Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire, has taught at several universities in the UK and the United States, and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield. He has published over a dozen collections of award-winning poetry including Seeing Stars (2010), his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007) and more recently Paper Aeroplane - Selected Poems 1989- 2014, covering twenty five years of published work. Armitage is also a playwright, novelist, song-lyricist and broadcaster, and his writing for television and radio includes the BAFTA-winning Feltham Sings and the drama-documentary Black Roses: the Killing of Sophie Lancaster. His bestselling memoir Walking Home (2012) describes travelling the Pennine Way as a modern troubadour, and Stanza Stones (2013) records the project to engrave seven poems across the South Pennine watershed. In 2014, The Last Days of Troy, Armitage's visceral re-telling of the story of the Iliad, was performed at the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and Shakespeare's Globe, London, and published by Faber. Simon was elected a fellow of the Royal Society of Literature in 2004 and awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.
Photo: Paul Wolfgang Webster