Copyright 2020 Simon Armitage.

Apply – C-Dd Libraries Tour 2022

Touring March 28-April 2, 2022

Make an invitation now: deadline Sept 4, 2021 


Simon Armitage plans to give readings in libraries across the UK during a week each spring, from the flagship libraries of the big cities to smaller or mobile libraries serving rural areas.

“… from A to Z, wherever the invitations take me.”

Using the alphabet as a compass, his ten-year journey will involve local communities, poets and high school students along the way and will celebrate the library as one of our great and necessary institutions.

” The letter X will be interesting – does anywhere in the UK begin with X?  I also want to find a way of including alphabet letters from other languages spoken in these islands such as Welsh, Urdu or Chinese, and to involve communities where English might not be the first language.”

The Poet Laureate launched his decade-long tour in Ashby-de-la-Zouch Library in April 2021 during the A-B Libraries Tour. Now he is looking ahead to the C-Dd Libraries Tour from Mon, March 28 – Sat, April 2, 2022

Can you help?

Does your library’s name or location (e.g. village, town, city) begin with the letters C, D or Welsh Ch or Dd?

If so, please read on. For other letters, please check the alphabet compass at the end below to find out when Simon Armitage could be coming your way during the decade.

Invitations can be made by public libraries, CMLs or any other kind of library in the UK willing to throw open its doors to the public for the occasion, such as private or independent libraries or those in schools, universities, prisons, hospitals or cathedrals.

“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.”

If your library is a mobile library, home library service or community library in a phone box, then you will need to be creative about hosting a safe event and consider the internet question below. However, please get in touch if you’ve got a good idea!

Here, Simon Armitage speaks in Autumn 2019 – before the pandemic – about his hopes for the Laureate’s Library Tour. Full details of how to make an invitation follow below. 


Q1. What is Simon Armitage offering?

Simon Armitage hopes that the Laureate’s Library Tour events will be celebratory in nature. As a latter-day troubadour, he is offering to give a one hour poetry reading which includes audience Q&A. He may also invite a guest poet to perform. On the A-B Libraries Tour 2021, his guests from the areas included well-published poets, local Poet Laureates and Foyle Young Poet winners.  

Simon Armitage would like to encourage libraries to find a way of including local community groups, high school students and/or writers’ groups in activities around the visit and in the audience.

He is also keen to hear from libraries that can celebrate alphabets from other languages spoken in the UK and communities where English may not be the first language.

Given ongoing uncertainties about Covid, the plan is for live hybrid events on site, i.e. events held live and in-person with a live audience on site inside the library but also live-streamed. If national guidance in March 2022 prevents a live and in-person audience attending on site, then live-streaming only is likely to remain permissible (as it did for the A-B Libraries Tour). 

Q2. What equipment and internet access is required?  

Simon Armitage will tour with 1-2 person technical crew and the necessary gear to live-stream the event for you via Wirecast/Crowdcast if third party internet access is feasible in your library. Please let us know what will work at your end:  

  • A wired connection into your router / network is preferable although a wireless / Wifi connection can suffice.
  • Minimum 8Mbps download and 5Mbps upload speed
  • No port restrictions or that UDP ports 1025 -65535 be open
  • the traffic-type is RMTP, so this needs to be allowable on Council-managed networks
In addition, please let us know if you can provide a lectern and PA. This is not essential but could help if Simon Armitage visits locations requiring air freight from Manchester. The crew will bring the necessary microphones and cameras.  
This may sound complicated but here’s what hosts on the A-B Libraries Tour said:
“Huw & Martin [tech] were so professional, and easy to work with. They made it easy to relax and enjoy the event after all the build-up.”
“[staff] felt they were in very safe hands”
“It was lovely to have something happening in the library at last!”
Q3. What about finance?
There will be no charge to you or your Library for technical support, performance fees, travel expenses or any accommodation costs that may be necessary.
Your proposed event for the Laureate Library’s Tour should be free to the audience to help make it accessible to everyone.
The Laureate’s Library Tour is supported by the T. S. Eliot Estate and Simon Armitage’s long-time publishers Faber & Faber. The A-B Libraries Tour was also kindly funded using public funding by the National Lottery through Arts Council England. The C-Dd Libraries Tour is subject to further funding applications. 
Q4. How does our library make an invitation?

The submission deadline is Sept 4.  

When making an email-invitation to Simon Armitage, please say:

  • why would you like Simon Armitage to come and celebrate YOUR library?
  • what are your ideas for your event (bearing in mind the audience advisory age 11+)?
  • do you plan any projects before or after the event? For example, some of the A-B libraries suggested writing projects, others wanted to celebrate dialect or other language resources which could be borrowed from their library or to draw attention to historic lexicons in their special collections. One library’s event was their official opening as a community-managed library.
  • what is your preferred day of the week during the Tour, Mon, March 28 – Sat, April 2, for a visit?
  • are you thinking of a day-time or evening event? 
  • roughly how many people you can seat with and without safe-distancing? Small libraries are definitely eligible thanks to the live-streaming. 
  • what type of internet connection can your library offer (please see technical requirements above)?
  • can you provide a lectern and/or PA if necessary? 

Please email your invitation by Sept 4 at the very latest to 

7-8 libraries across the UK will be selected during September for the C-Dd Tour Libraries Tour 2022. 

Thank you for your interest!

Q5. What if our library’s name or location does not begin with the letters C, D or Welsh Ch or Dd?
Please check the alphabet chart below to find out when Simon Armitage could be coming your way. The decade is NOT already booked up. Instead, a window for invitations will open each summer/autumn before the spring tour.  The timing of this window may vary because of funding application schedules. 

If a library’s name or location begins withSpring Tour Dates
Latin alphabetWelsh Letters7-8 libraries/year
2020 (postponed by Covid)
A, B Apr 26 - May 1, 2021
C, DCh, DdMar 28 - Apr 2, 2022
E, F, GFf, Ng2023
H, I , J, K 2024
L, MLl2025
N, O, P 2026
Q, R, SPh, Rh2027
T, U, VTh2028
W, X, Y, Z 2029




Literary Agent
DGA (David Godwin Associates)
2nd floor, 40 Rosebery Avenue,
0207 240 9992
To enquire:

Media Enquiries
Kirsty McLachlan
Morgan Green Creatives Ltd

To Book a Poetry Reading
The Hawkridge Agency

Anya Backlund
Blue Flower Arts, LLC
PO Box 461,
MA 01061
845 - 677 - 8559
mobile 619-944-9247
fax 845-677-6446


Poet Laureate