Roger McGough

(b. 1937)

"the patron saint of poetry" - Carol Ann Duffy

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Select bibliography

  • The Liverpool Scene, (contributor), Donald Carroll 1967 - out of print
  • The Mersey Sound: Penguin Modern Poets 10, (Roger McGough, Adrian Henri and Brian Patten), Penguin 1967 / 1980 / 2005
  • Watchwords, Cape 1969 - out of print
  • After The Merrymaking, Cape 1971 - out of print
  • Gig, Cape 1973 - out of print
  • Sporting Relations, Eyre Methuen 1974 - out of print
  • In the Glassroom, Cape 1976 - out of print
  • Mr Noselighter, Andr√© Deutsch 1976 - out of print
  • Frinck, A Life in the Day of, and Summer with Monika: Poems, Joseph 1978 - out of print
  • Holiday on Death Row, Cape 1979 - out of print
  • You Tell Me: Poems by Roger McGough and Michael Rosen, (with Michael Rosen), Viking Kestrel 1979
  • Strictly Private: An Anthology of Poetry (editor), Viking Kestrel 1981 - out of print
  • The Great Smile Robbery, Viking Kestrel 1982
  • Waving at Trains, Cape 1982 - out of print
  • Sky in the Pie, Viking Kestrel 1983 / Puffin 2003
  • Crocodile Puddles, New Pyramid Press 1984 - out of print
  • Kingfisher Book of Comic Verse, (editor), Kingfisher 1986 - out of print
  • Melting into the Foreground, Viking 1986 - out of print
  • Noah's Ark, Dinosaur 1986 - out of print
  • The Stowaways, Viking Kestrel 1986 - out of print
  • Nailing the Shadow, Viking 1987 - out of print
  • An Imaginary Menagerie, Viking 1988 / Puffin 1990
  • Counting by Numbers, Viking Kestrel 1989 - out of print
  • Helen Highwater, Viking 1989 - out of print
  • Puffin Portable Poets, (Brian Patten, Kit Wright, Roger McGough), Puffin 1990 - out of print
  • Pillow Talk, Viking Kestrel 1990 - out of print
  • The Lighthouse that Ran Away, Bodley Head 1991
  • You at the Back: Selected Poems 1967-87, Cape 1991 - out of print
  • Defying Gravity, Viking 1992
  • My Dad's a Fire-Eater, Penguin 1992 - out of print
  • Another Custard Pie, Collins 1993 - out of print
  • Lucky, Viking 1993 - out of print
  • Penguin Modern Poets 4, (Liz Lochhead, Roger McGough, Sharon Olds), Penguin 1995 - out of print
  • Stinkers Ahoy!, Viking 1995 - out of print
  • The Magic Fountain, Bodley Head 1995 - out of print
  • The Kite and Caitlin, Bodley Head 1996
  • Another Day on Your Foot and I Would Have Died (John Agard, Wendy Cope, Roger McGough, Adrian Mitchell and Brian Patten), Macmillan Children's Books 1997 - out of print
  • Bad, Bad Cats, Viking 1997
  • The Kingfisher Book of Poems about Love (editor), Kingfisher 1997 - out of print
  • Five Finger-Piglets: Poems (with Brian Patten, Jackie Kay, Carol Ann Duffy and Gareth Owen), Macmillan Children's Books 1999 - out of print
  • The Way Things Are, Viking 1999
  • Everyday Eclipses, Viking 2002
  • Good Enough to Eat, Puffin 2002
  • Moonthief, Kingfisher 2002
  • What on Earth can it Be?, Puffin 2002
  • Lively, UK Touring 2003
  • Collected Poems, Penguin Books 2004
  • Wicked Poems (editor), Bloomsbury 2004
  • Said and Done, Random House 2005
  • Selected Poems, Penguin 2006
  • The Ring of Words: An Anthology of Poems for Children, (editor), Faber and Faber 2007
  • SlapstickPenguin Books Ltd, 2008
  • That Awkward Age Penguin Books Ltd, 2009
  • As Far as I Know Viking, 2012
Roger McGough (b. 1937) is one of Britain's best-loved poets. Top-selling The Mersey Sound: Penguin Modern Poets 10 with Liverpool poets Brian Patten and Adrian Henri, hits with Mike McCartney and John Gorman in The Scaffold and college touring with GRIMMS were followed by internationally acclaimed collections of poems and stories, regular broadcasts and edited anthologies. He holds a D.Litt from the University of Hull, and was honoured with the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in 2003, and awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2005.

Much travelled and translated, his poetry has gained increasing popularity, especially from its widespread use in schools. A prolific writer, he is twice winner of the Signal Award for best children's poetry book and recipient of the Cholmondeley Award. McGough is an Honorary Fellow of Liverpool John Moores University and an Honorary Professor at Thames Valley University. He has an MA from the University of Northampton.

'Funicular Railway' is a classic McGough poem, creating humour from an unusual experience and the peculiar ways people, including the poet, react to it; 'Nine to Five' takes an imagined office life that confuses itself as the poem continues. His reading style is chatty for these poems, but for 'Oxygen' he uses a threatening whisper as the element reminds us of the power it has over our lives. This reading is taken from McGough's live CD Lively, and his enjoyment, and that of his audience, makes clear why The Independent recently described him as "an extraordinary man. He may choose to depict himself as Mr Ordinary, but there is nothing at all ordinary about his energy or talent."

His recording (Lively, UK Touring 2003) was made on 5 April 2003 at Colwall Village Hall, Herefordshire and was produced by Adrian Mealing. Lively is available from


1984 Signal Poetry Award Sky in the Pie

1999 Signal Poetry Award Bad, Bad Cats

1999 Cholmondeley Award

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