11 Mar 2011

'Worst' poet's works to be aired for first time

10:19 am on 11 March 2011

Several poems by a man often labelled as the worst poet in the English language are to be publicly recited for the first time in more than 100 years.

The poems by William McGonagall, who lived mainly in Dundee, Scotland, have never been published.

Discovered last year by historian Norman Watson, they will be read at Dundee University as part of the Ig Nobel awards show.

The awards celebrate "improbable" research and achievements, the BBC reports.

A spokesperson for the university said McGonagall's work fitted "perfectly with the ethos" of the Ig Nobels.

"He is considered by many as the worst poet in the English language, and his recently discovered work may be viewed as being of absolutely no literary importance, but will undoubtedly be of great interest and enjoyment to many in the English-speaking world," he said.

At the award show on 19 March, audience members will also be asked to read together aloud the concluding lines of McGonagall's most famous poem, "The Tay Bridge Disaster".