“Adrian: Scotland celebrates Adrian Mitchell” review

“Adrian: Scotland celebrates Adrian Mitchell” review

Adrian Mitchell

Edited by Chrys Salt and John Hudson, published by Markings

Adrian Mitchell was one of the most respected and admired literary figures of his day, writing plays and poetry for adults and children as well as novels and satire. He was a pacifist; he was a radical, subversive, child-like and full of love, gathering round him a circle of friends and fellow writers, many of them in Scotland.

This anthology is largely a collection of poems from Scottish writers, but it also includes poetry from friends who loved him, poets who read with him, remember his warmth, his generosity and many kindnesses. It was collated by Chrys Salt and John Hudson of Markings publishers who say the book grew as if by collective will, beginning as a small pamphlet and evolving as more people heard about it and wanted to contribute. It in no way pretends to be definitive; it is described as a modest act of recognition.

Forty people contributed including Carol Ann Duffy who chose a children’s poem, The words of poems in recognition of Adrian’s writings for children; Michael Horovitz who wrote specifically For Adrian Mitchell (1932-2008) about his character; Bernard Kops whose poem tells of his grief On hearing of Adrian’s death; and Paul McCartney whose Black jacket includes the lines: ‘sadness isn’t sadness, it’s happiness in a black jacket’.

The anthology was launched on October 24, 2009 at the Scottish Poetry Library in Edinburgh. It would have been Adrian’s 77th birthday.

All profits from the sales of the anthology are being donated to the Movement for the Abolition of War.