Although I found a number of environmentally-committed poets when I visited the States a few years back, the notions of leftist politics and poetry didn't tally.
The days when Ginsberg and the Beats took on the full force of the establishment, or Denise Levertov railed against the war in Vietnam seem long gone.
A unique feature of Welsh poetry in both languages is that we always have poets whose socialist ( and usually republican) sympathies are at the fore in their work.
While this is rarely reflected in mainstream magazines - which tend to be dominated by university Creative Writing departments - it clearly sets us apart from any other country in these Isles.
There is no doubt that Ireland, Scotland and England have their voices of dissent, but not on the level and intensity of Cymru and not with our strong sense of particular communities.
One reason may be that the well-known poets from Ireland and Scotland soon cease to be marginalised and are sucked into the London scene and away from their roots.
In Cymru, even our most famous poets like Gillian Clarke, have retained a sense of belonging and social conscience, however diluted.
Here, there has always been a tradition of political writing from a working-class perspective, such as Idris Davies in English and Iwan Llwyd in Welsh.
These are exciting times for a whole new generation of left-wing poets, supported by both small and larger presses.
I'm still astounded and delighted that Jonathan Edwards won the Costa Prize for 'My Family and other Superheroes' , when his politics are unashamedly socialist and republican.
Like Jonathan, Sion Tomos Owen and Michael 'Mao' Oliver have read with Red Poets and featured in the magazine.
Both have books coming out from Parthian this year : Sion's book 'Cawl' is a brothy mixture of poetry, stories and essays, sometimes using the vernacular of his native Rhondda valley.
Mao hails from Ely in Cardiff, but now lives in Siberia. His book of poetry 'The Elephant's Foot' promises to be full of wit and , like Sion's, a scathing take on the injustices of our planet.
Last year saw the publication of 'Rock Life' by Gemma June Howell, originally from Graig-y- Rhacca council estate in Caerffili.
Gemma cites the Red Poets as a major influence and has a unique style.
Most of these 17 poems are written in the distinctive dialect of that area, similar yet different from the dialects of Rhondda and Merthyr.
Howells has an excellent ear for everyday speech and captures its rhythms and cadences very well.
She takes the personae of working-class people and shows how they struggle :-
' I live in the Valleys ooz gunna employ me?
Get on-nuh bike tuh Cardiff?
Yew fink bikes, buses, trains uh free?'
As someone who writes in the vernacular and was inspired by the 'Swonzee' poems of Dave Hughes I immediately identified with her work.
What I admire especially is the way she avoids sentimentality and isn't afraid to describe apathy with complete candour :-
' A'rite, she sez, stay air.
End up like y'farva....in priz-zun,
tha'll serve yew rite.
A'rite Mam, I shout, I'll bee down inna min'eh.
And when th' frunt-door slams, I turn ova.'
Howell shows how problems of survival can so easily push people into crime, both stealing and drugs :-
'Round-dee ouses we gor,
door-tuh-door we knock.
Ev'ree-fin's arf price
fuh th' residents of the Rock.'
But if anyone believes there's no hope, then read these poems out loud or listen to Howell live. The language defies any overall feeling of negativity in its forceful , funny and fierce way.
In a world of so few shared experiences, it is a common bond between the people of a neglected estate.
Living in Lewisham but very much a Merthyr boy, John Williams' latest collection 'Blood Cells' is the first of several by Red Poets to be published by Debbie Price's BBTS.
Julie Pritchard, Tim Richards and Phil Howells will follow , in what promises to be a very lively series of publications.
Williams owes much to punk poets like John Cooper-Clarke and Attila the Stockbroker.
He adheres to couplets or sometimes alternate rhyming and his poetry's full of anger at a system which treats people with callous indifference or downright hostility.
It opens with '3 Litre, 3 Seater Overeater' which captures a crazy night out in Merthyr :-
'Brains flow down the gutter
Brains left at home by the guilty nutter'
Anyone from south Wales will appreciate the pun here.
Like Howell, Williams writes in the language of the streets, but with himself as the central character in a drama where the police represent a heartless system.
In one poem ' Is it a bird? A plane? No, it's my girl on the Jubilee' he tells of police brutality at a demo in Cyfarthfa Park, Merthyr against the visit of Mrs Windsor:-
' Thrown into crash barriers with no understanding
From ground control to major prod
Emotional PC please go easy learn how to do your job'
Williams writes from first-hand experience with verve and humour.
It's no coincidence that it was the young who embraced the surge towards a 'Yes' in Scotland and have taken to both Sanders in the States and Corbyn.
We have yet to witness a similar phenomenon here in Cymru, but as far as poetry is concerned we are very much in the middle of a resurgence of left-wing fervour.
SLEEPIN IN-A SUBWAY
Down inta the subway
call it ell, call it Ades,
I take my place
with the rollin cans
an piles o waste.
If on'y I ad rats
f companee or mangy strays ;
ee've flung me out, no key.
Concrete bed, the flat above
got motors an wheels.
Wearin my blankets
jacket an jumper,
I keep expectin visitors,
some gang o piss-eads
ewsin me as a target.
No spice or skunk
t carry all my worries
far from my shiverin body.
I curl inta a foetus,
wish I woz a baby.