Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in the village of Marsden and lives in West Yorkshire. He is a graduate of Portsmouth University, where he studied Geography. As a post-graduate student at Manchester University his MA thesis concerned the effects of television violence on young offenders. Until 1994 he worked as Probation Officer in Greater Manchester.
Prior to mainstream publication, Armitage published several limited edition pamphlets with small and local poetry presses, all now highly collectible. These included Human Geography, The Distance Between Stars, The Walking Horses, Around Robinson, and Suitcase.
He has received numerous awards for his poetry including the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year, one of the first Forward Prizes, a Lannan Award and the Keats- Shelley Poetry Prize. In 2012, at the 25th Hay Festival, he was presented with the Hay Medal for Poetry.