A collection of poems dedicated to Jeremy Corbyn and his politics has been published online.
Poets for Corbyn features 20 writers including Michael Rosen, Pascale Petit, Nicholas Murray and Ian Pindar. It begins with what the publisher described as a “caustic assessment of austerity Britain”, by Tom Pickard.
The book is edited by Russell Bennetts, who wrote in the Guardian: “Publishing Poets for Corbyn was never intended as hagiography in rhyme, but rather as a collection of poems celebrating and supporting our chance to reaffirm Labour’s historical values.
“On Corbyn’s nomination, I invited some of my favourite left-leaning poets to contribute.”
He added that the book “attempts to strike a balance between enthusiasm for Corbyn and more general calls for a return to humane politics”.
One poem in the collection, ‘For the Love of God’, by Nick Telfer, is made up of the phrase “No Blair”, repeated 21 times in a black and white grid.
The collection is available as a free ebook (link to PDF below), and 5,000 copies were downloaded in the first week of publication.
Reaction to the collection has been mixed. “The book has inspired a wide range of reactions. Some have dismissed it as Corbyn worship, but I doubt these critics have read the book properly. Others have understood it as a decent, stand-alone book of poems beyond the Corbyn aspect,” said Bennetts.
Corbyn himself has admitted to a “secret passion” for writing poetry and creating abstract art. He told an audience at London’s Arcola Theatre that he often uses train journeys to write. He said that he also enjoys creating new works of art that are “abstract beyond belief”. He added that the arts were “a vital part of how we communicate with each other, how we live with each other, how we celebrate being human”.
To download the ebook, click here.