An afternoon with The Reader and Simon Armitage (online)

Sarah-Clare Conlon, Literature Editor
Poet Simon Armitage. Photo Peter James Millson.
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. Photo by Peter James Millson.

27 January 2022 Entrance is free — Visit now

You don’t have to go anywhere to join Calderstones Park-based organisation The Reader as they host an “afternoon in” with Poet Laureate Simon Armitage. Tune in from the comfort of your own home for this special online Shared Reading event exploring the work of one of the UK’s best-loved poets.

The friendly Reader Leaders guide you around a selection of Simon Armitage’s poems, reading them aloud and taking “a deep dive” into the featured texts.

Simon Armitage CBE is a multi-award-winning poet, playwright, novelist and Professor of Poetry at The University of Leeds. His first full-length collection of poetry, Zoom!, was published in 1989 by Bloodaxe Books and he has since published numerous pamphlets and collections. Since becoming Poet Laureate in 2019, he has published Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic (2019, Faber & Faber), Magnetic Field: The Marsden Poems (2020, Faber & Faber) and A Vertical Art: Oxford Lectures (May 2020, Faber & Faber).

He has also written two novels, Little Green Man (Viking, 2001) and The White Stuff (Viking, 2004), and two memoirs, All Points North (Penguin 1998) and Gig: The Life and Times of a Rock-Star Fantasist (Viking, 2009). His 2012 non-fiction book Walking Home, an account of his modern-day troubadour journey along the Pennine Way, became a Sunday Times Top Ten best-seller and was shortlisted for the 2012 Portico Prize; the follow-up, Walking Away, came out in 2015. In addition, Simon has written extensively for radio, TV and theatre.

If you’ve never experienced Shared Reading before, this is the perfect opportunity to give it a try – anyone is welcome to join in and it’s free or pay what you feel. Hosted on Zoom, the first hour or so of the session will see the friendly Reader Leaders guide you around a selection of Simon Armitage’s poems, reading them aloud and taking “a deep dive” into the featured texts, giving you the chance to share your thoughts and get involved in the group discussion. As with all Shared Reading groups, there’s no pressure to read aloud or speak if you’d prefer to just listen; how you choose to experience Shared Reading is up to you.

Following a short break, everyone will come back together when Simon himself will join the virtual room to read and take part in a live Q&A. You’ll have the chance to ask questions, perhaps sparked by the poems you hear – some of which will be linked to the idea of Walking The Earth, the theme of The Reader’s bookshelf for 2021-22. Walking The Earth is inspired by the journeys, both physical and metaphorical, that we take to become who we are, and about living alongside our fellow humans on – and with – Planet Earth.

Find out about The Reader at Withington Library here and the regular Spoken Word events at The Reader here.

27 January 2022 Entrance is free Visit now

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