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Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in West Yorkshire, England. His first book, Zoom! was published by Bloodaxe Books in 1989, followed in 1992 by Xanadu, also by Bloodaxe, and Kid, by Faber & Faber. Further collections by Faber & Faber were quickly forthcoming: Book of Matches (1993), The Dead Sea Poems (1995), CloudCuckooLand (1997), Killing Time (1999), Selected Poems (2001), Travelling Songs (2002), and The Universal Home Doctor (2002). Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (2006) was published in the US by Knopf in 2008. The Shout, a book of new and selected poems was published in the US by Harcourt (2005), and was short-listed for the National Book Critic’s Circle Award.
Armitage is the recipient of nearly all the top awards for poetry in the UK, including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, a Gregory Award, and a Forward Prize. In the US he has received a major Lannan Award.
As a prose writer, Armitage is the author of two novels. His first, Little Green Man (Penguin 2001)—the story of 30-something divorcee Barney and his attempt to relive childhood experiences—explores the darker side of male friendship. His second, The White Stuff, (2004), by turns comic and moving, examines issues of childlessness and identity. Other prose work includes the best-selling memoir All Points North, (Penguin 1998), a collection of essays about the north of England, which won the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year. His dramatised adaptation of Homer’s epic, Homer’s Odyssey – A Retelling, was published in 2006 by Faber & Faber in the UK and by WW Norton in the US. His translation of the Middle English classic poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight, was commissioned by Faber & Faber, and Norton published it in 2007.
Armitage has also worked extensively in film, radio, television, and theater. He has taught at the University of Leeds and the University of Iowa's Writers' Workshop, and is currently a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University. (2009)
September 21, 2009