The English Faculty is delighted that Simon Armitage, our outgoing Professor of Poetry, has been appointed as the next Poet Laureate, succeeding Dame Carol Ann Duffy who has held the role since 2009.
Born in West Yorkshire, Professor Armitage worked as a Probation Officer in Greater Manchester until 1994, when he began to focus more on poetry. He has published 28 poetry collections to date, and his work is widely studied as part of the national curriculum. His hopes for his new role include helping poetry 'explore its potential in a multi-faceted, multi-vocal and multi-media age', and to continue building on the work of his predecessors in encouraging initiatives to support the development of young writers.
The honorary Royal title of Poet Laureate is awarded to a poet whose work is of national significance. The UK’s first Poet Laureate by Royal appointment was John Dryden who was given the title by King Charles II in 1668.
Previous Poet Laureates have included William Wordsworth, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Betjeman and Ted Hughes.
Simon Armitage's final lecture as Oxford's Professor of Poetry will be delivered on Wednesday 15 May – click here for further details.