Adrian Mitchell was a prolific poet, playwright and -particularly latterly- a children's writer. Born near London's Hampstead Heath, he studied at Oxford University before becoming a journalist (1955-66) and also a novelist (61-73).
However it is as a left wing poet and playwright that he is best known. Many of his plays and stage adaptations were performed by the National Theatre and Royal Shakespeare Company,
His poetic reputation was such that the "Red Pepper" magazine made him their Shadow Poet Laureate in 2002. He wrote republican poems in their columns.
Plus in 2005 a National Poetry Day poll saw the public vote "Human Beings" the one they'd most like to see launched into space.
His poetry is characterised by its simplicity, clarity, passion and humour. He wrote about war, Vietnam, prisons and racism and much much more. And often what he wrote was sung and recited at demonstrations and mass rallies.
In "Blood and Oil" he wrote..
...And once again the politicians
Whose greatest talent is for lying
Are sending you where they're afraid to go
To do their killing and dying...