In STRIKE we journey from the North East which inspires Billy Elliot, to Wivenhoe Docks where flying pickets attempt to stop coal imports, to children riddling coal on spoil tips in Wales. We come face to face with politicised ‘Women Against Pit Closures’ and riot police brutality, and we discover what motivates Scargill while Thatcher’s tactics are laid bare in the Ridley Plan. The BBC’s reversed news footage of the Battle of Orgreave illustrates how the media manipulates coverage and the infamous ballot box stands silent. But there are moments of humanity: an impromptu game of football between Nottinghamshire police and strikers, the Pits and Perverts concert organised by ‘Lesbians and Gays Support The Miners’, and a Scottish policeman giving a picket the kiss of life. By 1985, these poems ache with strike-breakers, impacted children, and tragic deaths, but even in this most desperate of class struggles there are still flashes of humour and hope.