Former Poet Laureate is to be commemorated alongside Chaucer and Shakespeare
For an indication of the health of British poetry, says Lemn Sissay, look no further than the strength of the entries to young people's competitions. "They're the momentum in a movement," he says – the force against a "competitive note" that has entered the contemporary poetry scene. The 42-year-old performance poet has just completed a week teaching the 15 winners of last year's Foyle Young Poets Award, which drew a record 14,000 entries from all over the world – and, by his reckoning, the future of the art form is very bright indeed.
Simon Armitage, renowned writer, national curriculum fixture, is that rare thing: a poet who admits to a sunny frame of mind
Mad dashes and flying colours
The son of Ted Hughes and Sylvia Plath moved to Alaska to pursue his passion for the oceans. But he could not escape the depression that made him take his life at the age of 47
Adrian Mourby lets himself into the house where Yorkshire's most celebrated poet was born, now a holiday cottage-cum-writer's retreat – and hopes for inspiration.
Three of the leading contenders to be Britain's first female Poet Laureate have ruled themselves out of contention for the post.