Laureate’s Library Tour 2021 goes live!
Booking details follow below for free live-streamed only poetry readings from inside libraries. Only online audiences are permissible under current UK government guidance.
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage embarks on a ten-year tour of the UK’s libraries
‘I want to celebrate the physical space of libraries and take my work back into places that have given me so much.’
Each spring for the next decade, Simon Armitage will give readings across the UK, from the flagship libraries of the big cities to smaller libraries serving rural and remote communities. Using the alphabet as a compass, his journey will celebrate the library as one of the great and necessary institutions.
Join us online in the first week of his 10-year adventure, from 26 April-1 May, for a series of live-streamed only on site readings from inside libraries.
Armitage says: ‘My experience of reading and writing began in the village library where I grew up, then in the nearby town library, then in libraries at various places of study and teaching. For many people they are an invaluable aspect of everyday life, giving access not just to books but to services, learning, conversation and creative thinking. I want to pay my respects to these unique institutions. By planning readings up to a decade in advance I’m being optimistic about the future of our libraries, and challenging those authorities who would consider closing them down.
It would have been easy to stream these events from my office or garden shed, but at a time when libraries are under threat and have been out of bounds during lockdown, reading from inside their physical structures feels like an act of solidarity – with books, with poetry, and with communities.’
A-B Libraries Tour : April 26 – May 1
Live-streamed only and no replay, so don’t miss the Tour!
Monday, April 26
- Ashby-de-la-Zouch Library, 11.00-12.00 noon. A reading by Simon Armitage to launch the Tour! Free live-streamed only event, to book: www.crowdcast.io/e/ashby
- new Belper Library, 16.00- 17.00 – Simon Armitage reads with Helen Mort, former Derbyshire Poet Laureate. Free live-streamed only event, to book: www.crowdcast.io/e/belper
Tuesday, April 27
Thursday, April 29
- Bacup Library, 12.30-13.30 – Simon Armitage reads with Bloodaxe poet Clare Shaw. Free live-streamed only event, to book: www.crowdcast.io/e/bacup
- Bootle Library, 18.30-19.45 – Simon Armitage reads with local guest poets Amina Atiq, BBC Words First Finalist 2019, and Eira Murphy, Liverpool Young Poet Laureate 2019-2020. Free live-streamed only event, to book: www.crowdcast.io/e/bootle
Friday, April 30
The British Library, 19.30 – 21.00. Live-streamed from the grand Entrance Hall. Simon Armitage reads with Theresa Lola, Young People’s Laureate for London 2019-2020, and Joelle Taylor, award-winning poet and founder of the national youth slam championships SLAMbassadors. To buy £5 tickets for this live-streamed only event, please book via the British Library Box Office. Free to Members and other concessions are available.
Saturday, May 1
Abington Library, 11.30-12.45. Official opening and celebration reading by Simon Armitage, hosted by The Friends of Abington Library Community Benefit Society. Free live-streamed only event, to book: www.crowdcast.io/e/abington
Tour Audience Advisory: Age 11+ (may contain strong language)
Tips for using Crowdcast: check here
Funding & Support: The A-B Libraries Tour is kindly funded by the T. S. Eliot Estate and supported using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. It is also supported by Faber & Faber. We are grateful to our hosts at each of the libraries on this Tour for making this project possible.