Simon Armitage, one of the most popular poets writing in English today, will visit Haileybury as a guest of the English department on Friday 23 January.
Head of English, Dr David James, says Armitage can cut it with stand-up performance poets, is good on pop radio chat shows and has a laddish persona that the urban young instinctively recognise as one of their own.
"However, he is also a subtle stylist and an ambitious, serious artist," Dr James says. Armitage has published nine volumes of poetry; he writes for radio, television and film, is the author of four stage plays, including Mister Heracles, and his first novel, Little Green Man, was published by Penguin in 2001. Most recently he has written the lyrics to controversial television programmes Feltham Sings (a musical documentary about a prison starring real young offenders) and Pornography: the Musical, broadcast by Channel 4 in November.
His poems are now a regular feature of the GCSE English Literature course at Haileybury, and it is through this exposure that a new audience is encountering his work for the first time.
"Simon Armitage is in huge demand and Haileybury is lucky to have him visit us and talk to our pupils," Dr James concludes.
Everyone is welcome to come to the talk, which starts at 7.30pm in the Ayckbourn Theatre.