Pop poet turns wordy rock star
This article is from 2008.
Simon Armitage is a very modern poet, as happy to ruminate over Arctic Monkeys’ lyrics as he is to translate 14th century romantic poetry. During the 15 years since he handed in his notice as a probation officer to concentrate fully on his writing, he’s produced a plethora of poetry, several novels and plays, as well as making frequent appearances on radio and television. With his self-deprecating, realist style, peppered with accessible humour and his native Yorkshire wit, he’s quietly become the recognisable face of UK poetry and is rumoured to be next in line for poet laureate.
His latest book Gig; The Life and Times of a Rock Star Fantasist chronicles his life long love affair with bands, records and gig going and reflects on his failure at never becoming a rock star or musician. It’s a hugely enjoyable and poignant collection and one that happily comes full circle. Last year Armitage’s band The Scaremongers finally released their debut single and played their first concerts – 20 years after forming.
Their poppy, unsurprisingly wordy style has drawn favourable comparisons with Belle and Sebastian. Armitage appeared with B&S’s Stuart Murdoch back in January, at the Aye Write festival in Glasgow, talking bout his book, literature and music. This time around, I’m going to be chatting to Simon, about why he wrote the book, why song lyrics aren’t poetry, and exactly what is so great about The Wedding Present.
23 Aug, 5pm, £9 (£7).