In the Poetry Programme on Sunday 28th March, at 7:30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1, Olivia O'Leary’s guest is UK Poet Laureate Simon Armitage, and a poem from Stephen James Smith recalls our first experience of lockdown a year ago.

Simon Armitage is the current UK Poet Laureate. He was born and still lives in West Yorkshire and is Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds. He has been Professor of Poetry at Oxford and visiting Professor of Poetry at Princeton. He has published over a dozen poetry collections and numerous pamphlets, and won endless prizes.

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He joins Olivia to talk about his role as Poet Laureate and reads a poem written in his official capacity that reflects on the pandemic.

He also talks about his beloved Yorkshire and reads a selection of poems from his most recent collection, Magnetic Field, published by Faber and Faber.

The programme ends with a poem by Stephen James Smith, Collectively Counting, which recalls our first experience of lockdown a year ago.

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The video that accompanies the poem was made in association with First Fortnight, Ireland's Mental Health Festival, and supported by the HSE as part of Connecting for Life, Ireland’s National Strategy to Reduce Suicide. The accompanying music is by Gareth Quinn Redmond, with Conor J. O’Brien on trumpet.

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The Poetry Programme, Sundays at 7:30 pm on RTÉ Radio 1 - listen to the latest edition below:

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