POUGHKEEPSIE, NY — Simon Armitage, the celebrated British poet and novelist, will discuss his work on Wednesday, October 10, at 6:00 p.m. in the Sanders Classroom Auditorium (Room 212). This event is free and open to the public.
Armitage's debut poetry collection, Zoom! (1989), quickly established him as a bright star in the emerging scene of new poets. His ear for street-wise language, and keen sense of comedic timing, gave Zoom! a young, urban appeal, and rocketed him to immediate popularity.
"With his acute eye for modern life, Armitage is an updated version of Wordsworth's 'man talking to men,'" said Poetry Archive. "But his seemingly off-the-cuff style masks a sophisticated craftsmen indebted to Auden, Muldoon, and MacNeice, as much as popular culture."
Since Zoom!, Armitage has authored several poetry collections, including Xanadu (1992), The Dead Sea Poems (1995), CloudCuckooLand (1997), and The Universal Home Doctor (2002). His latest collection, Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (2006), will be published in the U.S. in 2008, following the 2005 publishing here of The Shout, a collection of new and selected poems.
Armitage has received nearly all the top poetry awards in the UK, including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, a Gregory Award, and a Forward Prize, and in the U.S., he has received a major Lannan Award. Several of his collections – including Zoom!, The Dead Sea Poems, and CloudCuckooLand – were short listed or nominated for the Whitbread Poetry Prize, the Forward Prize, and the T.S Eliot Prize.
In addition to his poetry, Armitage has written two novels. His first, Little Green Man (2001), examined the darker side of male friendship, while the decidedly more comic The White Stuff (2004) explored themes of childlessness and identity. His other prose work includes the best-selling memoir All Points North (1998), and the dramatized adaptation Homer's Odyssey – A Retelling (2006).
Armitage has also edited several poetry collections, including The Penguin Anthology of Poetry from Britain and Ireland Since 1945 (with Robert Crawford), and a selection of poetry by Ted Hughes. He is currently a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University, after teaching at the University of Leeds and the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop.
This event is sponsored by the department of English. Individuals with disabilities requiring accommodations at Vassar should contact the Office of Campus Activities at (845) 437-5370.
Vassar College is a highly selective, coeducational, independent, residential, liberal arts college founded in 1861.