Poet Laureate Simon Armitage spent the afternoon at St Francis Xavier School last week.
Simon Armitage CBE became Poet Laureate in 2019, but has been a regular feature of GCSE literature poetry anthologies for nearly 20 years.
As well as writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, Armitage has written and produced powerful film-poems on such subjects as Veteran PTSD, 9-11, VE Day and, most recently, Where Did the World Go? A Pandemic Poem’#.
As well as speaking to Years 9 to 11 about his poems and career, he talked to students after school and even signed a few English books and anthologies.
When asked how he started writing, he told students that his first ever poem, written about Christmas at the age of ten, failed to be chosen by his teacher to go on the wall, and suggested that maybe his career has been “an act of revenge ever since.”
His most important advice to students was to “read, read, and read some more”.
Simon also officially opened the school’s revamped library, funded by donations from the Foyles Foundation and the school community.
He signed the schools copies of his books and met some of the schools Millionaires Club – students who had read over a million words last year on the accelerated reader scheme.