Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in the village of Marsden and lives in West Yorkshire. He is a graduate of Portsmouth University, where he studied Geography. As a post-graduate student at Manchester University, his MA thesis concerned the effects of television violence on young offenders. Until 1994 he worked as a Probation Officer in Greater Manchester.
Simon Armitage is the current national Poet Laureate (2019-2029).
He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected to serve as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford for 2015-2019. In Spring 2019, he held the post of Holmes Visiting Professor at Princeton University, USA.
“ABOUT HIS PERSON
Five pounds fifty in change, exactly,
a library card on its date of expiry.
A postcard, stamped,
unwritten, but franked,
a pocket-size diary slashed with a pencil
from March twenty-fourth to the first of April.
A brace of keys for a mortise lock,
an analogue watch, self-winding, stopped.
A final demand
in his own hand,
a rolled-up note of explanation
planted there like a spray carnation
but beheaded, in his fist.
A shopping list.
A giveaway photograph stashed in his wallet,
a keepsake banked in the heart of a locket.
No gold or silver,
but crowning one finger
a ring of white unweathered skin.
That was everything.