Poet Laureate comes to BridLit

Photo copyright Peter James Millson 2016. Phone 07768 077353.

New Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will be speaking at this year’s Bridport Literary Festival on Sunday 3 November.

Armitage is the UK’s 21st Poet Laureate, following in the footsteps of William Wordsworth, Alfred, Lord Tennyson, John Betjeman, and Ted Hughes.

Festival director Tanya Bruce-Lockhart said the BridLit team was delighted to be welcoming Armitage, who is one of the country’s foremost poets.

“He is known and respected across the world for his witty and profound take on modern life.”

A Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds, Armitage has published 28 collections of poetry. His work has been studied by millions of children as part of the national curriculum and in 2010 he received a CBE for services to poetry.

His latest collection of poetry is ‘Sandettie Light Vessel Automatic’, applauded by his Poet Laureate predecessor Dame Carol Ann Duffy for being ‘boundary-breaking . . . poems of emotional weight and musical grace from the fabric of our everyday lives.’

Says Armitage: “Ever since my earliest encounters with poetry I always believed it had the persuasive power to operate beyond the printed page and away from traditional literary environments.”

He will be speaking at Bridport Electric Palace on 3 November at 6.30pm.

The 15th BridLit runs from Sunday 3  to Sunday 10 November in venues throughout the town. The brochure will be out later this summer, when tickets will be on sale from August through Bridport Tourist Information Centre and online at bridlit.com

Festival Friends enjoy priority booking two weeks before tickets go on sale to the public. To find out more about becoming a Friend, visit the festival website.

This year’s festival sees a diverse line-up of speakers in a star-studded programme, including novelists Melvyn Bragg,  Sadie Jones, Deborah Moggach, David Nicholls and Max Porter as well as non-fiction historians Max Hastings, Tom Holland, Tim Bouverie and journalists, Lindsey Hilsum, Steve Richards and Channel Four News’s Matt Frei, who is guest speaker at the George Millar Literary Dinner.

Nature writers Stephen Moss (birds) and Peter Marren (butterflies) and national treasure Henry Blofeld will also be speaking, along with Jason Goodwin, who lives locally, and a workshop session on a spirit of place with Rosanna Ley, Gail Aldwin, and Maria Donovan.

The festival was spawned in 2005 from the internationally renowned Bridport Prize, founded in 1973, to raise funds for the fledgling Bridport Arts Centre, a role which it still fulfills to this day. With a reputation for excellence, the Prize attracts entries from across the globe to its four competitive strands in poetry, short stories, flash fiction and for first novel.

Said Tanya Bruce-Lockhart: “The Bridport Literary Festival, now an independent charity, has equally grown in reputation and stature and we welcome writers and audiences from all over the country to enjoy an eclectic programme of events to attract those of all tastes and interests.

“The dark days of November encourage everyone to listen, read and enjoy books, but the town of Bridport  and its closeness to the Jurassic coastline at West Bay bustles with energy throughout the year.”