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The poems in this volume were written in response to three anniversaries relating to three separate conflicts. Told from the point of view of an English trader working in the North Tower of the World Trade Centre, the poem-film Out Of The Blue was commissioned by Channel 5 and broadcast five years after the 9.11 attacks on America. It won the 2006 Royal Television Society Documentary Award. 'We May Allow Ourselves A Brief Period Of Rejoicing' (a quote from one of Churchill's post-war speeches), was also commissioned by Channel 5, and broadcast on the sixtieth anniversary of VE Day. The radio-poem "Cambodia" was commissioned by the BBC for "The Violence of Silence", a radio drama set in today's Cambodia thirty years after the rise of the Khmer Rouge.
Simon Armitage was born in 1963 in West Yorkshire and has published nine volumes of poetry. His awards include one of the first Forward prizes, the Sunday Times Young Author of the Year and a major Lannan Award. His most recent collections are Tyrannosaurus Rex Versus the Corduroy Kid (Faber & Faber, 2006), which was shortlisted for the T.S. Eliot Prize, and his translation of the classic Middle English poem Sir Gawain and the Green Knight (Faber & Faber/Norton, 2007)He writes for radio, television and film, and is the author of four stage plays. His dramatisation of The Odyssey, commissioned by the BBC, received the Gold Award at the 2005 Spoken Word Awards. He has also received the Royal Television Society Arts Documentary Award. Simon Armitage has written over a dozen television films, and with director Brian Hill pioneered the docu-musical format. He received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the Channel 4 film Feltham Sings, which also won a BAFTA, and was the librettist for the opera The Assassin Tree, composed by Stuart McRae, which premiered at the Edinburgh International Festival in 2006. He has published two novels as well as the best-selling memoir All Points North (Penguin, 1998), which was the Yorkshire Post Book of the Year. He is a senior lecturer at Manchester Metropolitan University.