A special 'poetry of place' edition to accompany Simon Armitage throughout his laureateship.
Growing up in Marsden among the hills of West Yorkshire, Simon Armitage has always associated his early poetic experiences with the night-time view from his bedroom window, those 'private, moonstruck observations' and the clockwork comings and goings in the village providing rich subject matter for his first poems. Decades on, that window continues to operate as both framework and focal point for the writing, the vastness of the surrounding moors always at his shoulder and forming a constant psychological backdrop, no matter how much time has elapsed and how distant those experiences.
Magnetic Field brings together Armitage's Marsden poems, from his very first pamphlet to new work from a forthcoming collection. It offers personal insight into a preoccupation that shows no signs of fading, and his perspective on a locality he describes as 'transcendent and transgressive', a genuinely unique region forming a frontier territory between many different worlds. Magnetic Field also invites questions about the forging of identity, the precariousness of memory, and our attachment to certain places and the forces they exert.
Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. A recipient of numerous prizes and awards, he has published twelve collections of poetry, including Seeing Stars (2010), The Unaccompanied (2017), Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic (2019) and his acclaimed translation of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (2007). He writes extensively for television and radio, and is the author of two novels and the non-fiction bestsellers All Points North (1998), Walking Home (2012) and Walking Away (2015). His theatre works include The Last Days of Troy, performed at Shakespeare's Globe in 2014. From 2015 to 2019, he served as Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, and, in 2018, he was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry. Simon Armitage is Poet Laureate.