Reporter 448, 6 March 2000

Verse for our time

Drafts of Simon Armitage's thousand-line poem Killing Time, commissioned for the Millennium Dome and broadcast on New Year's Day by Channel Four, have been acquired by the University Library. The manuscripts are to have their first outing later this month, with their loan to the British Library’s forthcoming exhibition, Chapter & Verse, on 1,000 years of literature.

The material is among a newly-acquired archive of papers and notebooks representing Armitage’s career to date, from small press appearances to one of Faber poet. Born and bred in a village just outside Huddersfield, Simon Armitage has been creative writing fellow in the School of English and has strong links with the University.

"We approached Simon about the sale of his manuscripts early in his career and the Library has since acquired all that exists," said Chris Sheppard, head of special collections. "Time has confirmed our belief he would emerge as one of the most promising poets of his generation."

The exhibition runs from March 10 to October 15 at the Library’s headquarters in Euston Road.

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