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Photo Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts

Simon Armitage

Photo Courtesy of Blue Flower Arts

Simon Armitage, one of England’s best-loved authors and the current U.K. Poet Laureate (2019-2029), is an award-winning poet, author, songwriter, playwright, and translator. His numerous collections of poetry include Never Good with Horses (Faber & Faber, 2023); Queenhood (2022); Tribute (2022); Magnetic Field: The Marsden Poems (2020); The Unaccompanied (2017); Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989–2014 (2014); The Shout: Selected Poems (2005), which was shortlisted for the National Book Critics Circle Award; and Kid (1992), which won the Forward Prize. In addition, he has published new verse translations of The Odyssey, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, and The Death of King Arthur.

His nonfiction book, Walking Home: A Poet’s Journey, documents his 265-mile walking tour across England, working as a “modern troubadour.”  He has also written the novels The White Stuff (Viking, 2004) and Little Green Man (Viking, 2001), and the memoirs All Points North (Penguin, 1998), which was The Yorkshire Post Book of the Year, and Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-Star Fantasist (Viking, 2009), which documents his lifelong passion for popular music and his role as lead singer and lyricist with the band The Scaremongers.

Armitage's many honors include a Forward Prize, an Eric Gregory Award, a Cholmondeley Award, the Spoken Word Award (Gold), the Ivor Novello Award for songwriting, a Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry, and a PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation. In 2018 he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and in 2010, for services to poetry, he was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) at Buckingham Palace.

Born in 1963 in the village of Marsden, he was educated at Portsmouth University and Manchester University, where his MA thesis concerned the effects of television violence on young offenders. Until 1994 he worked as a Probation Officer in Greater Manchester. He currently is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds.

Prizes, Awards & Fellowships
  • 1994 Lannan Literary Award for Poetry