How many poets are household names? How many have been part of a No 1 hit single and a big box-office film, been awarded a CBE, OBE, and the Freedom of the City of Liverpool? Or won the Signal Award for best children’s poetry book while being the softly engaging voice of one of Radio 4’s longest-running radio shows? It all started back in the ‘60s. The Beatles were brand-new mega-stars and Liverpool was the place to be. Roger McGough and the other Mersey poets had been much influenced by New York’s beat scene and shot to fame as the cool literary arm of the city’s sudden emergence as cultural hub.
Roger McGough today is ‘The patron saint of poetry’ (Carol Ann Duffy), ‘A poemy torch in dark corners' (Ian McMillan), and 'A witty and ingenious chronicler of British life…' (The Poetry Society). He has over 70 books to his name, is President of the Poetry Society, and still makes occasional appearances with Little Machine, the band with a brilliant repertoire of poetry set to music. An exuberant new collection, joinedupwriting, will be published by Penguin in late March. Its mood will be familiar: mostly high-spirited, revolving around word play, written in almost conversational style. He tackles the most serious subjects (parenthood, illness, ageing…) with the lightest of touches and a complete absence of high falutin’ language – he is the most accessible of poets. It’s no coincidence his work is much used in schools and has travelled in many translations all around the world.
Teignmouth Poetry Festival is privileged to present the favourite-uncle voice of ‘Poetry Please’. Don’t miss this one! Learn more at www.rogermcgough.org.uk , Twitter @McgoughRoger