The Power of Poetry: Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage | Sean Pryor
“It’s kind of unkillable, poetry. It’s our most ancient artform and I think it’s more relevant today than ever, because it’s one person saying what they really believe.” - Simon Armitage
The right poem can be a life raft. In fact, as a way to better understand ourselves and the world, nothing else comes close. For too long, reading poetry has been considered a luxury, but in these trying times, the act of slowing down to enjoy a good poem should be considered as a necessity.
Simon Armitage has dedicated his life to understanding our world through prose, and was named Britain’s poet Laureate in 2019 - the highest office in poetry. He has since penned poems in response to the war in the Ukraine, COP26 and the impending climate crisis, and the pandemic.
So how can we carve out a space to enjoy more poetry? And what can these poems reveal about our world and our places in it? Join Simon Armitage for a live reading and an evening of conversation with UNSW Associate Professor in English Sean Pryor, about his impressive career as British poet Laureate, and how he’ll continue to use poetry to seek truth and justice.
Our speakers’ books will be available for purchase along with a book signing at the conclusion of this event.
LIVE EVENT & VENUE
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Poet Laureate Simon Armitage was born and grew up in West Yorkshire. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry and the PEN Prize for Translation. He has published over a dozen poetry collections, including Magnetic Field, and acclaimed medieval translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Owl and the Nightingale. He is the author of two novels and three non-fiction bestsellers: All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. A regular broadcaster, Armitage presents the popular BBC Radio 4’s series The Poet Laureate has Gone to his Shed. He writes extensively for television and radio, most recently for BBC 2’s Where Did The World Go, A Pandemic Poem. An award-winning dramatist, his play The Last Days of Troy was performed at Shakespeare's Globe. He writes, records and performs with the band LYR and has received an Ivor Novello Award for his song writing. Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. His critical book A Vertical Art brings together the vibrant and engaging lectures from his tenure as Oxford Professor of Poetry (2015-2019).
Sean Pryor is an Associate Professor in English in the School of the Arts and Media at USNW Sydney. He joined UNSW in 2008, as the holder of a Faculty Postdoctoral Fellowship and was appointed a Lecturer in English in 2010. He was awarded a three-year ARC Postdoctoral Fellowship in 2011, for a project on the cultural archetype of the Fall in modernist poetry. He was the Acting Director and then Deputy Director of the Centre for Modernism Studies in Australia at UNSW, and since 2013 has been a co-editor of Affirmations: of the modern, an open-access journal of modern literature and culture. In 2021, Affirmations became the official journal of the Australian Modernist Studies Network.