I was here last night at the Bluecoat Chambers in Liverpool to see Simon Armitage as part of the Liverpool Literary Festival: Shipping Lines. He was reading some of his poetry and taking part in a Question and Answer session.
I first came across Simon Armitage's poetry in a second hand bookshop in Whitby called Endeavor Books and I have bought some more of his poetry collections since then. I have featured The Dead Sea Scrolls previously and you can read that post here.
I love to hear a poet read his own work and being from Huddersfield in Yorkshire, Simon's accent lends an interesting slant to the poems that we heard last night.
The small room where he performed was packed full and people were trying to buy tickets on the door, asking for cancellations. I think that his poetry is very accessable and both entertaining and often emotional. There are unusual subjects that play with the reader and their perceptions of the world. I also find his poetry to be very current and I nearly always connect to something that I recognise or that excites and inspires me.
Another interesting part of the session was the Q&A part. Simon was asked about his own poetry influences and also his musical influences because of his passion for being in a rock band and writing music. He spoke about Ted Hughes and Bob Dylan among others, of his admiration and inspiration. He was on for an hour, which went over quickly, but it was good to have been there, and to have taken part of the Literary Festival too.