Simon Armitage is the current UK Poet Laureate (2019-2029). He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and served as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford between 2015-2019). In Spring 2019, Armitage held the post of Holmes Visiting Professor at Princeton University, USA. Previously, he taught at the University of Iowa’s Writers’ Workshop, Manchester Metropolitan University, and the University of Sheffield.
He has received numerous awards for his writing including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes, an Eric Gregory Award, a major Lannan Award, a Cholmondeley Award, the Spoken Word Award (Gold), an Ivor Novello Award for songwriting, a BAFTA, a BBC Radio Best Speech Programme award, the Television Society Award for Documentary and the Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. He received the 2017 PEN Award for Poetry in Translation, for Pearl, and was awarded the 2018 Queens Gold Medal for Poetry. In 1999 he was named the Millennium Poet.
Simon was born in Huddersfield, West Riding of Yorkshire and grew up in the village of Marsden; he continues to live nearby in the Holme Valley. Simon has been involved in several residencies and writing projects at YSP, and in 2017 published Flit, a book of forty poems and photographs to mark YSP’s 40th birthday. He has been a YSP Trustee since 2021