Simon Armitage: The Laureate's Library Tour

A photograph of Simon Armitage standing in a doorway

For more information

  • Tel: +44 (0)1937 546546
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  • Full Price: £16.00 Member: £16.00 Under 18: £8.00 Other concessions available

This event has been cancelled. We apologise for any inconvenience. Ticketholders will be contacted by the Box Office.

Simon Armitage writes:
‘With great sadness and reluctance I’m sorry to announce that I am postponing my tour of libraries for the week 16 - 21 March 2020. I have arrived at this decision after seeing so many other events being put on hold or cancelled, and I feel the only logical and sensible decision is to do the same. The week would have involved meeting upward of a thousand people and travelling around England, Scotland and Northern Ireland on public transport; as well as needing to look after myself and my family I need to think responsibly about audiences, staff at the venues, fellow poets and everyone else connected with the tour. Hopefully these events will be rescheduled once the world is a calmer and clearer place. In the meantime, my thanks and sincere apologies to all the wonderful libraries and librarians of Britain who had been working so hard to make this happen’.

Using the alphabet as a guide, each spring for the next decade Simon Armitage will give readings across the UK, from the flagship libraries of the big cities to smaller libraries serving rural and remote communities. It’s a journey that involves local poets and students, and celebrates the library as one of the great and necessary institutions of human civilisation. Join us in the first week of his 10-year adventure for this headline reading at the British Library with guest poets Joelle Taylor, an award-winning writer and founder of the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors, and Theresa Lola, the current Young People’s Laureate for London.

This event is also being livestreamed in UK libraries.

Simon Armitage is the UK Poet Laureate and was Oxford Professor of Poetry (2015-2019). His numerous accolades include an Ivor Novello Award for song-writing in the BAFTA-winning film Feltham Sings and the 2018 Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry. Armitage has published over a dozen collections of poetry, including his new book Magnetic Field: The Marsden Poems and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight. He also writes extensively for theatre, television and radio, and is the author of two novels and the non-fiction bestsellers All Points North, Walking Home and Walking Away. He was appointed Professor of Poetry at Leeds University in 2017.

Joelle Taylor is an award-winning poet, playwright, author and editor who has recently completed touring Europe, Australia, Brazil and South East Asia with her latest collection Songs My Enemy Taught Me. She is widely anthologised, the author of 3 full poetry collections and 3 plays and is currently completing her debut book of short stories The Night Alphabet. She has featured on radio and television, and founded SLAMbassadors in 2001 - the UK’s national youth slam championships remaining its Artistic Director until 2018. Her work is taught as part of the English GCSE syllabus, and she has received a Change Maker Award and a Fellowship of the RSA, and was longlisted for the Jerwood Compton Poetry Fellowships.

Theresa Lola is a British Nigerian poet. She is the 2019/2020 Young People's Laureate for London (till April 2020). She was the joint winner of the 2018 Brunel International African Poetry Prize and was shortlisted for the 2017 Bridport Poetry Prize. In April 2018 she was invited by the Mayor of London's Office to read a commissioned poem at the unveiling of Millicent Fawcett's statue. She was featured in the September 2019 issue of British VOGUE, recognised as one of the Forces for Change by guest editor Duchess of Sussex Meghan Markle.


Name: Simon Armitage: The Laureate's Library Tour
Where: Entrance Hall
The British Library
96 Euston Road
Show Map      How to get to the Library
When: -
Price: Full Price: £16.00
Member: £16.00
Student: £8.00
Registered Unemployed: £8.00
Disabled: £8.00
Under 18: £8.00
Senior (60+): £14.00
Young Person (18-25): £8.00
Enquiries: +44 (0)1937 546546