Poet Laureate Simon Armitage at Brimham Rocks
Poet Laureate Simon Armitage has been commissioned to write a poem inspired by Brimham Rocks. His poem celebrates what Brimham Rocks is and why it's such an important place for nature, wildlife, and visitors.
The Poem - 'Balancing Act'
The poem entitled 'Balancing Act' has been carved into two large, locally sourced stones creating a permanent work of art, which has been positioned on the north moor at Brimham. This space offers a place for reflection and contemplation, giving visitors an opportunity to connect with nature.
Meet Simon Armitage
Simon Armitage is a Yorkshire-born writer and currently the national Poet Laureate (2019-2029).
He's Professor of Poetry at the University of Leeds and was elected to serve as Professor of Poetry at the University of Oxford 2015-2019. In Spring 2019, he held the post of Holmes Visiting Professor at Princeton University, USA.
He's received numerous awards for his poetry including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes, an Eric Gregory Award, a major Lannan Award, a Cholmondeley Award, the Spoken Word Award (Gold), the Ivor Novello Award for song writing, BBC Radio Best Speech Programme, Television Society Award for Documentary and Keats-Shelley Prize for Poetry. He won the 2017 PEN America Award for Poetry in Translation and was awarded the 2018 Queens Gold Medal for Poetry.
In 1999 Simon Armitage was named the Millennium Poet and in 2004 was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010 and presented with the Hay Medal for Poetry at the 25th Hay Festival in 2012.
Creating the art installation
The poem has been carved by our Lead Specialist Craftsperson, Richard Dawson, into Witton Fell stone. Sourced locally, Witton Fell was chosen for its colour and texture, representative of the stone formations at Brimham. If a slice was taken through one of the rocks here it wouldn't look very different.
Connecting with nature
A magnet for geologists, naturalists, climbers, walkers, and young families, we want to make Brimham Rocks accessible for everyone. We want this special site to be a place of reflection and inspiration, where visitors can come and spend some quiet time connecting with nature as well as exploring, climbing and playing. With the increasing threat to nature from climate change, it's more important than ever to head outside and spend some time getting to know the unique landscape of Brimham Rocks whilst at the same time helping us to look after this special place for everyone, for ever.
'Balancing Act' - A poem by Poet Laureate Simon Armitage
Watch this short video to hear Poet Laureate Simon Armitage reciting 'Balancing Act' and sharing his thoughts and inspirations for the poem.
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