Lawsuits and Asbos Put into Children's Verse ... POETRY: Warwickshire Tycoon-Turned-Bard's New Book Has a Distinctly Modern Feel

Coventry Evening Telegraph (England), December 6, 2006 | Go to article overview

Lawsuits and Asbos Put into Children's Verse ... POETRY: Warwickshire Tycoon-Turned-Bard's New Book Has a Distinctly Modern Feel


Byline: By Stephen Hallmark

WARWICKSHIRE tycoon Felix Dennis, one of Britain's richest men, has penned his third book of poetry.

But it's not the usual hearts and flowers stuff - his Nursery Rhymes for Modern Times, which comes with a CD, puts tales of Tony Blair, kids on Asbos and the collapse of Enron to children's verse.

The multi-millionaire made his stash in magazine publishing by pioneering computer and hobbyist mags, and now owns such titles as men's lifestyle glossy Maxim, Viz, and Stuff.

In 1971 he was imprisoned at the culmination of the longest obscenity trial in English history, and recorded a single with John Lennon to raise money for a legal defence fund.

Following his acquittal by the High Court of Appeal, Felix launched his global publishing empire.

But after falling seriously ill, the entrepreneur - who was ranked as Britain's 65th richest man in 2004 - penned a poem which has propelled him into a new career.

He said: "I thought I'd try my hand at poetry because I was very ill and told not to do anything.

"All I had to hand was Post-it notes. There wasn't a lot I could fit on them so I tried my hand at poetry.

"To my astonishment I not only really loved doing it, but also found I was quite good."

The 59-year-old's offering, A Glass Half Full, was published in 2002, and was followed by Lone Wolf.

He has also been on reading tours across Britain and America, and even appeared with the Royal Shakespeare Company, along with several well-known RSC actors, reading from his work at The Swan Theatre, Stratford.

Felix said: "I was completely gobsmacked when the RSC performed my work. …

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