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A Gallery to Play toThe Story of the Mersey Poets$
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Phil Bowen

Print publication date: 2008

Print ISBN-13: 9781846311253

Published to Liverpool Scholarship Online: June 2013

DOI: 10.5949/UPO9781846312496

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(p.43) 6 1961–1968
A Gallery to Play to
Liverpool University Press

Brian Patten met Roger McGough and Adrian Henri in Liverpool in 1961. Michael Horovitz described the emergence of the Beatles around 1963 as somewhat related to the three men, whom he considered pop poetry. In early 1962, cub-reporter Patten included early articles on Henri and McGough in the Bootle Times and started a magazine called Underdog, which ran until 1966. The Merseyside Arts Festival, first held in August 1962, was inspired by the South Liverpool Festival of Art that took place two years earlier. Henri and McGough seemed natural choices as committee members for the festival, but not John Gorman. In 1963, Horovitz invited McGough to read at the Cellars Club as part of the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. The place would become a fixture in the careers of the Mersey Poets and many of their subsequent associates. The Mersey Poets opened Sampson & Barlow's, which held poetry readings until 1964 and was visited by the world-renowned Black Mountain poet Robert Creeley. An unlikely supporter of the Mersey Poets was Edward Lucie-Smith.

Keywords:   Mersey Poets, pop poetry, Brian Patten, Roger McGough, Adrian Henri, Liverpool, Michael Horovitz, Beatles, poetry readings, Edinburgh Fringe Festival

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