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St Francis Xavier

Poet Laureate Visits School

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage spent the afternoon at our school as part of his visit to Richmond.

Simon Armitage CBE became Poet Laureate in 2019, but has been a regular feature of GCSE Literature poetry anthologies for nearly 20 years. As well as writing poetry, fiction and non-fiction, Armitage has written and produced extremely powerful film-poems on such subjects as Veteran PTSD, 9-11, VE Day and, most recently, 'Where Did the World Go? A Pandemic Poem'.
 
As well as speaking to Years 9-11 about his poems and career, he was happy to talk to students after school and even sign a few English books and Anthologies! 
When asked how he started writing, he told students that his first ever poem, written about Christmas at the age of 10, failed to be chosen by his teacher to go on the wall, and suggested that maybe his career has been "an act of revenge ever since!" His most important advice to students was to "read, read, and read some more".
Simon also officially opened our revamped Library, funded by generous donations from the Foyles Foundation and the school community. He signed our copies of his books and met some of our Millionaires Club - students who had read over a million words last year on the Accelerated Reader scheme.