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Poet Laureate's A-Z tour launches in Ashby

Simon Armitage plans 10-year exploration of libraries across the country

Poet Laureate Simon Armitage

Ashby library will next week (Monday 26 April) be the virtual hosts for the launch of Poet Laureate Simon Armitage’s ten-year tour of libraries across the United Kingdom.

Over a week each spring for the next decade and using the alphabet as a guide, Simon will give readings in buildings in a celebration of the library service.

He decided to start his tour at Ashby as its full name (Ashby de la Zouch) has letters which both start and end the alphabet.

The free event will be live-streamed from Ashby library and Simon said: “I want to celebrate the physical space of libraries and take my work back into places that have given me so much.

“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.

"For many people, they are an invaluable aspect of everyday life, giving access not just to books but to services, learning, conversation and creative thinking.”

Libraries across Leicestershire re-opened last week for browsing and  taking away books.

There will be no audience present at the event but it will be live streamed - and the Poet Laureate's visit is another timely boost for the service.

We’re really proud that the first stop on Simon Armitage’s tour is here in Leicestershire, and delighted that he can continue with his adventure after initially having to postpone last year.

With libraries across the country closed for such a long period of time, I’m very pleased that we can once again host events such as this and to unite our communities through the power of reading and poetry.

The hour-long reading will take place at 11am on 26 April.

Registration and live streaming will be available through Crowd Cast. For more information or to sign up for free, visit:


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