In December 1980, John Lennon was shot outside his New York apartment by Mark David Chapman. In Liverpool, more than 30,000 people, shocked by the news, trooped to St George's Hall. That same year, Brian Patten was working on a book about the poet John Clare and preparing a selection of his own widely acclaimed love poems. Roger McGough, for his part, was in London editing an anthology of poems for teenagers called Strictly Private. In 1981, he was invited to Germany for a reading tour with Adrian Henri and Andy Roberts. Patten was not with them because he declined the invitation. In 1983, Henri wrote a poem for a John Lennon Memorial Concert, entitled ‘New York City Blues’, while Penguin released New Volume, a follow-up to The Mersey Sound. Featuring a strong selection of recent poetry by the Mersey Poets, New Volume made little noise.
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