4th November 2010
Simon Armitage set to take up new post in Sheffield
Renowned British poet and novelist, Simon Armitage, is set to take up a new post at the University of Sheffield, it was officially announced yesterday (4 November 2010). Simon will take up the position of Professor of Poetry in the School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics in February 2011.
Simon will be contributing to the School’s MA pathway in Creative Writing and is already playing a key role in a one-year HEIF 4 funded project in the School entitled Creative Writing in the Community. Events planned for 2010-11 include workshops, poetry readings and a writing day for local school children at the Yorkshire Sculpture Park. Simon will also contribute to the Storying Sheffield module which sees students working with members of the local community to collect, record and produce stories about their lives in Sheffield through creative representations.
Simon is one of the most popular and prominent poets of his generation and is also a respected translator of medieval texts. His poetry explores depths of language with vitality and a sharp vision of the North, dialects and living cultures.
His first collection of poems, Zoom!, was published in 1989, followed by Xanadu and Kid, which was shortlisted for the 1992 Whitbread Poetry Prize. During his career, he has won numerous poetry awards including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, a Forward Prize and a Lannan Award and more recently, the Keats-Shelley poetry prize for The Present.
Other collections include The Dead Sea Poems, Book of Matches, CloudCuckooLand, Travelling Songs and Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid, which was shortlisted for the T.S Eliot Prize.
In addition to writing for radio, television and film, Simon is the author of four stage plays, and is also a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was appointed Commander of the Order of the British Empire (CBE) in the 2010 Birthday Honours and is also a vice-president of the Poetry Society and a patron of the Arvon Foundation.
Simon said: "I'm proud and excited to be joining such a vibrant and committed department at the University of Sheffield, here in my home county. The University's high academic standards, its long-standing association with literature and its strong ties with the community at large are all reasons why this feels like the right opportunity for me at the right time. I hope to bring my enthusiasm and passion for the art of poetry to the professorship, and to put to use my experience as a teacher both in this country and abroad."
Professor Mike Braddick, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for the Faculty of Arts and Humanities, said: “I am delighted to welcome Simon Armitage, one of our leading poets, to the School of English at the University. Simon has a huge following and we are confident that he will make an outstanding contribution to the work of the School.
“In particular we look forward to his support in the further development both of our teaching in the area of creative writing, and of our Creative Writing in the Community project. We are firmly committed to the view that the creative arts have the power to transform lives, and we look forward to working with Simon with that ambition in mind.”
Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, said: “The School of English Literature, Language and Linguistics at the University of Sheffield provides an excellent quality of education for our students. We are delighted to welcome Simon Armitage to this new post, and are confident that his appointment will further strengthen both the teaching and student experience within the School.”