Writing Liverpool

BookWriting Liverpool

Writing Liverpool

Essays and Interviews


September 1st, 2007

Access Token




Roger McGough, Levi Tafari, Willy Russell, Terence Davies, James Hanley, George Garrett, J.G. Farrell, Brian Patten, Adrian Henri, Beryl Bainbridge, Jimmy McGovern, Alan Bleasdale, Helen Forrester, Lyn Andrews, Margaret Murphy, Clive Barker, Ramsey Campbell... no matter what the genre Liverpool seems to have generated some of the most provocative and interesting writers of the last seventy-five years. Intended to mark and celebrate Liverpool’s 800th birthday in 2007 and its status as European City of Culture in 2008, this collection of essays and interviews addresses the wide range of writing that has emerged from Liverpool from the 1930s to the present day. It asks if there is a distinctive Liverpool voice, and if so, how it might be identified. Featuring interviews with Liverpool-born film director and novelist, Terence Davies, (Distant Voices, Still Lives, The Long Day Closes and The House of Mirth), Roger McGough, Willy Russell and Levi Tafari along with contributions from leading cultural critics such as former NME journalist and Mojo magazine founder Paul Du Noyer and award-winning poet George Szirtes, Liverpool Writing will be of interest to readers fascinated by the influences on and of the city dubbed ‘the Centre of the Creative Universe’.


Author Information

Deryn Rees-Jones' books include 'The Memory Tray' (Seren, 1995), shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection; 'Signs Round a Dead Body' (Seren, 1998); 'Quiver' (Seren, 2004); 'Burying the Wren' (2012), a Poetry Book Society Recommendation, and shortlisted for the TS Eliot Prize; and, with Charlotte Hodes, 'And You, Helen' (Seren, 2014). 'What It's Like to Be Alive: Selected Poems' (Seren, 2016) was a Poetry Book Society Special Commendation. In 2004 she was named as one of Mslexia’s ‘top ten’ women poets of the decade, and one of the Poetry Book Society's Next Generation poets. In 2010 she received a Cholmondeley Award from the Society of Authors. She is also the author of a groundbreaking critical study of women's poetry, 'Consorting with Angels' (Bloodaxe, 2005), which was published alongside her accompanying anthology 'Modern Women Poets' (Bloodaxe, 2005). Her new book of poems, 'Erato', is due from Seren in 2019, and a monograph on the work of Portuguese artist Paula Rego is forthcoming from Thames and Hudson. She currently holds a Major Leverhulme Fellowship, and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Liverpool. Michael Murphy was senior lecturer in English at Nottingham Trent University, the author of several academic books and collections of poetry and coeditor of 'Liverpool Writing: Essays and Interviews'.

Table of Contents

Table of Contents
Section TitlePagePrice
Title Page3
List of Contributors8
Introduction: Sounding Liverpool13
1: George Garrett, Merseyside Labour and the Influence of the United States41
2: ‘No Struggle but the Home’: James Hanley’s The Furys55
3: Paradise Street Blues: Malcolm Lowry’s Liverpool67
4: ‘Unhomely Moments’: The Fictions of Beryl Bainbridge84
5: A Man from Elsewhere: The Liminal Presence of Liverpool in the Fiction of J.G. Farrell100
6: The Figure in the Carpet: An Interview with Terence Davies117
7: ‘Every Time a Thing Is Possessed, It Vanishes’: The Poetry of Brian Patten129
8: Finding a Rhyme for Alphabet Soup: An Interview with Roger McGough150
9: Rewriting the Narrative: Liverpool Women Writers157
10: Jumping Off: An Interview with Linda Grant172
11: Ramsey Campbell’s Haunted Liverpool178
12: ‘We Are a City That Just Likes to Talk’: An Interview with Alan Bleasdale196
13: ‘Culture Is Ordinary’: The Legacy of the Scottie Road and Liverpool 8 Writers206
14: ‘I’ve Got a Theory about Scousers’: Jimmy McGovern and Lynda La Plante222
15: Manners, Mores and Musicality: An Interview with Willy Russell240
16: Subversive Dreamers: Liverpool Songwriting Subversive Dreamers: Liverpool Songwriting251
17: Putting Down Roots: An Interview with Levi Tafari264
18: ‘Out of Transformations’: Liverpool Poetry in the Twenty-first Century277