Armitage Inspiration/Laura Riding Jackson’s Home Preservation – Poetry News Roundup June 3rd

We begin the week here on My Poetic Side with a look at the poet who influenced Simon Armitage. We also have an article about the preservation of the Laura Riding Jackson home.

The Poet Who Influenced Simon Armitage

Simon Armitage, the new poet laureate in the UK, says that it is the works of the former poet laureate Ted Hughes, who held the role for 14 years until 1998 when he passed away, that “woke me up to poetry”.

Hughes was born and raised in Mytholmroyd. He lived in a terraced house. Armitage lived in a terraced house just over the hill. He grew up believing that if someone as local as Hughes, from a similar background could achieve this, then so could he. He grew up reading much of Hughes poetry, which was about the landscape of Yorkshire.

Armitage was announced as the 21st poet laureate of the UK just last month following a period of uncertainty as many of those who were considered possible candidates removed themselves from the list of candidates. He follows in the footsteps of his own hero Ted Hughes and several other very worthy poets including William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson. Work by Armitage forms a part of the national curriculum and he received a CBE in 2010 for his services to poetry.

He says that the work he created as a part of the project to celebrate the Pennines, which is carved into rocks located on the 50 miles of upland between Ilkley and Marsden. The project was designed to be aimed at people who are not necessarily readers of poetry, but rather people who would just stumble across them whilst out walking in the area.

The Pakistani born poet Imtiaz Dharker claimed to have turned down the role although it is not certain whether she was given a formal offer or simply removed her name from the running. Both Benjamin Zephaniah and Wendy Cope also ruled themselves out of the role that has been claimed by many is hampering to creative work. Armitage is much more positive about the position of poet laureate stating that it “should be the highest office in poetry” and the laureate the “guardian of those ideals”.

Poets Historic House Might be on the Move

The home of well-known poet Laura Riding Jackson could be on the move this June. The historic property in the Cracker-style was the long-time home of the well-known 20th-century writer. For the last couple of decades, the building has been located at Wabasso”s Environmental Learning Centre, it is believed that it will be taken from the area it currently resides to west of Vero Beach on Indian River State College”s campus.

The house which is 109 years old saw the beginning of a lengthy dismantling process at the end of May. It will be loaded onto trucks before being moved and then reassembled – it is a delicate process.

The move is costing the Laura Riding Jackson Foundation $333,000 although with restoration and improvements this is expected to be $450,000.

The building was named in 2017 by The Florida Trust for Historic Preservation as one of 11 structures they wanted to preserve.

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