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A Gallery To Play To: The Story of the Mersey Poets

by Phil Bowen - £15.99  Liverpool University Press (2008)
paperback    ISBN 13: 9781846311253 | ISBN 10: 184631125x

In the summer of 1967, Tony Richardson of Penguin Books took a chance. Then its Poetry Editor, he devoted number ten of the highly prestigious Penguin Modern Poets series to three unknown and relatively unpublished young writers from Liverpool. The book, featuring Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, would have its own generic title, The Mersey Sound, and would be something of a leap in the dark. It would be a big break for the three writers. The print run, as large as twenty thousand, would guarantee status, and steady sales were expected over the next ten years. Within three months it had sold out. The rest, as they say …
A Gallery to Play To is an intimate account of the lives and careers of the poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten and is both a critical survey and an unashamed celebration. First published in 1999, and now updated, Phil Bowen pinpoints the enormous social and cultural changes that post-war Britain has undergone. With unparalleled access to the three writers, he has written an indispensable book for anyone interested in poetry, popular culture and society over the last fifty years.

"A warm, well-written and unpretentious account of three good men…"
(Adrian Mitchell)
"Highly enjoyable, accurately descriptive and very well researched…"
(George Melly)

(Price & availability last checked: September 2018)

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In booklists: Poets and Poetry: Liverpool, Merseyside and North West,
In categories: Poetry & Writing, Local Interest,

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