Universal Home Doctor
Author: Simon Armitage
Publisher: Faber and Faber Ltd
Published: 19 August 2002
Published on the same day as Travelling Songs
Was it a fall in pressure or some upward force
that went to the head of that spikelet of glass
and drew it through flesh, caused it to show its face
so many years to the day after the great crash.
From the Publisher The Universal Home Doctor is Armitage's most personal collection yet and, as the title -- implies, reads like his own private encyclopaedia of emotion and health. These vivid and moving poems recount numerous memories and personal joumeys from across the globe, but with a constant reference to the most universal and intimate landscape of all, the human body. Armitage also brings into question the idea of home and what it means to be English.
Sean O'Brien has described Armitage as `the first poet of serious artistic intent since Philip Larkin to have achieved popularity . . . it is possible that he will attain the sort of proverbial status Larkin now occupies.' Poetry Review called him `the front man of his generation . . . the most imaginative and prolific poet now writing.' Simon Armitage was born in West Yorkshire in 1963. In 1992 he won one of the first Forward Prizes, and a year later was the Sunday Times Young Writer of the Year. In 1999 the Poetry Society appointed him as poet in residence with the New Millennium Experience Company, from which came the 1000 line poem Killing Time (1999). He works as a freelance writer and broadcaster and playwright, has written extensively for radio and television, and lectures in Creative Writing at Manchester Metropolitan University and the University of Iowa. His impressive body of work includes Kid, Book of Matches, The Dead Sea Poems, CloudCuckooLand, and Selected Poems, published by Faber last year to great acclaim He is also the author of a novel, Little Green Man. The Universal Home Doctor will more than confirm Simon Armitage's position in the first rank of British poets.