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Adrian Henri: A Critical Reading

Andrew Taylor




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With the full co-operation of the Adrian Henri estate, making use of archival material and drawing on his personal collection, Andrew Taylor has written the first critical overview of the poetry of Adrian Henri.

Henri was at the cutting edge of the 1960s underground scene in poetry and art and introduced the notion of the ‘Happening’ to the UK in 1962. He was also the singer in the poetry rock band, ‘The Liverpool Scene’, with the late John Peel calling him ‘one of the greatest non-singers of our time.’

With Roger McGough and Brian Patten, Henri featured in the ground-breaking Penguin Modern Poets poetry collection The Mersey Sound published during the Summer of Love in 1967, which has gone on to be one of the greatest selling collections of all time. Its wide- ranging influence across popular culture is undeniable.

Taylor offers an overview of Liverpool during the ‘Swinging Sixties’ and reflects on Henri’s friendships with poets and writers such as Allen Ginsberg and William Burroughs, weaves a path through the turbulent years of the ‘managed decline’ of the city, to the 50th anniversary celebrations of the publication of The Mersey Sound.

The book chronicles Henri’s writing life and the travels that inspired the poetry. Very much a poet of place, the city and the countryside, Henri remained based in Liverpool throughout his life.


About the author:

Andrew Taylor is Senior Lecturer in English and Creative Writing at Nottingham Trent University. He is a poet, critic and editor. He is a fellow of the Royal Society of Arts. He was born in Liverpool, just before the first Summer of Love.


236  pages

ISBN: 978-1-910996-28-7

Greenwich Exchange Category: Literature

Series: None