Poet to give reading at festival of music and written word

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POET Simon Armitage will be reading at Sheffield University’s “Lyric” festival of music and the written word next week.

Mr Armitage, from Marsden in West Yorkshire, is currently Professor of Poetry at Sheffield University and is encouraging people from across the region – not just those involved with the institution – to get involved with the festival.

Between Wednesday, May 9 and Friday, May 11 there will be a series of events at the St George’s Church lecture theatre and Firth Hall, including an interview with reggae poet Linton Kwesi Johnson by broadcaster Stuart Maconie.

“For £5, which is the ticket price, you can expect to be exhilarated, moved and astonished by some of the work that you will hear”, Mr Armitage said.

“People who we have asked to come and read and perform are great presenters of their work. I can’t think of a better way to spend a fiver.”

On Wednesday, May 9, Mr Armitage will read from the war poetry of Ivor Gurney, while expert Dr Kate Kennedy will talk about his life.

There will also be a performance of the poet’s songs from Sheffield University musicians.

“He was one of the best composers of his generation”, Mr Armitage said.

“He’s somebody who works with both language and music, which really fits the bill for Lyric.

“I’m reading some of his poems and also a poem that I’ve written about him.

“He was a troubled soul, and ended up in an asylum from which he kept escaping.”

Other performances will come from poets John Burnside and Jo Shapcott, who will read together on Friday, May 11.

For further details on the festival, or to purchase tickets for any of the six events, visit www.shef.ac.uk/lyric/2012