Punk literature  

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Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
Train wreck at Montparnasse (October 22, 1895) by Studio Lévy and Sons.
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Punk literature emerged from the punk subculture. The attitude and ideology of punk gave rise to distinctive characteristics in the literature it manifested. It has generated a considerable amount of poetry and prose, as varied as the subculture itself. It has had an influence on the popular transgressional fiction literary genre and several science fiction and fantasy genres have been named after it.


Zines and journalism

Punk has its own underground press in the form of punk zines. Punk zines chronicle and help to define punk. Most punk scenes have at least one punk zine, which feature news, gossip, cultural criticism, and interviews with local or touring punk rock bands. Important punk zines include Sniffin' Glue.


Examples of punk poets include: Richard Hell, Jim Carroll, Patti Smith, John Cooper Clarke, Seething Wells, Raegan Butcher and Attila the Stockbroker. Jim Carroll's autobiographical works are among the first known examples of punk literature. The Medway Poets, a British punk performance group, was formed in 1979, and included punk musician Billy Childish. They are credited with influencing Tracey Emin, who was associated with them as a teenager. Members of the Medway Poets later formed the Stuckists art group. A description by Charles Thomson of a Medway Poets performance contrasts with the sedate image of traditional poetry:

Bill Lewis jumped on a chair, threw his arms wide (at least once hitting his head on the ceiling) and pretended he was Jesus. Billy sprayed his poems over anyone too close to him and drank whisky excessively. Miriam told the world about her vagina. Rob and I did a joint performance posing, with little difficulty, as deranged, self-obsessed writers. Sexton finally introduced us to his girlfriend, Mildred, who turned out to be a wig on a wadge of newspaper on the end of an iron pipe. --"A Stuckist on Stuckism", Charles Thomson, 2004

Prose and fiction

Punk influenced the cyberpunk literary genre. Punk zines have also spawned a considerable amount of punk-oriented prose and fiction, some of which has made an impact outside of punk circles. Notably Aaron Elliot's story, "Punk Rock Love is...", was published in Harper's in the early 90's, although it had to be significantly edited from the version originally published in Elliott's legendary fanzine Cometbus. Other notable punk authors are Joe Meno (novelist), Al Burian (of the Burn Collector fanzine) and Cindy Ovenrack Crabb (of the Doris fanzine).


Love and Rockets is a notable comic with a plot involving the Los Angeles punk scene.

See also

Unless indicated otherwise, the text in this article is either based on Wikipedia article "Punk literature" or another language Wikipedia page thereof used under the terms of the GNU Free Documentation License; or on original research by Jahsonic and friends. See Art and Popular Culture's copyright notice.

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