A Vertical Art

Simon Armitage

The current UK Poet Laureate’s popular series of lectures examining what poetry is and who it might be for.

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‘[Armitage] blended his down-to-earth, often flippant demeanor with a brilliantly understated, original and captivating address, which never strayed into pretentiousness or self-importance’ Oxford Culture Review

A Vertical Art gathers the expansive and spirited public lectures delivered by the Poet Laureate during his acclaimed four-year tenure as Oxford University Professor of Poetry. Querying the facile and obscure ends of the poetry spectrum, these are more than anything personal essays that enquire into the volatile and disputed definitions of poetry from the point of view of a dedicated reader, a practising writer and a lifelong champion of its power and potential.

Critic Reviews

'[Simon Armitage] instils in his reader an intense desire to devour the poetry over which he takes such care, from Sir Gawain and the Green Knight to Claudia Rankine.'

Ellen Peirson-Hagger, The New Statesman
Critic Reviews

Genially, sometimes waspishly, [Armitage] expounds his belief in language as humanity’s most powerful tool, and poetry as the ultimate expression of its potential.

Rishi Dastidar, Guardian's Poetry Books of the Year

Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, his collections of poetry include Seeing Stars (2010), The Unaccompanied (2017), Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic (2019), Magnetic Field (2020) and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007). He writes extensively for television…

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