The 1960s has been characterised as the best years for the Mersey Poets. By January 1970, things had changed. The Beatles disbanded and a Conservative government led by Edward Heath assumed power in Britain. John Lennon downplayed the years of change and counter-cultural rebellion, a sentiment shared by Brian Patten. Roger McGough also viewed 1970 as incomplete, while Adrian Henri, an atheist, saw good things at the beginning of the new decade. In March 1973 Philip Larkin created controversy after The Oxford Book of Twentieth Century English Verse, an anthology of poems of which he was editor, came out. One of the issues was the inclusion of Patten in the anthology. Between 1972 and 1975, the Mersey Poets were involved in a series of small tours, publications, residencies, and events. Patten attended the ‘Poetry Gala’ at the Royal Festival Hall in February 1969 with Christopher Logue, Basil Bunting, Ted Hughes, and Stevie Smith.
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