Roger McGough is new Poetry Society president

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Roger McGough is the new president of the Poetry Society, which has heard that its Arts Council grant, suspended during the summer furore at the society, is being restored.

The Poetry Society said he would provide "a serious depth of experience, vitality and irrepressible wit". McGough said it was an honour to be the new president, and added: "I believe that poetry will become more relevant and important over the coming years, and an efficient and well-run Poetry Society should be there to embrace it.”

Jo Shapcott, who quit as president in the summer during the internal but hugely-publicised rows about the direction of the society, highlighted McGough’s "strong connection with poetry readers, his generosity to other poets and the range and brio of his own work". Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy called him a "national treasure".

McGough’s recent poem, Roots, now surrounds the Trafalgar Square Christmas tree,. It combines words, lines and images by London and Lincolnshire primary schoolchildren.

For those with very long memories, McGough was one of Penguin’s three Mersey Poets, with Adrian Henri, and Brian Patten - and even made a no 1 record with the Scaffold, Lily the Pink.

Photograph: Peter Everard Smith


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