Poet Laureate to visit Ellesmere Port

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National Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has made Ellesmere Port Library the final stop on his 2023 leg of his ten-year Laureate’s Library Tour.

He will be appearing at the free live poetry event on Thursday 23 March, from 7pm to 8pm along with national Canal Laureate Roy McFarlane and two young poets from the town’s Boaty Theatre Company and newly refurbished Theatre Porto.

Cheshire West and Chester Council Leader and Cabinet Member for Wellbeing, Councillor Louise Gittins said: “Every spring during this decade, Simon Armitage gives readings across the UK, from the flagship libraries of the big cities to smaller libraries serving rural and remote communities.  

“Using the alphabet as a compass, his journey celebrates the library as one of the great and necessary institutions. Ellesmere Port is part of this year’s ‘E to G Libraries’.

“We’re honoured he is coming to Ellesmere Port as part of this year’s tour.”

The event is free but booking as early as possible is advised. Please book online via Cheshire West and Chester Council Libraries event tickets from TicketSource. Poetry can contain strong language so this event is advised as most suitable for those 11+.

Two local poets, Patrick Gambles (Theatre Porto) and Mia Kellett (The Boaty Theatre Company), have been selected to read one of their poems each for the event.

The E to G Libraries Tour is supported by the T. S. Eliot Foundation and Mark Pigott KBE. It is also supported by Simon’s long-time publishers Faber & Faber.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage was born and grew up in West Yorkshire. He is the recipient of numerous prizes and awards, including the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. He has published over a dozen poetry collections, including Magnetic Field: the Marsden Poems, and acclaimed medieval translations of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and The Owl and the Nightingale.

He is the author of two novels and three non-fiction bestsellers: All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. A regular broadcaster, Armitage presents the popular BBC Radio 4’s series “The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed”. An award-winning dramatist, his play The Last Days of Troy was performed at Shakespeare’s Globe.

He writes, records and performs with the band LYR and has received an Ivor Novello Award for his song writing. His new book Never Good with Horses (April 2023) features his song lyrics.

Armitage is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. A Vertical Art brings together the vibrant and engaging lectures from his tenure as Oxford Professor of Poetry (2015-2019). His website is www.simonarmitage.com.

Roy McFarlane is a poet, playwright and former youth and community worker born in Birmingham of Jamaican parentage. He’s the National Canal Laureate and former Birmingham Poet Laureate and Starbucks Poet in Residence.

He has performed from Amsterdam to Philadelphia, sharing his passion for social justice, equality and love. His debut collection, Beginning With Your Last Breath, (Nine Arches Press 2016) was followed by The Healing Next Time, (Nine Arches Press 2018) shortlisted for the Ted Hughes award and longlisted for the Jhalak Prize. His third collection Living by Troubled Waters was also published by Nine Arches Press in October 2022. His website is: www.roymcfarlane.com

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