11/5/2019 Simon Armitage: 'Witty and profound' writer to be next Poet Laureate

Peretz Simon Armitage who's witty and profound work spans sharp observations about modern life and classical myths is to be the UK's next poet laureate the West Yorkshire writer will hold the historic post for the next decade taking over from Dame Carol Ann Duffy over recent decades the role has moved away from mainly chronicling Royal occasions to promoting poetry and capturing a wider view of British life Armitage has published 28 collections and is on the National Curriculum his 2017 book the unaccompanied was described by the Guardian as the document of a world in social and economic meltdown it opens with a poem about climate change called the last snowman and includes another titled Poundland about the Disney design calendar and diary set three cans of them tow cornucopia of potato based snacks and bomb for a sweet tooth the announcement comes five months after Armitage from Marsden won the Queen's gold medal for poetry 2018 arguably the most prestigious accolade in poetry behind the laureate ship when that award was announced Dame Carol and noted how he had touched the matter of our lives with characters in subject matter that lived among us teachers and council tenants chip shops and television shows figures who drank in the local pub and shopped in the nearby supermarket he has also translated medieval poems about King Arthur and Sir Gawain retold the Odyssey as a radio play and written last days of Troy a stage play for Shakespeare's Globe and the Manchester Royal Exchange the 55 year old is currently professor of poetry of the University of Leeds and served as professor of poetry at the University of Oxford between 2015 to 2019 he was made a CBE in 2010 his 10 years poet laureate will run for a decade away forward Armitage told BBC News that poetry was more valuable it more relevant than it's ever been he said I want to celebrate what's best in poetry and build on the work and remotion and Carol Ann Duffy have done over the last two decades in terms of encouraging and identifying talent particularly among young people among whom poetry might be a way forward an outlet the poet laureate is an honorary position that is officially appointed by the Queen acting on advice from the government he joked that he had missed the boat to write a poem for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex is baby it's been made very clear to me that although the monarch is my line manager for want of a better word there are no expectations or obligations in that direction climate change voice hair said he planned to use the profile to establish some sort of project or award for writing about climate change and that he had a dream very possibly completely unrealistic to set up a national center for poetry culture secretary jeremy wright praised armitage for his witty and profound take on modern life which is known and respected across the world mr. right added he is a very worthy successor to Dame Carol Ann Duffy who championed the importance of poetry over the past ten years and made the position relatable to people across the country there had been reports that empty Asda car would be offered the post but had decided to turn it down Armitage said he believed there had been a lot of discussion behind the scenes about whether the job should go to a white man he stressed that he wanted part of his role to be about amplifying the voices of writers from diverse and disadvantaged backgrounds he added that he did not come from the establishment when I grew up in a terraced house on the side of a hill in West Yorkshire I did not feel like the chosen one he said when I was working as a probation officer in Greater Manchester dragging junkies out of the garden sitting across the table from notorious criminals it did not feel like a life of privilege I suppose what I'm saying is I understand to a lesser extent what it means to come from outside the establishment even if I've arrived at certain established positions and I need to keep those things in the back of my mind the role was established in 1668 and previous PERTs laureate include William Wordsworth Alfred Lord Tennyson John Betjeman and Ted Hughes follow us on Facebook on Twitter at BBC a nuisance or on Instagram at BBC News ants if you have a story suggestion email entertainment dot news at BBC dart code at UK

1 thought on “11/5/2019 Simon Armitage: 'Witty and profound' writer to be next Poet Laureate

  1. More junk poetry following in the footsteps of Carol Ann Duffy. Oh, she's the one that wrote a poem about, wait for it – David Beckham! Ha! Ha!
    Armitage was quick to talk about his roots, and that he didn't come form a privileged background: he obviously doesn't want to disturb his fellow Yorkshire lefties. However, he'll have to get used to it when he receives his knighthood – as did cabin boy Prescott aka Lord Prescott..
    Like art, poetry has gone to the dogs.

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