Professor Simon Armitage becomes a Companion of the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts

Sir Paul McCartney indicted the British Poet Laureate at the Institute’s annual graduation ceremony on Friday 28th July.

Simon Armitage is a Professor of Poetry at the School of English and the University of Leeds Poetry Centre.

He has won countless awards for his creative work, including a BAFTA, a fellowship with the Royal Society for Literature and the CBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours list for services to poetry.

The Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) awarded Simon and eight other Companions for their own achievements and their support with student education at the Institution.

In 2022, Professor Armitage spent six weeks with LIPA students to create a performance of the epic poem Gilgamesh.

The eight other Companions included Oscar-winning costume designer Jenny Beavan, social justice champion Jacqueline Stewart and Led Zeppelin frontperson Robert Plant. Sir Paul McCartney is LIPA’s co-founder.

Sean McNamara, LIPA’s Principal and CEO, spoke at the ceremony. He said: “The performing arts provide us with a unique platform to communicate and to serve as a mirror to society, reflecting our collective joys, sorrows, hopes and struggles.

“As artists, creatives, change makers and cultural entrepreneurs, the graduating class of 2023 possess all of these qualities.”

Over 300 students from LIPA attended the graduation ceremony at the Liverpool Philharmonic Hall.

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Back row (left-to-right): Ashley Herman, John Godber, Sean McNamara, Paul McCartney, Mark Featherstone-Witty, Tim Routledge, Simon Armitage. Front row: Jacqueline Stewart, Jenny Beavan, Sonia, Anna-Jane Casey. Copyright Brian Roberts