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Armitage named UK poet laureate

English poet Simon Armitage has been named the UK’s poet laureate, after Imtiaz Dharker turned down the position earlier this month.

The Guardian reports that Armitage ‘had no hesitation whatsoever about taking on the role’ and will use his annual £5750 (A$10,770) stipend to set up either a prize or event ‘in the field of climate change’.

Based in West Yorkshire, Armitage’s first poetry collection was published in 1989 and he quit his job as a parole officer to write poetry full time in 1994. He has since published 27 more collections and is one of the UK’s bestselling poets. In 2015 he was appointed professor of poetry at Oxford University and since 2017 has been professor of poetry at the University of Leeds.

Of the laureateship, Armitage said, ‘It’s a big commitment, but if you’d asked me 30 years ago what I want to aim for, this might have been on the list … And I feel I’ve been writing the kind of public-facing, public-occasion poetry that this role will require for quite a long time now.’

Although the role of poet laureate comes with no formal requirements, individuals can choose to write poetry for royal or national events.

 

Category: International news

 

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