Event date: Thursday 15 February 2018
Venue: Bank of England Conference Centre
Time: 12:00 - 13:00
Speaker: Professor Simon Armitage
The award-winning poet and lyricist Simon Armitage, who also writes extensively for television, radio and theatre, will join us in conversation and to read some of his work during an off the record One Bank Flagship seminar on 15 February 2018.
Simon Armitage - ‘The most popular English poet since Larkin’ the Sunday Times
Simon Armitage was born in Marsden, West Yorkshire. Originally a geography graduate and probation officer, Simon Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford in 2015.
Simon Armitage has won numerous accolades including Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, the Hay Medal for Poetry and a prestigious Ivor Novello Award for his lyrics in the Channel 4 television film Feltham Sings about young offenders, which also won a BAFTA. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.
Feltham Sings is one of the dozen television films which feature the docu-musical format which Simon Armitage and director Brian Hill pioneered. The Not Dead included Simon Armitage’s poem, The Manhunt, written in response to testimony from an ex-soldier and his wife, which is among the poet’s work featured on the modern GCSE and A level syllabus.
Simon Armitage’s BBC film, The Great War: An Elegy, commemorated the personal stories of seven people in WW1. Later he read ‘Consider the Poppy’ for television beside the ceramic poppy installation at the Tower of London.
Simon Armitage has published a dozen collections of poetry, including Paper Aeroplane: Selected Poems 1989-2014 and his latest The Unaccompanied. His acclaimed modern translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight has sold over one hundred thousand copies.
Armitage was born in the village of Marsden, West Yorkshire. His interest in the poetry of place and the place of poetry features in landscape commissions such as Stanza Stones. This project culminated in a set of poems inspired by the Pennine Watershed, which were carved onto six stones across the upland by artist Pip Hall. The mystery seventh stone, sited in an unnamed location, has yet to be found.
Poems in the Air, a more recent commission as part of Northumberland National Park’s Sill Arts Programme, led to poems that can be heard using a mobile phone app in the locations where they were written.
Simon Armitage has written two novels and several bestselling memoirs, All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. The latter recount his attempts to walk the Pennine Way and then SW Coast Path as a modern-day troubadour. Without a penny in his pocket, he tried bartering his poetry in return for bed and board.
He is also a playwright for radio and theatre. In 2011, Simon wrote the poetic script for Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster, working with Sylvia Lancaster whose daughter who was murdered in a hate crime. The Radio 4 play created unprecedented feedback and listener-response. In 2012, it opened as a stage play at Manchester's Royal Exchange Theatre and became a BBC film, directed by Sue Roberts.
His theatre works include The Last Days of Troy, a visceral re-telling of the Iliad story, which played at the Royal Exchange Theatre and Shakespeare’s Globe in 2014. The sequel, The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead, premiered at Liverpool’s Everyman theatre before touring nationally.
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