1993.

HIT OR MISS Adrian Mitchell's Greatest Hits (Bloodaxe) £5.95

I know you're not supposed to settle scores in reviews, but I've had it in for Adrian Mitchell ever since 'The Castaways' was a CSE set text. It's not that I don't find him funny; I do, now and again, though some of his finest comedy is unconscious. Take his letter in the current issue of Poetry Review, which gives a sinister explanation - curious to anyone with memory still green of several notable pieces of ambulance-chasing - of the 'apparent silence of poets during the Gulf war':

During any war censorship descends,
and the anti-war lobby is deliberately
stifled, both within Labour's loyal
opposition and among poets. Still we
keep trying …

So what of the fate of your own Gulf war poems, Mr Mitchell?

They were published immediately by
Tribune and The Guardian but I wanted to
reach a wider audience, especially young
men who might be sent out to the Gulf
to kill and die.

And you were frustrated by the anti-war

I managed to read one poem - 'Blood
and Oil' - on a Central TV show in
Birmingham and the studio audience …
responded very positively … The
Channel 4 breakfast show of the time,
now extinct, allowed me to perform the
same poem…

I see, ...

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