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Monday, 27 April 2009

Is Roger McGough The Next Poet Laureate?

Eyewear's been out and about over the weekend, and bumped into a few leading poets, and the word on the street, and in the pubs, seems to be that maybe, just maybe, the next Poet Laureate for the UK will be Roger McGough. We'll see soon enough, but at one time it seemed that either Armitage or Duffy was the shoe-in, before other intriguing options emerged, too, like Jackie Kay and Ruth Padel. McGough, who donated work to some of the Oxfam CD work I did, is a hugely popular and likable British poet, equally at home with crowd-pleasing adults and children. He would be likely to continue the energetic outreach of the Motion years - but would he be the pluralist the UK poetry scene badly needs? In America, the idea of 'Hybrid Poetry' is catching on, and a similar generational shift is required over here. However, in terms of bringing poetry to the masses, the Merseyside poet could hardly be rivalled.
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