Simon Armitag

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.


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.




Faber & Faber, 2010
Hardback, 88 p.
ISBN: 9780571259304

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