As a series of events are announced in celebration of the 50th anniversary of the Mersey Sound poetry anthology, Getintothis’ Adam Lowerson has all you need to know.
The Mersey Sound, an iconic poetry anthology written by Liverpool poets Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten, is to be celebrated in its 50th anniversary year with a series of special events across the city called Tonight At Noon, including a show by Sonic Youth’s Thurston Moore at St George’s Hall on May 30.
The Mersey Sound was first published in May 1967 and is one of the world’s bestselling poetry anthologies.
The Tonight at Noon festival will span four months from April 12 to July 15, with an exhibition on painter, poet and performer Adrian Henri taking place at St George’s Hall for the entire time, as well as the Mersey Sound Archives exhibition at Liverpool Central Library, celebrating the works of Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten.
Other events include a New Writing poetry reading at the Bluecoat on June 16, featuring the work of poets Paul Farley, Deryn Rees-Jones, Eleanor Rees, Lizzie Nunnery and Andrew McMillan who will be joined onstage by Brian Patten and Roger McGough, as well as a Poetry In the City event, more details of which will be revealed at a later date.
Speaking on his involvement with the festival, Thurston Moore said, “I’m deliriously honoured to be part of the Fiftieth Anniversary of Mersey Sound celebrations. Those beat Liverpool Poets were in tune with England’s youth generation back then and their fab work continues to reverberate around the globe.”
The Tonight at Noon Festival has been curated by Adrian Henri‘s partner Catherine Marcangeli, who said, “Adrian Henri, Roger McGough and Brian Patten changed a generation’s perception of what poetry could be, and could be about. Their poems were accessible and anchored in contemporary urban culture – Pop and popular, irreverent, humorous, political, tender, surrealistic. They shaped the poetry, music and art scenes of 1960s Britain, and their work has had a lasting impact on artists as varied as Paul Weller, Carol Ann Duffy and John Cooper Clarke.
“The Mersey Sound 50th anniversary celebrations aren’t about nostalgia though – from April to July, a programme of readings, concerts and exhibitions will revisit the Liverpool Poets’ work and introduce it to new audiences.”