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English Literature

Simon Armitage: The Manhunt

Context

Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in West Yorkshire, where he still lives. He studied Geography at Portsmouth University and completed an MA at Manchester, where he wrote his dissertation on the effects of television violence on young offenders. Afterwards he worked as a probation officer, a job which influenced many of the poems in his first collection, Zoom! (1989).

His poetry demonstrates a strong concern for social issues, as well as drawing on his Yorkshire roots. Armitage is often noted for his "ear" - holding a strong sense of rhythm and metre.

Armitage is not only a poet: as well as publishing 15 collections of poetry, he has written for film, television and radio, completed two novels as well as non-fiction books, and writes the lyrics for his band The Scaremongers. He has also written translations of the Middle English tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight and Homer's Odyssey.

Simon Armitage uses colloquial (everyday, informal) language and autobiographical material. He has worked on several television programmes including a documentary on permanently injured soldiers and their lives. This poem was first broadcast as part of that documentary.

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