On one hand, poetry of trauma offers the process of healing a psychologically wounded mind for those who have been subjected to mentally constricting and damaging behaviour from trusted relationships or even repeated exposure to violence. On the other hand, it needs caution if such poetry is widely promoted to a large audience, because in some of such works, the distinction between real and unreal can be diminished.
Dystopian novels are enjoying something of a renaissance. According to Goodreads, the number of dystopian-themed books is currently at its highest since the 1960s. Women writers seem to be leading the way.
In his first novel, Socrates Adams doesn't seem that bothered about giving you an easy ride. Yes, there's the humour, a requirement for the 'alt lit' canon, and the thread with which he pulls you into his yarn, to have you wince for his characters and cringe through the situations they create for themselves. But it's not the laughs that make this debut an impressive one.
You might remember those books - they probably still make them (I just checked, they do) - called Choose Your Own Adventure where you read a bit, then there's a little action, then you make the hero's choice at some bifurcation of the story.
There haven't been many coherent voices speaking out against the impending money-splash of the London Olympics next year. Most have been swept away by the shiny promised land of the new Westfield, or the dubious pledges buried in tonnes of polished glass and metal, said to be invested in our potentially athletic children's futures.
Sam Leith served as literary editor of the Daily Telegraph until 2008 and is the author of two award-winning books, Dead Pets and Sod's Law. His work has also appeared in - amongst other publications - the Evening Standard, The Guardian, and the Sunday Times. Leith's first novel, The Coincidence Engine was released in February.
We're selfish, independent, hooked on instant-gratification, either completely overwhelmed with choices or backed into a corner with nowhere to turn and on top of that we're ruining the planet, grotesquely unhealthy and surrounded by people who think The X-Factor is quality entertainment. It's a sorry state of affairs people, but what's the answer?