The Idler Questionnaire: Simon Armitage

15 Jun

Simon Armitage will be speaking at the Ledbury Poetry Festival. Photo copyright Peter James Millson 2016.

Poet Simon Armitage answers fourteen impertinent enquiries. Simon is appearing at the 21st Ledbury Poetry Festival which runs from 30 June – 9 July 2017. For tickets and more information go to

1. Are you happy? Yep.

2. What are you reading? Approaches To How They Behave by W.S. Graham [poet who died in 1986].

3. What was your worst ever job? Being unemployed. It was really hard work.

4. How many hours do you work each day? 25.

5. Town mouse or country mouse? Country mouse with travel bag.

6. Does love bring happiness or unhappiness? It brings happiness, or you’re doing it wrong.

7. Digital or analogue? D’analogue.

8. What are your three greatest pleasures? Côte de Nuits, Chassagne-Montrachet, Original Hula Hoops.

9. Do you believe in the nap? Not really, but it increasingly believes in me.

10. What did you dream about last night? I went on stage to read my poems but the pages were blank (again).

11. What would the current you say to the teenage you? The drainpipe trouser leg is always the better choice.

12. What song couldn’t you get out of your head today? “Penelope Tree” by Felt.

13. Any message for aspiring idlers? In times of economic uncertainty, put your money into poetry.

14. Whither bohemia? Aye, whither.

This piece appears in the forthcoming issue of the Idler, our July/august number. Simon Armitage will be reading from his new collection The Unaccompanied (Faber, £14.99) at the 21st anniversary Ledbury Poetry Festival 30 June – 9 July 2017. The UK’s biggest poetry festival, Ledbury Poetry Festival 2017 includes 135 events over 10 days with other names such as Paddy Ashdown, Juliet Stevenson, Vahni Capildeo, Richard Dawkins and Bejan Matur. Tickets go on general sale from 20 May. For full programme details and more information go to