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Ex-probation officer Simon Armitage named poet laureate


Simon Armitage has been announced as the UK's new Poet Laureate

The West Yorkshire poet says he wants to "help poetry explore its potential" in a multi-media age.

Simon Armitage, celebrated for his "witty and profound" take on modern life, has been announced as the UK's new poet laureate.

He takes over from Dame Carol Ann Duffy and his appointment has been approved by the Queen for a 10-year term.

The West Yorkshire poet, who worked as a probation officer until 1994 before focusing on poetry, has published 28 collections of poetry and his work is studied by children as part of the national curriculum.
He said he wants to "help poetry explore its potential" in a multi-media age and hopes "to build on the work of my predecessors with energy and enthusiasm".
"Since the laureateship was first conceived many hundreds of years ago Britain has changed enormously and the position of poet laureate has changed accordingly," said Armitage, a professor of poetry at the University of Leeds.
"I want to celebrate and speak on behalf of the variety of voices who contribute to the rich chorus of British poetry from a wide range of personal, literary and cultural experiences, and to help poetry explore its potential in a multi-faceted, multi-vocal and multi-media age.
"The poetry of these islands is one of our greatest achievements, and as well as being proud of its traditions I want poetry to feel confident and at home in the contemporary world and to demonstrate that in a hectic and sometimes frenetic age the combination of considered thought and crafted language is more relevant and vital than ever."
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