Simon Armitage appointed Professor of Poetry

World-renowned poet Simon Armitage has joined the University of Leeds as its first Professor of Poetry. Professor Armitage returns to the School of English 20 years after taking up his first post.

With more than 25 anthologies and numerous awards and prizes to his name, Professor Armitage enjoys huge popularity across the world. His work is now studied by students of all ages.

At Leeds, where the University Library is already home to the poet’s archive, he will be contributing to a range of courses, teaching undergraduates and post-graduates, as well as working with a wide range of academics across the University – and developing links across the city and beyond. The new part-time post is permanent.

Professor Armitage said: “I am honoured to have been appointed Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds.

“I have a longstanding relationship with the University, through my very first teaching job and my connection with the Library, and am delighted to be joining such an ambitious and prestigious University.

“The School of English at Leeds has a long and proud poetic tradition; it also greatly values contemporary literature, and in what are exciting times for poetry, I am looking forward to working with an institution which does so much to support and encourage new writing from both within and outside the University.”

Dr Fiona Becket, Head of the School of English, said: “Current and future students for many years to come will be extremely excited to have the opportunity to hear and talk to Simon, and to be taught by him. Simon’s presence in the School of English speaks volumes about the importance of literary creativity alongside excellence in scholarship and research.”

Professor John Whale, Director of the University of Leeds Poetry Centre, said: “It’s wonderful to welcome back to Leeds a poet of international standing and with such a deep imaginative affinity to Yorkshire.”