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Grace Paley | Poetry Foundation

Over recent decades, the role has moved away from mainly chronicling royal occasions to promoting poetry and capturing a wider view of British life. His book The Unaccompanied was described by The Guardian as a document of "a world in social and economic meltdown". The announcement comes five months after Armitage, from Marsden, won the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry , arguably the most prestigious accolade in poetry behind the laureateship.

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When that award was announced, Dame Carol Ann noted how he had "touched the matter of our lives with characters and subject matter that lived among us: teachers and council tenants, chip shops and television shows, figures who drank in the local pub and shopped in the nearby supermarket". The year-old is currently professor of poetry at the University of Leeds and served as professor of poetry at the University of Oxford between He said: "I want to celebrate what's best in poetry and build on the work Andrew Motion and Carol Ann Duffy have done over the last two decades in terms of encouraging and identifying talent, particularly among young people, among whom poetry might be a way forward, an outlet.

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The poet laureate is an honorary position that is officially appointed by the Queen, acting on advice from the government. He joked that he had "missed the boat" to write a poem for the Duke and Duchess of Sussex's baby. He said he planned to use the profile to establish some sort of project or award for writing about climate change, and that he had a dream - "very possibly completely unrealistic" - to set up a National Centre for Poetry.

Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright praised Armitage for his "witty and profound take on modern life [which] is known and respected across the world".

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Mr Wright added: "He is a very worthy successor to Dame Carol Ann Duffy, who championed the importance of poetry over the past 10 years and made the position relatable to people across the country. There had been reports that Imtiaz Dharker would be offered the post, but had decided to turn it down. Armitage said he believed there had been "a lot of discussion behind the scenes" about whether the job should go to a white man.

He stressed that he wanted part of his role to be about amplifying the voices of writers from "diverse and disadvantaged" backgrounds. He added that he did not come from the establishment. If you have a story suggestion email entertainment. These poems are not at ease and there is no place left to retreat.

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