'The most popular English poet since Larkin.' Sunday TimesAfter more than a decade and following his celebrated adventures in drama, translation, travel writing and prose poetry, Simon Armitage's eleventh collection of poems heralds a return to his trademark contemporary lyricism. The pieces in this multi-textured and moving volume are set against a backdrop of economic recession and social division, where mass media, the mass market and globalisation have made alienation a commonplace experience and where the solitary imagination drifts and conjures. The Unaccompanied documents a world on the brink, a world of unreliable seasons and unstable coordinates, where Odysseus stalks the aisles of cut-price supermarkets in search of direction, where the star of Bethlehem rises over industrial Yorkshire, and where alarm bells for ailing communities go unheeded or unheard. Looking for certainty the mind gravitates to recollections of upbringing and family, only to encounter more unrecoverable worlds, shaped as ever through Armitage's gifts for clarity and detail as well as his characteristic dead-pan wit. Insightful, relevant and empathetic, these poems confirm The Unaccompanied as a bold new statement of intent by one of our most respected and recognised living poets. 'A writer who has had a game-changing influence on his contemporaries.' Guardian'Armitage is that rare beast: a poet whose work is ambitious, accomplished and complex as well as popular.' Sunday Telegraph'The best poet of his generation.' Craig Raine, Observer
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One of the first productions to enlist famous American actors such as Kiefer Sutherland (24), award-winning Bryan Cranston (Breaking Bad), and Juliette Lewis (Natural Born Killers), and created by a team of anime masterminds - including writers Akinori Endo (Battle Angel) and Chiaki Konaka (Serial Experiments: Lain, Hellsing) - Armitage III: The Complete Saga is a must-have for anime and sci-fi devotees. Armitage is a brash cybernetic cop who sports a racy wardrobe and an attitude to match. Patrolling an unruly metropolis on Mars, she's got a grudge against a society where androids are at the mercy of unsympathetic humans. In the original OVAs - also coalesced as the feature film Poly Matrix - Armitage risks everything to hunt down a vicious android killer and solve the secret to her existence. The sequel, Dual Matrix, finds Armitage in an over-charged battle to save her loved ones from an obsessive doctor and his deadly Armitage replicas.
The wandering poet has always been a feature of our cultural imagination. Odysseus journeys home, his famous flair for storytelling seducing friend and foe. The Romantic poets tramped all over the Lake District searching for inspiration. Now Simon Armitage, with equal parts enthusiasm and trepidation, as well as a wry humor all his own, has taken on Britain's version of our Appalachian Trail: the Pennine Way. Walking "the backbone of England" by day (accompanied by friends, family, strangers, dogs, the unpredictable English weather, and a backpack full of Mars Bars), each evening he gives a poetry reading in a different village in exchange for a bed. Armitage reflects on the inextricable link between freedom and fear as well as the poet's place in our bustling world. In Armitage's own words, "to embark on the walk is to surrender to its lore and submit to its logic, and to take up a challenge against the self."
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Mrs Armitage sets off for a quiet cycle with her faithful dog, Breakspear, but she just can't help thinking of ways to improve her bicycle. Before very long she has added three very loud horns, a bucket of water to wash her hands, a complete tool kit. And by the time she has also added a seat for Breakspear, two umbrellas, a cassette player and a mouth-organ, Mrs Armitage is riding a very eye-catching contraption., But it is when she finally adds the mast and sail, that Mrs Armitage really runs into trouble. . .
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