LONDON (AP) — Simon Armitage has been named the U.K.’s new Poet Laureate, succeeding Carol Ann Duffy in the 10-year post.
Queen Elizabeth II has approved the appointment, Britain’s highest literary honor. It dates back to the 17th century, and previous laureates have included John Dryden, William Wordsworth and Ted Hughes.
It is up to the poet to decide whether or not to produce poetry for national and royal occasions.
Armitage, a professor of poetry at the University of Leeds, has published 28 collections of poetry and his work is studied by British schoolchildren as part of the national curriculum. He said he hoped to “help poetry explore its potential” in a multimedia age.
Culture Secretary Jeremy Wright praised Armitage for his “witty and profound take on modern life.”