Eight Days A Week 2000 : Tribute to Adrian Henri (April 10, 1932 – December 21, 2000)
A British Poet and Painter.

Adrian Henri1932 -2000

He is most commonly remembered — along with Brian Patten and Roger McGough — as one of a trio of Liverpool poets who came to prominence in that city's Mersey beat zeitgeist of the 1960s and 1970s, Henri's verse marking a middle road between the increasing seriousness of the former and the lighthearted word-play of the latter. His characterisation of popular culture in verse helped to widen the audience for poetry among 1960s British youth. Influenced by the French Symbolist school of poetry and surrealist art, his career spanned everything from artist and poet to teacher, rock-and-roll performer, playwright and librettist. And he could name among his friends John Lennon, George Melly, Allen Ginsberg, Willy Russell and Paul McCartney.

His grandfather was a seaman from Mauritius who settled in Birkenhead, Cheshire, where Henri was born. Unlike McGough and Patten, Henri chose to remain in Liverpool, turning his back on the trendier London scene, saying there was nowhere he loved better.

He studied art in Newcastle, later going on to lecture in art at both Manchester and Liverpool Colleges of Art. In 1972 he won a major prize for his painting in the John Moores competition. He was president of the Merseyside Arts Association and Liverpool Academy of the Arts in the 1970s and was an honorary professor of the city's John Moores University. He married twice, but had no children. His numerous publications include The Mersey Sound, with McGough and Patten, Wish You Were Here and Not Fade Away. He was the leading light of a band The Liverpool Scene which released two LPs of poetry and music.

He was a firm believer in the live poetry reading and read his poetry at many and varied venues as well as holding poetry workshops at schools and colleges. One of his last major poetry readings was at the launch of The Argotist magazine in 1996.

He died in Liverpool aged 68 following a long illness. Shortly before his death he was awarded the Freedom of the City of Liverpool in recognition of his contribution to Liverpool's cultural scene. He also received an honorary doctorate from Liverpool university.

He described his early philosophy as If you think you can do it and you want to do it — then do it.


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