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Summary Article: McGough, Roger from The Hutchinson Unabridged Encyclopedia with Atlas and Weather Guide

English poet, dramatist, songwriter, and performer. Along with Adrian Henri and Brian Patten he was one of the group known as the ‘Liverpool Poets’. He came to prominence in the late 1960s as a singer in the pop group Scaffold, and he wrote many of their songs (including their 1968 hit ‘Lily the Pink’). His poems were strongly influenced by the pop culture of the 1960s. His collections include Gig (1973) and Waving at Trains (1982). He has also written a range of children's books and successfully adapted three of Molière's plays (2008, 2009, 2013).

Strongly influenced by his interest in reading his works to a live audience, McGough's verse is characterized by the rhythms of everyday speech, an intimate and conversational tone, and a quirky humour often based on a punning transformation of familiar expressions. He writes on a wide range of subjects taken from daily life; his compassion and moral seriousness is expressed with a wry, deadpan, and self-deprecating humour.

Other works include the novel-plus-poems Frinck, A Life in the Day of, and Summer with Monika (1967), the collections of poems In the Glassroom (1976) and Defying Gravity (1992), and the humorous children's book The Magic Fountain (1995).

McGough was born in Liverpool. He studied at Hull University, where he met the English poet Philip Larkin, and during the 1960s McGough worked as a teacher. By the end of the 1960s he had become a colourful member of the Liverpool pop culture that flourished at this time (the Mersey beat). The development of his verse was broadly influenced by both pop music and the poets of the US Beat Generation.

© RM, 2016. All rights reserved.

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