Simon Armitage has been announced as the UK’s new Poet Laureate (Picture: PA)It was announced today that Simon Armitage will be the UK’s new Poet Laureate.
He will replace Carol Ann Duffy in the position, and will be expected to write poems for special national occasions and act as a spokesperson for British poetry.
The last two Poet Laureates have held the positions for ten years each, so it’s likely that Simon will do the same and be in the role until May 2029.
It’s an important position to have, and others including John Betjeman, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, and William Wordsworth have also occupied it.
This comes in a lifetime of achievement for Simon Armitage, who has lectured at some top universities, and written books, plays, and novels.
His poems include The Shout and Chainsaw versus the Pampas Grass (Picture: Victoria Jones/PA Wire)Simon was born in Huddersfield on 26 May 1963, making him 55.
He studied geography at Portsmouth Polytechnic and worked as a probation officer in Manchester, going onto do a post-grad degree on the the effects of television violence on young offenders.
Although he was publishing works before leaving that position in 1994, he has since gone on to be able to write full time, as well as lecturing at universities.
He has lectured on creative writing at the University of Leeds (which only ended this year) and the University of Iowa, and he was also asenior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.
Translations are another speciality of his, and his translations of Sir Gawain and The Green Knight and Homer’s Odyssey are highly regarded.
With dozens of poetry anthologies, it’d to pick the best. However, some of his best-known include I Say I Say I Say, To His Lost Love, and Give. They often deal with sad but poignant subjects including homelessness and depression.
Simon recieved a VBE in 2010, and has won numerous awards, including a BAFTA, an Ivor Novello, a Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry, and a Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.
He also has a number of honorary doctorates.
MORE: Some of Simon Armitage’s best poetry quotes to celebrate the new Poet Laureate
MORE: Simon Armitage to replace Carol Anne Duffy as Britain’s poet laureate