Alternative literature is a vague and loose term usually used to describe literature which does not belong to the ‘mainstream’. Whether or not such literature actually exists is open to doubt. If it does, then broadly speaking it appears to be anti-traditional, anti-establishment, way-out, off-beat, and possibly the product of the literate or semi-literate members of the so-called alternative society and its sub-cultures. Had the term existed in the 1920s it might have been applied to poetry composed during the worst excesses of the Futurist revolution, or that composed by the Smithy Poets or those suffering from imaginism. By the same token, in the 1950s, it might have referred to the poetry of the Beat generation, much of whose best work has
long since been ‘mainstream’. Some forms of anti-novel might be described as alternative literature.
Also read: Liverpool poets