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McGough made president of Poetry Society
14.12.11 | James Waldron
Roger McGough has been announced as the new president of the Poetry Society.
The poet has been a member of the society since the 1970s and until recently held the position of vice-president. McGough said: “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, former president of the society, said: “We know Roger McGough for his strong connection with poetry readers, his generosity to other poets and the range and brio of his own work. All this makes him a wonderful new president for the Poetry Society.” Poet Laureate and society vice president Carol Ann Duffy described McGough as “a much-loved performer, children’s poet, and national treasure”.
The development comes as welcome news after troubles earlier this year for the Poetry Society, when Arts Council England withheld the society's quarterly grant payment in the wake of a major internal row and resignations. Judith Palmer stood down as director in May, only to be re-instated in August following a petition.
McGough has written or appeared in over 50 books and is a regular presence on the radio as a presenter of BBC Radio 4’s "Poetry Please". Most recently, he co-wrote a poem with children from 12 schools, which now surrounds the Christmas tree in Trafalgar Square.