Simon Armitage appointed Professor of Poetry

The School of English is delighted to welcome award-winning poet Simon Armitage as the University of Leeds’ first Professor of Poetry. Professor Armitage returns to the School 20 years after taking up his first academic post teaching creative writing at the University.

Professor Armitage, who was born and continues to live in West Yorkshire, is a poet, writer, translator and broadcaster. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, most recently the PEN Award for Translation for his reworking of the medieval poem Pearl. He is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, the recipient of an Ivor Novello Award for song-writing, a BAFTA and a CBE for services to poetry.

The University is already home to the poet’s archive, which he spoke about on this BBC special feature, and in 2015 awarded him an honorary degree. His permanent new role will involve contributing to a range of courses, teaching undergraduate and postgraduate students, and developing links across the city and beyond.

Professor Armitage said: “I have a longstanding relationship with the University, through my very first teaching job and my connection with the Library, and am delighted to be joining such an ambitious and prestigious University.

“The School of English at Leeds has a long and proud poetic tradition; it also greatly values contemporary literature, and in what are exciting times for poetry, I am looking forward to working with an institution which does so much to support and encourage new writing from both within and outside the University.”