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Roger McGough becomes Poetry Society president

15th December 2011

The Poetry Society has ended the most difficult year in its history by appointing a new president, with performance poet and former popstar Roger McGough set to fill the role.

Once dubbed 'the patron saint of poetry' by current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, McGough is a popular choice for the role and it is hoped his appointment will bring stability to an organisation that has had to contend with budget cuts, dissension in the ranks and the threat of being dissolved entirely this year.

Former president Jo Shapcott, who resigned earlier this year after members questioned the way the society was being run, said McGough is a 'wonderful new president' and praised his strong connection with poetry lovers, generosity to other poets and the 'range and brio of his own work'.

McGough added: '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.'

Earlier this week, Arts Council England, which had withheld the July payment of the Poetry Society's GBP 360,000 grant, confirmed it had released some funding to the society in recognition of the 'considerable progress' it has made towards meeting the conditions the council had set over the summer.

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