A series of events and exhibitions are to take place in Liverpool to celebrate the 50th anniversary of one of the most influential poetry anthologies of all time
To mark this special anniversary, Tonight At Noon (named after the first Adrian Henri poem in the collection) will shine a spotlight on this incredible piece of work which captured the mood of the Sixties and brought poetry down from the shelf to the street.
Forming a key part of Liverpool’s 67-17: 50 Summers of Love celebrations, Tonight At Noon is a festival in itself running from Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July, and the events are:
The Mersey Sound Archives
An exhibition in Hornby Library, Liverpool Central Library – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE
A tribute to the publishing phenomenon which saw three Liverpool writers make poetry part of popular culture. They wrote of young love, pop idols, atomic bombs, eccentric bus conductors and sci-fi superheroes in poems that were contemporary, urban and accessible. This exhibition takes place in the stunning surroundings of the Hornby Library and will include displays of original manuscripts, posters, letters, key documents along with audio and visual material which trace the emergence of Adrian, Roger and Brian on the 1960s poetry scene.
Adrian Henri – Painter, Poet, Performer
An exhibition in Dickens and Gladstone Galleries, St George’s Hall – Wednesday 12 April to Saturday 15 July. FREE
Although he came to prominence as a poet in 1967, Adrian Henri was regarded as a ‘total artist’ having trained as a painter and exhibiting widely throughout his career. He also fronted the unlikely poetry-and-rock band Liverpool Scene, leading John Peel to dub him “one of the great non-singers of our time”. In 1969 the band supported Led Zeppelin, played the Isle of Wight Festival and toured America. This exhibition will showcase 1960s artworks, poems and original rock posters offering a glimpse into to Henri’s multi-faceted talents.
Poetry in the City
An anniversary treat at various locations, Thursday 25 May. FREE
To mark the exact day on which The Mersey Sound was first published, expect the city to be taken over by the words of the three poets as their work hits the streets once again. Full details will be revealed nearer the time.
Thurston Moore Concert
Concert Room, St George’s Hall – 8.30pm, Tuesday 30 May. £14 a ticket plus booking fee
Thurston Moore is best known for being the co-founder of legendary alternative rock group Sonic Youth. His use of unusual tunings and distorted sounds have had an impact on experimental and post-punk music the world over, and he has been ranked by Rolling Stone as one of the greatest guitarists of all time. Moore has collaborated with writers, musicians and artists as varied as Yoko Ono, William Burroughs, Merce Cunningham and Sean Lennon. He is also a poet and a fan of The Mersey Sound. Thurston is on a world tour to promote his latest album RocknRoll Consciousness, but he will stop off in Liverpool to perform a specially commissioned musical response to The Mersey Sound. Tickets are available from www.ticketquarter.co.uk/Online/thurston-moore.
Poetry reading at Bluecoat – 7.30pm, Friday 16 June. £10 a ticket
The impact of The Mersey Sound has resonated for decades for generations of writers and performers. Five poets have been commissioned to create new pieces of work in response to the writing of Henri, McGough and Patten. Taking part are award winning poets Paul Farley, Deryn Rees-Jones, Eleanor Rees, Lizzie Nunnery and Andrew McMillan. They will be joined onstage by Brian Patten and Roger McGough. Tickets are available from: www.thebluecoat.org.uk/content/tickets
Adrian’s partner, Catherine Marcangeli has curated all the Tonight At Noon events which have been commissioned by Liverpool City Council.
A BRAND new course is on offer for anyone who wants to uncover their family tree and learn more about the history of Liverpool
For the first time, Liverpool Record Office is running a special five week course, which starts on Monday 13 February (2-4pm), to give people all the know-how they need on how to trace their family tree, giving them a guide to how to use Liverpool’s Record Office including accessing school and housing records as well as giving access to amazing archived Liverpool images.
In My Liverpool Home will be delivered by Central Library’s experienced and knowledgeable team, it will give people the opportunity to view and understand how to access archives which date back to the 13th century, and will also provide a rare chance to see behind the scenes and visit the purpose-built repository and conservation studio.
Taking place on the fourth floor of Central Library each week of In My Liverpool Home will cover:
- Week One – A guide to the Record Office and its unique resources and how to use them.
- Week Two – Learn about school records which also includes industrial schools which were for children who had lost one, or both, parents.
- Week Three – Look at the impact of the workhouses in Liverpool.
- Week Four – This will introduce people to the resources available at the library for discovering the history of houses and the conditions most working class people had to live in.
- Week Five – This will give people the opportunity to see a photographic history of Liverpool, dating back to the 1850s.
The course will take place each Monday from 13 February until 13 March and each session costs £25. If anyone signs up to the entire course they only pay £100.
Advance booking is essential and this can be done either by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org giving your name, contact details and stating clearly which week you’d like to attend or whether you would like to take part in the full course. Applications can also be made via post to: In My Liverpool Home, Record Office, Central Library, William Brown Street, Liverpool, L3 8EW. Enquiries can also be made at Central Library. Payments can be made on the day of the course.
Liverpool and Wirral’s brand new fireworks event, River of Light, takes place on Saturday 5 November.
There’s nothing that welcomes the return of Autumn like firework night in Liverpool, so say “pish!” to dark nights, grab your warm coat and your big scarf and get ready for this one. It’s fair to say we’re very, very excited about this brand new event!
The running order of the evening is as follows:
- 4pm – Build up begins with Bring The Fire street entertainment at Albert Dock Salthouse Quay, Mann Island, Princes Parade and Hamilton Square/Woodside Ferry Terminal in Wirral.
- 5.30pm to approx. 6.15pm – Les Commandos Percu and Deabru Beltzak, a group of world renowned drummers will parade from Liverpool Town Hall in a spectacular fusion of percussion and pyrotechnics.
- 6.30pm – Mid-River fireworks display begins.
- 6.50pm – Show ends.