Poet Laureate Simon Armitage will embark on a ten-year tour of libraries across the UK, starting in 2020.
Over a week in each spring for the next decade, Armitage will give readings in libraries across the UK, in a tour supported by the T S Eliot Estate and his long-time publishers Faber & Faber.
Using the alphabet as a guide, his Laureate’s Library Tour will involve local communities, poets and students at each stop on the journey, to celebrate libraries.
He said: "My experience of reading and writing began in the village library where I grew up, then in the nearby town library, then in libraries at various places of study and teaching. The very existence of the library system is under threat, but libraries still stand at the heart of many communities and for some people are an invaluable aspect of everyday life, giving access not just to books but to services, learning, conversation and creative thinking. I want to pay my respects to these unique institutions. By planning readings up to a decade in advance I’m being optimistic about the future of our libraries, and challenging those authorities who would consider closing them down."