Simon Armitage to mark 100 years of the BBC with special centenary poem

The Poet Laureate and University of Leeds Professor of Poetry has been commissioned by the BBC to examine the corporation from a ‘unique perspective’. 

His poem, ‘Transmission Report’ has been specially commissioned as the BBC celebrates a century of poetry broadcasting. 

Scottish-Caribbean poet and performer Courtney Stoddart has also been commissioned to write ‘The Invitation’, which will look toward the next 100 years of public service broadcasting. 

Inspired by 100 years of the BBC, each poem explores the relationship between the broadcaster and the nation. Both poems will be broadcast during the BBC’s week of centenary programming, from 22-29 October.  

I am delighted that we’re honouring the BBC’s 100-year commitment to connecting viewers and listeners to music and poetry with two of the UK’s finest contemporary poets.   The poems will be a wonderful addition to our week of special centenary programming.

James Stirling, BBC 100 Executive Editor

Simon presents the BBC Radio 4 series The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed. His most recent poem commemorated the death of Queen Elizabeth II.  

Courtney, born and raised in Edinburgh, took part in the BBC Radio 1xtra and BBC Contains Strong Language Festival Word’s First Talent Scheme in 2019, making it to the final 12. 

100 poems for 100 years 

The Verb – BBC Radio 3’s poetry and language show, presented by poet Ian McMillan, is marking the centenary by broadcasting 100 poems throughout 2022, both new commissions and highlights from the BBC archives. 

The programme is also building a new collection of work with commissions from 38 of the UK’s most exciting contemporary poets, including Malika Booker, Liz Berry, Alice Oswald, Imtiaz Dharker and Luke Wright. 

You can read and listen to The Verb’s Something New poems here.