Simon Armitage - Author

About the Author

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire in 1963. In 1992 he was winner of one of the first Forward Prizes, and a year later was the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. He works as a freelance writer, broadcaster and playwright, and has written extensively for radio and television. Previous titles include Kid, Book of Matches, The Dead Sea Poems, CloudCuckooLand, Killing Time, The Universal Home Doctor, Homer's Odyssey and Tyrannosaurus Rex versus The Corduroy Kid. His acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was published in 2007.

 

Author photo © Jonty Wilde

Featured books by Simon Armitage

Other books by Simon Armitage

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Hardback Release Date: 18/10/2018

When a mysterious green knight arrives unbidden at Camelot one Christmas, only the young and inexperienced Gawain is brave or foolhardy enough to take up his challenge . . . This story, first told in the late fourteenth century, is one of the most enthralling, enigmatic and beloved poems in the English language. Simon Armitage's version is meticulously responsive to the tact, sophistication and dramatic intensity of the original. It is as if, six hundred years apart, two poets set out on a journey through the same mesmeric landscape - physical, allegorical and acoustic - in the course of which the Gawain poet has finally found his true translator. The poem's key episodes have been visualised into a series of bold, richly textured screen-prints by British artist Clive Hicks-Jenkins. They are reproduced here, alongside Armitage's revised text, to create a special edition of this marvellous classic.

Walking Home A Poet's Journey

Walking Home A Poet's Journey

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/07/2018

The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain's version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way. Walking the backbone of England by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different village in exchange for a bed. Armitage reflects on the inextricable link between freedom and fear as well as the poet's place in our bustling world. In Armitage's own words, to embark on the walk is to surrender to its lore and submit to its logic, and to take up a challenge against the self.

Last Days of Troy

Last Days of Troy

Author: Simon Armitage Format: eBook Release Date: 26/04/2018

Lily Cole stars as Helen of Troy, 'the face that launched a thousand ships', in Simon Armitage's vivid, visceral adaptation of Homer's Iliad and Virgil's AeneidFor ten years, the Greeks have been laying siege to Troy to win back their abducted queen, Helen. But as the war drags on, and the battlefields run scarlet with blood, the opposing forces are entrenched in a bitter stalemate. As Gods and mortals squabble amongst themselves for the spoils of war, the exhausted warriors go to extreme lengths in a desperate grab for victory...Dramatised by multi-award-winning poet and playwright Simon Armitage, The Last Days of Troy was first produced as a stage play at the Manchester Royal Exchange and Shakespeare's Globe, and this radio version features the original cast. Both a tense action adventure and a powerful commentary on the futility of war, it brings Homer's ancient myth to dynamic life and explores themes that still resonate today, in a world locked in cycles of conflict and revenge, East versus West and with the same dangerous combination of pride, lies and self-deception that fuelled the Trojan War.'Armitage was the real star, with his vivid and muscular dialogue and occasional flashes of humour...The Last Days of Troy was a powerful reflection on the folly of men and the cruelty of war.' - IndependentCast and creditsAgamemnon..................................................................David BirrellAchilles..................................................................Jake FairbrotherZeus..................................................................Richard BremmerOdysseus..................................................................Colin TierneyHera..................................................................Gillian BevanAndromache/Thetis................................................Claire CalbraithHector..................................................................Simon HarrisonHelen..................................................................Lily ColeParis..................................................................Tom StuartAthene/Briseis..................................................................Francesca ZoutewellePriam..................................................................Garry CooperPatroclus..................................................................Brendan O'HeaAstyanax..................................................................Luca RawlinsonOriginal music by Alex BaranowskiDirected for radio by Susan RobertsFirst directed for The Royal Exchange Theatre by Nick Bagnall

The Unaccompanied

The Unaccompanied

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 15/03/2018

'The most popular English poet since Larkin.' Sunday Times After more than a decade and following his celebrated adventures in drama, translation, travel writing and prose poetry, Simon Armitage's eleventh collection of poems heralds a return to his trademark contemporary lyricism. The pieces in this multi-textured and moving volume are set against a backdrop of economic recession and social division, where mass media, the mass market and globalisation have made alienation a commonplace experience and where the solitary imagination drifts and conjures. The Unaccompanied documents a world on the brink, a world of unreliable seasons and unstable coordinates, where Odysseus stalks the aisles of cut-price supermarkets in search of direction, where the star of Bethlehem rises over industrial Yorkshire, and where alarm bells for ailing communities go unheeded or unheard. Looking for certainty the mind gravitates to recollections of upbringing and family, only to encounter more unrecoverable worlds, shaped as ever through Armitage's gifts for clarity and detail as well as his characteristic dead-pan wit. Insightful, relevant and empathetic, these poems confirm The Unaccompanied as a bold new statement of intent by one of our most respected and recognised living poets. 'A writer who has had a game-changing influence on his contemporaries.' Guardian 'Armitage is that rare beast: a poet whose work is ambitious, accomplished and complex as well as popular.' Sunday Telegraph 'The best poet of his generation.' Craig Raine, Observer

The Death of King Arthur

The Death of King Arthur

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/10/2017

The Alliterative Morte Arthure - the title given to a four-thousand line poem written sometime around 1400 - was part of a medieval Arthurian revival which produced such masterpieces as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Thomas Malory's prose Morte D'Arthur. The Death of King Arthur deals in the cut-and-thrust of warfare and politics: the ever-topical matter of Britain's relationship with continental Europe, and of its military interests overseas. Simon Armitage is already the master of this alliterative music, as his earlier version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2006) so resourcefully and exuberantly showed. His new translation restores a neglected masterpiece of story-telling, by bringing vividly to life its entirely medieval mix of ruthlessness and restraint.

Approaches to Learning and Teaching Geography A Toolkit for International Teachers

Approaches to Learning and Teaching Geography A Toolkit for International Teachers

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 31/08/2017

A subject-specific guide for teachers to supplement professional development and provide resources for lesson planning. Approaches to learning and teaching Geography is the result of close collaboration between Cambridge University Press and Cambridge International Examinations. Considering the local and global contexts when planning and teaching an international syllabus, the title presents ideas for Geography with practical examples that help put theory into context. Teachers can download online tools for lesson planning from our website. This book is ideal support for those studying professional development qualifications or international PGCEs.

Pearl

Pearl

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/06/2017

Pearl is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love, as the narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Middle English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life in the care of one of the finest poets writing today.

New Cemetery

New Cemetery

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Hardback Release Date: 31/03/2017

A poet, at a desk, in a shed. A shed which is temple, bunker, study and look-out post all rolled into one.Not far away, in the surrounding West Yorkshire countryside, the local council have begun peeling back turf to turn a former cow-field into a new cemetery.In this brand new collection from Simon Armitage, day-to-day observations become short and layered meditations addressed to any reader within earshot, from the adulterers and learner drivers cruising the cemetery's newly laid tarmac, to the cosmos itself, staring back with its dumb face. As the graveyard takes shape, its presence on the brow of the hill becomes a lengthening shadow over the imagination, triggering terse, sarcastic responses and quieter personal recollections, leading eventually to a grand litany of local landmarks as the poet stakes out his place among moorland reservoirs blazing with evening sun. In New Cemetery, Armitage faces up to the bylaws of local planning committees and the laws of the universe with his customary deft wit and detached lyricism, but with a stripped-back clarity and lo-fi approach that hints at a new beginning.

The Unaccompanied

The Unaccompanied

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Hardback Release Date: 02/03/2017

'The most popular English poet since Larkin.' Sunday Times After more than a decade and following his celebrated adventures in drama, translation, travel writing and prose poetry, Simon Armitage's eleventh collection of poems heralds a return to his trademark contemporary lyricism. The pieces in this multi-textured and moving volume are set against a backdrop of economic recession and social division, where mass media, the mass market and globalisation have made alienation a commonplace experience and where the solitary imagination drifts and conjures. The Unaccompanied documents a world on the brink, a world of unreliable seasons and unstable coordinates, where Odysseus stalks the aisles of cut-price supermarkets in search of direction, where the star of Bethlehem rises over industrial Yorkshire, and where alarm bells for ailing communities go unheeded or unheard. Looking for certainty the mind gravitates to recollections of upbringing and family, only to encounter more unrecoverable worlds, shaped as ever through Armitage's gifts for clarity and detail as well as his characteristic dead-pan wit. Insightful, relevant and empathetic, these poems confirm The Unaccompanied as a bold new statement of intent by one of our most respected and recognised living poets. 'A writer who has had a game-changing influence on his contemporaries.' Guardian 'Armitage is that rare beast: a poet whose work is ambitious, accomplished and complex as well as popular.' Sunday Telegraph 'The best poet of his generation.' Craig Raine, Observer

Unaccompanied

Unaccompanied

Author: Simon Armitage Format: eBook Release Date: 02/03/2017

'The most popular English poet since Larkin.' Sunday TimesAfter more than a decade and following his celebrated adventures in drama, translation, travel writing and prose poetry, Simon Armitage's eleventh collection of poems heralds a return to his trademark contemporary lyricism. The pieces in this multi-textured and moving volume are set against a backdrop of economic recession and social division, where mass media, the mass market and globalisation have made alienation a commonplace experience and where the solitary imagination drifts and conjures. The Unaccompanied documents a world on the brink, a world of unreliable seasons and unstable coordinates, where Odysseus stalks the aisles of cut-price supermarkets in search of direction, where the star of Bethlehem rises over industrial Yorkshire, and where alarm bells for ailing communities go unheeded or unheard. Looking for certainty the mind gravitates to recollections of upbringing and family, only to encounter more unrecoverable worlds, shaped as ever through Armitage's gifts for clarity and detail as well as his characteristic dead-pan wit. Insightful, relevant and empathetic, these poems confirm The Unaccompanied as a bold new statement of intent by one of our most respected and recognised living poets. 'A writer who has had a game-changing influence on his contemporaries.' Guardian'Armitage is that rare beast: a poet whose work is ambitious, accomplished and complex as well as popular.' Sunday Telegraph'The best poet of his generation.' Craig Raine, Observer

The Last Days of Troy

The Last Days of Troy

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/10/2016

Simon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country's most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer's Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus's return from the Trojan War memorably to life.

Still

Still

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Hardback Release Date: 12/07/2016

Pearl

Pearl

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/05/2016

A new version of the Middle English poem Pearl, from the acclaimed poet and translator of Gawain and the Green Knight. Simon Armitage's version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight garnered front-page reviews across two continents and confirmed his reputation as a leading translator. This new work is an entrancing allegorical tale of grief and lost love, as the narrator is led on a Dantean journey through sorrow to redemption by his vanished beloved, Pearl. Retaining all the alliterative music of the original, a Medieval English poem thought to be by the same anonymous author responsible for Gawain, Pearl is here brought to vivid and intricate life in care of one of the finest poets writing today. Praise for Sir Gawain and the Green Knight: 'Takes you back closer to something of the thrill and the wonder the poem would have had in the days when it was composed. It might even be the best translation of any poem I've ever seen . [Armitage] was put on the planet to translate this poem.' Guardian '[Armitage] captures his dialect and his landscape and takes great pains to render the tale's alliterative texture and drive . He has given us an energetic, free-flowing, high-spirited version.' New Yorker

Walking Away

Walking Away

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/05/2016

Not content with walking the Pennine Way as a modern day troubadour, an experience recounted in his bestseller and prize-wining Walking Home, the restless poet has followed up that journey with a walk of the same distance but through the very opposite terrain and direction far from home. In Walking Away Simon Armitage swaps the moorland uplands of the north for the coastal fringes of Britain's south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finsh. From the surreal pleasuredome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we've come to expect of one of Britain's best loved and most popular writers.

Pearl A New Verse Translation

Pearl A New Verse Translation

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Hardback Release Date: 11/04/2016

Simon Armitage, the acclaimed poet who brought Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to vivid life in an energetic, free-flowing, high-spirited translation (New York Times Book Review), turns his attention to another beloved medieval English masterpiece, the soulful Pearl. Believed to have been penned by the same author who wrote Sir Gawain and housed in the same original fourteenth-century manuscript, Pearl is here reanimated with Armitage's characteristic flair in the alliterative music of the original text. Pearl describes a bereft father mourning the loss of his precious Perle. Returning to the garden where she first disappeared, he observes the verdant shades of late summer-a cruel reminder of the grief that shadows his every waking thought. Succumbing to the afternoon heat, he falls into a trancelike sleep and dreams of a radiant apparition that closely resembles his Pearl. Standing before him across an unfordable stretch of water, the maiden reassures her father that she has been granted a home in heaven alongside Christ. At first overjoyed, then incredulous at the maiden's exalted stature, the dreamer is ultimately convinced of her providence by a series of tense, sorrowful arguments as she-much like Dante's Beatrice-leads him through the throes of grief toward a vision of paradise and divine redemption. At the brief, teasing glimpse of the kingdom of heaven, the dreamer rushes forward to join the maiden-only to be struck awake, his dream shattered and his irreplaceable Pearl lost once more. Presented alongside the original text, and overseen by renowned medievalist James Simpson, Pearl is a spellbinding new translation of a classic medieval work. Remaining faithful to the intricate structure of the original, Armitage's virtuosic rendering of the lyrical dialogue between father and daughter arrives at the end only to echo the beginning; the poem emerges as a circular and perfected whole, much like the pearl itself. One of our most ingenious interpreters of Middle English, Armitage transforms this allegory of grief and consolation into a story that feels hauntingly immediate.

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead Adapted for the Stage

The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead Adapted for the Stage

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/10/2015

A high-ranking government minister with a colourful past is sent on a diplomatic mission to Istanbul. When his trip ends up in a bar-room brawl, he becomes Europe's most wanted man overnight. Chased by the authorities, damned by religious leaders, pursued by those looking for vengeance and head-hunted by fanatics, his odyssey begins. Plunged into the ancient past, Odysseus must now contend with all the unworldly beings and unnatural phenomena that stand in his way. The Cyclops, the Sirens, witches, whirlpools and flesh-eating armies must all be overcome in the struggle for survival and the long voyage back home. Simon Armitage's The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead premiered at the Liverpool Everyman in September 2015 then toured the UK in a co-production with English Touring Theatre.

Walking Away

Walking Away

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 04/06/2015

As heard on BBC Radio 4, the brilliant sequel to Simon Armitage's acclaimed bestseller Walking Home - the story of his travels on Britain's South West coast. Not content with walking the Pennine Way as a modern day troubadour, an experience recounted in his bestseller and prize-wining Walking Home, the restless poet has followed up that journey with a walk of the same distance but through the very opposite terrain and direction far from home. In Walking Away Simon Armitage swaps the moorland uplands of the north for the coastal fringes of Britain's south west, once again giving readings every night, but this time through Somerset, Devon and Cornwall, taking poetry into distant communities and tourist hot-spots, busking his way from start to finsh. From the surreal pleasuredome of Minehead Butlins to a smoke-filled roundhouse on the Penwith Peninsula then out to the Isles of Scilly and beyond, Armitage tackles this personal Odyssey with all the poetic reflection and personal wit we've come to expect of one of Britain's best loved and most popular writers.

Paper Aeroplane Selected Poems 1989-2014

Paper Aeroplane Selected Poems 1989-2014

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/04/2015

When Simon Armitage burst on to the poetry scene in 1989 with his spectacular debut Zoom!, readers were introduced to an exceptional new talent who would reshape the landscape of contemporary poetry in the years to come. Now, twenty-five years on, Simon Armitage's reputation as one of the nation's most original, most respected and best-loved poets seems secure. Paper Aeroplane: Poems 1989-2014 is the author's own selection from across a quarter-century of work, from his debut to the latest, uncollected work. Drawing upon all of his award-winning poetry collections, including Kid, Book of Matches, The Universal Home Doctor and Seeing Stars, this generous selection provides an essential gathering of this most thrilling of poets, and is key reading for students and general readers alike.

The Last Days of Troy

The Last Days of Troy

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/05/2014

Simon Armitage is rightly celebrated as one of the country's most original and engaging poets; but he is also an adaptor and translator of some of our most important epics, such as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, The Death of King Arthur and Homer's Odyssey. The latter, originally a commission for BBC Radio, rendered the classical tale with all the flare, wit and engagement that we have come to expect from this most distinctive of contemporary authors, and in so doing brought Odysseus's return from the Trojan War memorably to life.

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Author: Simon Armitage Format: eBook Release Date: 11/04/2014

This book brings together three verse form pieces each of which was created to be part of a broader form. 'Out of the Blue' itself is a powerful, award-winning, poem-film created five years after the attacks which destroyed the twin towers in NewYork. With a title from a speech of Churchill, 'We May Allow Ourselves a Brief Period of Rejoicing' was a Channel 5 commission for a broadcast celebrating the 60th anniversary of VE Day. The third, 'Cambodia', comes from the radio drama The Violence of Silence set 30 years after the Khmer Rouge

Stanza Stones

Stanza Stones

Author: Simon Armitage, Pip Hall, Tom Lonsdale Format: Hardback Release Date: 01/10/2013

The newly drawn Stanza Stones Trail runs through forty-seven miles of the Pennine region, some of the most strikingly varied landscape in the world. The terrain bears the deep scars of industrial exploitation, as well as those less obvious: the signs left by a hundred local generations are carved into the region's abounding rocks. Simon Armitage was born and raised here, in the village of Marsden, and in 2012 he was commissioned through the Ilkley Literature Festival to write site-specific poetry. Armitage composed six new poems on his Pennine walks and, with the help of local expert Tom Lonsdale and letter-carver Pip Hall, found extraordinary, secluded sites and saw his words carved into stone. This book is a record of that journey, containing the poems and the accounts of Lonsdale and Hall. The many layers of stone and sediment found beneath the surface of the rock reflect the drama of the landscape itself. Covered in decades of industrial soot and grime, the colours released by the carver's tools will likely never return to shades of black and grey, but become a small reminder of the changes that our natural environment undergoes, and the marks, small and large, of humankind.

Walking Home

Walking Home

Author: Simon Armitage Format: CD-Audio Release Date: 01/06/2013

In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards the Yorkshire village where he was born. Travelling as a 'modern troubadour' without a penny in his pocket, he stopped along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs and living rooms. His audiences varied from the passionate to the indifferent, and his readings were accompanied by the clacking of pool balls, the drumming of rain and the bleating of sheep. WALKING HOME describes this extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey. It's a story about Britain's remote and overlooked interior - the wildness of its landscape and the generosity of the locals who sustained him on his journey. It's about facing emotional and physical challenges, and sometimes overcoming them. It's nature writing, but with people at its heart. Contemplative, moving and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most beloved writers. This recording is unabridged. Typically abridged audiobooks are not more than 60% of the author's work and as low as 30% with characters and plotlines removed.

The Death of King Arthur A New Verse Translation

The Death of King Arthur A New Verse Translation

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 20/11/2012

First appearing around 1400, The Death of King Arthur is one of the most widely beloved and spectacularly alliterative poems penned in Middle English. While it is more than six centuries old, this magisterial new translation has finally given American readers the ability to experience the splendor and poignancy of the original. Echoing the lyrical passion that so distinguished Seamus Heaney's Beowulf, Simon Armitage has produced a virtuosic translation of a timeless masterpiece, one that follows Arthur's bloody conquests across Europe, all the way to his spectacular and even bloodier downfall. This unparalleled presentation of the greatest Arthurian tale promises to become the definitive edition for generations to come.

The Death of King Arthur

The Death of King Arthur

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2012

The Alliterative Morte Arthure - the title given to a four-thousand line poem written sometime around 1400 - was part of a medieval Arthurian revival which produced such masterpieces as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Thomas Malory's prose Morte D'Arthur. The Death of King Arthur deals in the cut-and-thrust of warfare and politics: the ever-topical matter of Britain's relationship with continental Europe, and of its military interests overseas. Simon Armitage is already the master of this alliterative music, as his earlier version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2006) so resourcefully and exuberantly showed. His new translation restores a neglected masterpiece of story-telling, by bringing vividly to life its entirely medieval mix of ruthlessness and restraint.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Author: Simon Armitage Format: eBook Release Date: 25/10/2012

When the mysterious Green Knight arrives unbidden at the Round Table one Christmas, only Gawain is brave enough to take up his challenge . . .This story, first told in the 1400s, is one of the most enthralling, dramatic and beloved poems in the English tradition. Now, in Simon Armitage, the poem has found its perfect modern translator. Armitage's retelling of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight captures all of the magic and wonderful storytelling of the original while also revitalising it with his own popular, funny and contemporary voice.

Walking Home

Walking Home

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/07/2012

In summer 2010 Simon Armitage decided to walk the Pennine Way. The challenging 256-mile route is usually approached from south to north, from Edale in the Peak District to Kirk Yetholm, the other side of the Scottish border. He resolved to tackle it the other way round: through beautiful and bleak terrain, across lonely fells and into the howling wind, he would be walking home, towards theYorkshire village where he was born. Travelling as a 'modern troubadour' without a penny in his pocket, he stopped along the way to give poetry readings in village halls, churches, pubs and living rooms. His audiences varied from the passionate to the indifferent, and his readings were accompanied by the clacking of pool balls, the drumming of rain and the bleating of sheep. WALKING HOME describes this extraordinary, yet ordinary, journey. It's a story about Britain's remote and overlooked interior - the wildness of its landscape and the generosity of the locals who sustained him on his journey. It's about facing emotional and physical challenges, and sometimes overcoming them. It's nature writing, but with people at its heart. Contemplative, moving and droll, it is a unique narrative from one of our most beloved writers.

Black Roses: the Killing of Sophie Lancaster

Black Roses: the Killing of Sophie Lancaster

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 08/05/2012

Short and Sweet

Short and Sweet

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/03/2012

Short and Sweet is an inspiring anthology arranged to show how the short poem, defined here as no longer than thirteen lines - and sometimes a lot shorter than that - can tell a story, present a complex argument, and be packed with as much passion, wisdom and music as any more extended piece of writing. In his witty and instructive introduction, Simon Armitage, pace-setting poet of his generation, encourages us to consider how poets over five centuries have used brevity.

The Death of King Arthur

The Death of King Arthur

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 05/01/2012

The Alliterative Morte Arthure - the title given to a four-thousand line poem written sometime around 1400 - was part of a medieval Arthurian revival which produced such masterpieces as Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Sir Thomas Malory's prose Morte D'Arthur. The Death of King Arthur deals in the cut-and-thrust of warfare and politics: the ever-topical matter of Britain's relationship with continental Europe, and of its military interests overseas. Simon Armitage is already the master of this alliterative music, as his earlier version of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2006) so resourcefully and exuberantly showed. His new translation restores a neglected masterpiece of story-telling, by bringing vividly to life its entirely medieval mix of ruthlessness and restraint.

Seeing Stars

Seeing Stars

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/08/2011

Simon Armitage's new collection is by turns a voice and a chorus: a hyper-vivid array of dramatic monologues, allegories, parables and tall tales. Here comes everybody: Snoobie and Carla, Lippincott, Wittmann, Yoshioka, Bambuck, Dr Amsterdam, Preminger. The man whose wife drapes a border-curtain across the middle of the marital home; the English astronaut with a terrestrial outlook on life; an orgiastic cast of unreconstructed pie-worshipers at a Northern sculpture farm; the soap-opera supremacists at their zoo-wedding; the driver who picks up hitchhikers as he hurtles towards a head-on collision with Thatcherism; a Christian cheese-shop proprietor in the wrong part of town; the black bear with a dark secret, the woman who curates giant snowballs in the chest freezer. Celebrities and nobodies, all come to the ball. The storyteller who steps in and out of this human tapestry changes, trickster-style, from poem to poem, but retains some identifying traits: the melancholy of the less deceived, crossed with an undercover idealism. And he shares with many of his characters a star-gazing capacity for belief, or for being 'genuine in his disbelief'. Language is on the loose in these poems, which cut and run across the parterre of poetic decorum with their cartoon-strip energies and air of misrule. Armitage creates world after world, peculiar yet always particular, where the only certainty is the unexpected.

The Poetry of Birds

The Poetry of Birds

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 24/02/2011

Birds are the most obvious wild things we have around us. They are much watched and much loved. A remarkable number of poets have noticed birds and British bird poetry is as old as British poetry. Some of the best known, and most loved, poems in English are bird poems. Here poet Simon Armitage and amateur ornithologist Tim Dee gather the best of the past and the most promising of the present, as well as some overlooked gems. Poems are organised according to ornithological classification, and there are detailed ornithological notes which illuminate the poems and provide fascinating information on the birds. Altogether this is a truly original anthology.

Kid

Kid

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Hardback Release Date: 06/05/2010

Kid gives us one of the liveliest poetic voices to have emerged in the last ten years. Simon Armitage's inspired ear for the demotic and his ability to deal with subjects that many poets turn their backs on have marked him as a poet of originality and force.

Gig The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist

Gig The Life and Times of a Rock-star Fantasist

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2009

A poet is a rock star without the sex'n'drugs, or the rock'n'roll. But that never stopped Simon Armitage dreaming, and in Gig, he explores how music and the muse intertwine in work and in life. Crammed with stories, anecdotes, jokes, absurdities, the odd informal homily, pitfalls and pratfalls (not all the author's own), Yorkshire life and death, Gig is about the dream and reality of what you are, and what you might have been.

All Points North

All Points North

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 28/05/2009

All Points North is part-memoir and part-excursion. Charting the rugged and uneven terrain of a writer's formative years - from tax problems to probation to American tours, football to family to running away to Iceland - Simon Armitage explores growing up and being Northern. It's about humour, language, writing, film, houses, homes, time wasters, one loose tyre, you, me and all points in-between.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 05/03/2009

Preserved on a single surviving manuscript dating from around 1400, composed by an anonymous master, Sir Gawain and the Green Knight was rediscovered only 200 years ago, and published for the first time in 1839. One of the earliest great stories of English literature, after Beowulf, the poem narrates the strange tale of a green knight on a green horse, who rudely interrupts the Round Table festivities one Yuletide, casting a pall of unease over the company and challenging one of their number to a wager. The virtuous Gawain accepts, and decapitates the intruder with his own axe. Gushing blood, the knight reclaims his head, orders Gawain to seek him out a year hence, and departs. Next Yuletide Gawain dutifully sets forth... His quest for the Green Knight involves a winter journey, a seduction scene in a dream-like castle, a dire challenge answered - and a drama of enigmatic reward disguised as psychic undoing.

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Sir Gawain and the Green Knight

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/11/2008

One of the earliest great stories of English literature after ?Beowulf?, ?Sir Gawain? is the strange tale of a green knight on a green horse, who rudely interrupts King Arthur's Round Table festivities one Yuletide, challenging the knights to a wager. Simon Armitrage, one of Britain's leading poets, has produced an inventive and groundbreaking translation that [helps] liberate ?Gawain ?from academia (?Sunday Telegraph?).

The Odyssey A Dramatic Retelling of Homer's Epic

The Odyssey A Dramatic Retelling of Homer's Epic

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/04/2008

In this new verse adaptation, originally commissioned for BBC radio, Simon Armitage has recast Homer's epic as a series of bristling dramatic dialogues: between gods and men; between no-nonsense Captain Odysseus and his unruly, lotus-eating, homesick companions; and between subtle Odysseus (wiliest hero of antiquity) and a range of shape-shifting adversaries-Calypso, Circe, the Sirens, the Cyclops-as he and his men are pinballed between islands of adversity. One of the most individual voices of his generation, Armitage revitalizes our sense of the Odyssey as oral poetry, as indeed one of the greatest of tall tales.

Out of the Blue

Out of the Blue

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 29/02/2008

The poems in this volume were written in response to three anniversaries relating to three separate conflicts. Told from the point of view of an English trader working in the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, the poem-film Out Of The Blue was commissioned by Channel 5 and broadcast five years after the 9.11 attacks on America. It won the 2006 Royal Television Society Documentary Award. 'We May Allow Ourselves A Brief Period Of Rejoicing' (a quote from one of Churchill's post-war speeches), was also commissioned by Channel 5, and broadcast on the sixtieth anniversary of VE Day. The radio-poem Cambodia was commissioned by the BBC for The Violence of Silence , a radio drama set in today's Cambodia thirty years after the rise of the Khmer Rouge.

Homer's Odyssey

Homer's Odyssey

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/11/2007

Originally commissioned for BBC Radio, Simon Armitage recasts Homer's epic as a series of dramatic dialogues. His version bristles with the economy, wit and guile that we have come to expect from one of the most individual voices of his generation.

Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid

Tyrannosaurus Rex versus the Corduroy Kid

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 04/10/2007

Engaging above all with the matter of England in the here and now Simon Armitage focuses his attention on the conflicts within society today. The result is his wittiest, most alertly combative and impassioned collection to date.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 17/11/2005

Radio Castle, the voice of Jerusalem. Your local news broadcast from the bed of housebound ex-fireman, John Edward. His son doesn't want to join the family business, and his wife is in love with the town's ex-policeman, but Radio Castle continues to broadcast despite everything life throws at John Edward. When the coveted position of Entertainment Secretary at the Jerusalem Social Club comes up, only one man stands between John Edward and his dream - a certain ex-policeman. As two old adversaries square up, who will get the girl and who will get the job? This dark musical comedy premieres at West Yorkshire Playhouse in November 2005.

Cloudcuckooland

Cloudcuckooland

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 02/09/2004

From his home in a West Yorkshire village proverbially associated with cuckoos, Simon Armitage has been probing the night sky with the aid of a powerful Russian telescope. The sequence of eighty-eight poems at the heart of CloudCuckooLand springs from this preoccupation, each poem receiving its title from one of the constellations, while turning out to be less concerned with pure astronomy than with moments in the life of the poet's mind.

The Universal Home Doctor

The Universal Home Doctor

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/03/2004

The Universal Home Doctor is Simon Armitage's most personal collection of poems yet. The poems journey across the globe but are ultimately set against the most intimate of landscapes - the human body.

The Universal Home Doctor

The Universal Home Doctor

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 19/05/2003

As the title implies, Simon Armitage's flesh-and-blood account of numerous personal journeys reads like a private encyclopaedia of emotion and health. Vivid and engaged, the poems range from the rainforests of South America to the deserts of Western Australia, but are set against the ultimate and most intimate of all landscapes, the human body. Equally, the body politic comes into question, through subtle enquiries into Englishness and the idea of home.

Selected Poems of Simon Armitage

Selected Poems of Simon Armitage

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 06/08/2001

This selection provides a perfect introduction to Armitage's work as well as offering a timely retrospective of one of the brightest stars of contemporary poetry. Made by Simon Armitage himself from his poetry to date, Selected Poems includes work from six published volumes, from Zoom! (1989) through to the poem commissioned for the Millennium, Killing Time.

The Dead Sea Poems

The Dead Sea Poems

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/1998

Simon Armitage is the most widely and unreservedly praised poet of his generation. The Dead Sea Poems, his fourth collection, culminates in a long visionary poem, 'Five Eleven Ninety Nine'. Elsewhere, questions of belief and trust, of identity and knowledge, dealt with as they occur in everyday domestic life, contribute to a picture of our contemporary world that is at once realistic and touched with a unique imaginative intensity.

Kid

Kid

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 03/01/1998

Kid gives us one of the liveliest poetic voices to have emerged in the last ten years. Simon Armitage's inspired ear for the demotic and his ability to deal with subjects that many poets turn their backs on have marked him as a poet of originality and force.

Zoom!

Zoom!

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 01/08/1997

Creates a muscular but elegant language of the author's own slangy, youthful, up to the minuet jargon and vernacular of his native Northern England. He combines this with an easily worn erudition, plenty of nouns and the benefit of blinkered experience.

Moon Country

Moon Country

Author: Simon Armitage Format: Paperback Release Date: 18/11/1996

Two of the brightest young poets of our day follow in the footsteps of W.H. Auden and Louis MacNeice. Auden and MacNeice's Letters from Iceland was more than a brilliant and unconventional travel book; it was one of the great works of the 1930s which defined for its own and later generations the precise nature and feeling of that troubled time.With characteristic boldness, Simon Armitage and Glyn Maxwell, staunch admirers of the two older poets, set off in 1994 to discover what Iceland, with its unique geography and ancient political institutions, might have to say to us now. Their findings, delivered in an appropriate mixture of poetry and prose, reportage and imaginative elaboration, vividly reflect the concerns of our own age, and will instruct and amuse readers in equal measure.

Book of Matches

Book of Matches

Author: Simon Armitage, Sue Roberts Format: Paperback Release Date: 11/10/1993

'A firework display of technique, versatility and passion.' Independent on Sunday 'The crafted sincerity of this potent, lyrical collection, in which an absolutely contemporary voice concisely expresses common concerns, is everything that poetry should be.' Times Literary Supplement 'The first poet of serious artistic intent since Philip Larkin to have achieved popularity . . . it is possible that he will attain the sort of proverbial status Larkin now occupies.' Sean O'Brien, The Deregulated Muse

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Play)

Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster (BBC Radio 4: Afternoon Play)

Author: Simon Armitage Format: eBook Release Date: 01/01/1970

A BBC Radio 4 drama documentary in which Sophie (Rachel Austin) tells her own story through a series of poignant poems written by the award-winning poet Simon Armitage alongside her mother, Sylvia Lancaster, remembering her daughter's shortened life. Originally broadcast as the 'Afternoon Play' on 11 March 2011. 'Black Roses: The Killing of Sophie Lancaster' is an elegy to the young gap-year student who was murdered in Stubbeylee Park, Bacup, Lancashire, on August 24th 2007. Aged twenty, Sophie suffered fatal injuries while cradling her boyfriend Rob's head in an attempt to protect him from a ferocious attack by a group of youths. Rob survived but Sophie went into a coma and never recovered. Sophie was an intelligent bookish child who showed signs of wanting to be different from an early age. Political, vegetarian, a pacifist, Sophie had left school with A-levels and was thinking about what to do with her future, when it was taken so brutally from her. Written by Simon Armitage and featuring Rachel Austin as Sophie Lancaster, with an interview with Sylvia Lancaster.

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http://www.simonarmitage.com/

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