The Poet Laureate Has Gone To His Shed

Episodes

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Antony Gormley2020040820200509 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes.

Sculptor Antony Gormley's visit begins with a walk around the garden where his eye is caught by some huge Yorkshire standing stones. Their conversation ranges from The Angel of the North, placing sculpture in the landscape and the sea to the skills of the shipyard and the relationship between art and engineering. From body shape to chemistry sets, potions and explosions to Antony's first work of art - two eyes, carved into a wall at his old school.

Sculptor Antony Gormley drops by to talk to Simon Armitage in his shed.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Antony Gormley2020040820200509 (R4)

Sculptor Antony Gormley drops by to talk to Simon Armitage in his shed.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Chris Packham2020052020200704 (R4)

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to naturalist Chris Packham about life, art and music.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement, scratching away at a poem in the shed. As he works on The Owl and the Nightingale, any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes. However, Lockdown has meant he has had to reach out to technology to find those interruptions.

Wanting to know more about the owl in the poem, Simon talks to naturalist Chris Packham, isolating in his home in the New Forest. Their conversation ranges from ornithology to Asperger syndrome, from Punk music to owl pellets and from the environment to the ability to fly.

The Poet Laureate has gone to his Shed is produced by Susan Roberts

Guy Garvey2020031120200425 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale.

Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes. The first person to drop by is Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, fellow birdwatcher and 6 Music presenter. Once the door of the shed is shut the conversation goes wherever it likes - from the business of writing songs in a band to singing in the church choir, from old harmoniums to village pantomimes and from fathers to children.

Simon Armitage talks to Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, and fellow birdwatcher.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Guy Garvey2020031120200425 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale.

Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes. The first person to drop by is Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, fellow birdwatcher and 6 Music presenter. Once the door of the shed is shut the conversation goes wherever it likes - from the business of writing songs in a band to singing in the church choir, from old harmoniums to village pantomimes and from fathers to children.

Simon Armitage talks to Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, and fellow birdwatcher.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Guy Garvey2020031120200425 (R4)

Simon Armitage talks to Guy Garvey, lead singer of Elbow, and fellow birdwatcher.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Jackie Kay2020050620200523 (R4)

Jackie Kay, poet, novelist and playwright, joins Simon Armitage in his shed.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale.

Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes. Jackie Kay, who first shared a stage with Simon 30 years ago on the New Generation poetry tour reminisces about those first readings as well a sharing their current experiences of holding the highest positions in poetry - Jackie as the Scottish Makar and Simon as the Poet Laureate. The conversation ranges far and wide as these two friends look back on their writing lives.

Judge Melanie Plimmer20200429
Judge Melanie Plimmer2020042920200627 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes.

Simon has invited Trinidadian-born Judge Melanie Plimmer to help him sort out the owl and the nightingale who argue often in the poem. Their conversation ranges from the business of passing judgement and the skill of arbitration to Sundays spent on the beach in Trinidad and wearing the judge's wig. Simon also draws on his own experience of attending court as a working probation officer in his pre-poet life.

Judge Melanie Plimmer joins Simon Armitage in his shed to sort out some arguing birds.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Judge Melanie Plimmer2020042920200627 (R4)

Judge Melanie Plimmer joins Simon Armitage in his shed to sort out some arguing birds.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Kate Tempest2020031820200516 (R4)

Kate Tempest, poet, musician, novelist, playwright and more talks to Simon Armitage.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

As someone who has been successful in many different genres, when Kate Tempest has an idea, how does she decide what it will be? In Simon Armitage's wooden writing shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, their conversation ranges from moving to rural France after growing up in south London, her time at the Brit School and her discovery of rapping to writing poetry. They discuss using the tongue as a weapon and the power of words, and Kate reads from Simon's reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale.

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement, scratching away at a poem in the shed. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes.

Laura Ashe2020051320200530 (R4)

Professor Laura Ashe is a historian of English medieval literature, history and culture . She lectures in English at Oxford University. At this point in his translation of the poem The Owl and the Nightingale, Simon Armitage invites Laura to help him with some of the final details . From the toilet habits of the nightingale to the Game of Thrones atmosphere of the period, from the hippy ideals of the nightingale to the tut-tutting of the buttoned up owl.

Laura Ashe writer and academic sheds light on the medieval poem Simon's translating.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Laura Ashe2020051320200530 (R4)

Laura Ashe writer and academic sheds light on the medieval poem Simon's translating.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Lily Cole20200415
Lily Cole2020041520200613 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes. So when Lily Cole - model, actress and entrepreneur - extended an invite for him to visit her shed, he couldn't refuse.

With a touch of shed envy, Simon discovers that Lily Cole's own writing shed has a wood-burning stove and superb views. Their conversation ranges from the true story of her discovery as a model at 14, wearing dramatic clothes and accidents on the catwalk, to working with tribes in the Amazon. From environmental concerns to running a business, from being bullied at school to a Cambridge degree.

Lily Cole is many things. Simon Armitage visits her in her shed to talks about them all.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Lily Cole2020041520200613 (R4)

Lily Cole is many things. Simon Armitage visits her in her shed to talks about them all.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Lily Cole2020041520200613 (R4)

Lily Cole is many things. Simon Armitage visits her in her shed to talks about them all.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Maxine Peake2020040120200502 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to talk about poetry, music, art, sheds, sherry, owls, nightingales and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes .

Actress Maxine Peake drops into the shed to talk about taking on a role and accents, which the birds in the poem discuss. Maxine talks about her TV break as Twinkle in Dinner Ladies as well as taking on roles such as Hamlet in the theatre. The conversation ranges from accents and being cast as a brassy Northerner to communism and rave culture.

Actress Maxine Peake drops into Simon Armitage's shed to talk about roles and accents.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Maxine Peake2020040120200502 (R4)

Actress Maxine Peake drops into Simon Armitage's shed to talk about roles and accents.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Sam Lee20200422
Sam Lee2020042220200620 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink and waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale. Any distraction is welcome, even encouraged, to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes .

Sam Lee - folk song collector, environmentalist and singer - has a special relationship with the outside world and the nightingale, so his appearance in the shed is most welcome. Simon has never seen a nightingale, living in an area which has none. So he's curious to hear about Sam's night-time walks into the Sussex countryside to hear them. It's a profound sensory experience at night. The call is loud and ears throb. Sam describes calling them out of the trees, singing with them and taking groups of people into the woods who are often overwhelmed by the sound of this musical bird.

Sam talks about collecting folk song around the country and both finish by singing Pratty Flowers, the anthem of Homfirth, a village near to Simon's shed.

Simon Armitage talks to singer Sam Lee about his love of the lyrical bird the nightingale.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Sam Lee2020042220200620 (R4)

Simon Armitage talks to singer Sam Lee about his love of the lyrical bird the nightingale.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Simon Armitage2020052720200711 (R4)

Simon Armitage is in the shed on his own, self-isolating due to the Coronavirus.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

The Poet Laureate has gone to his shed on his own this week. Simon Armitage can't ask any guests to join him in his writing shed in West Yorkshire due to the Coronavirus. So he sits in the moonlight hoping to catch an owl in the garden to inspire his writing, and to think about the world beyond as he approaches the end of his translation of the medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale.

It's a beautifully still night. Poetry, contemplation, storytelling - with a few jokes along the way - and a few musical instruments to charm the owls out of the trees.

Testament20200325
Testament2020032520200606 (R4)

If the poets of the past sat in their garrets dipping their quills in ink, waiting for inspiration to strike, our current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has a more mundane and domestic arrangement. From his wooden shed in the garden, surrounded on all sides by the Pennine Hills and the Pennine weather, he scratches away at his reworking of the comic medieval poem The Owl and the Nightingale, which could be described as a medieval Rap battle between two birds. That's just what hip-hop artist Testament describes the poem as when he drops by to distract Simon and to throw light on some of the poem's internal themes.

In The Poet Laureate has gone to his Shed, their conversation ranges from the Guinness Book of Records to spiritual faith and from West Yorkshire to New York. The shed soon becomes a classroom as Testament teaches Simon to beatbox and in return, Simon shows him how to imitate the call of a kookaburra.

Hip-hop artist Testament visits Simon Armitage in his shed and teaches him to beatbox.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.

Testament2020032520200606 (R4)

Hip-hop artist Testament visits Simon Armitage in his shed and teaches him to beatbox.

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage talks to guests about life, language and music in his shed.