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Phill Jupitus, Hannah Silva, Hollie McNish and the poetry of protest


Thirty years after making his debut as Porky the Poet, Jupitus is still protesting. So whats new in political poetry?

A book festival session on protest poetry on Saturday took a nostalgic Phill Jupitus on a canter through a career that started in the early 1980s when he was a civil servant by day and fought Thatcher by night, like a kind of ideological Batman. Clutching an armful of period fanzines, he recited the first poem he ever performed as Porky the Poet: Theyve all Grown up in the Beano/ Dennis the Menace has got pubic hair/ Biffo is well into anarchy now/ Hes more of a punk than a bear

Some things change and some dont among them, Jupituss penchant for protest poetry compiled from found material

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