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Simon Armitage Biography

(1963– ), Zoom!, Kid, Book of Matches, Xanadu

highly verse probation officer

British poet, born in Huddersfield, West Yorkshire, educated at Portsmouth Polytechnic and the University of Manchester. In 1981 he commenced work as a probation officer in Oldham. Following the appearance of several pamphlet editions of his verse, Zoom!, his first substantial collection of poetry, appeared to wide-spread acclaim in 1989. Kid (1992) and Book of Matches (1993), his principal subsequent volumes, established him as one of the most highly regarded poets of the day. The graphically documented engagement with a wide range of social and cultural issues that pervades Armitage's writing repeatedly reflects his experiences as a probation officer. His highly inventive verse is noted for combining remarkably deft technical accomplishment with a wittily robust conversational manner. His other publications include Xanadu (1992), which formed the basis for a broadcast in the BBC's ‘Words on Film’ television series.

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