Writer Attempting Minehead To Scilly Walk ‘For Free’

simon armitage

Photo by Paul Wolfgang Webster

An award-winning writer is attempting to travel from Minehead to Scilly without a penny in his pocket.

Simon Armitage hopes to reach the islands, walking along the northern half of the southwest coast path by giving poetry readings en route in village halls, theatres, churches, pubs, schools, galleries and living rooms in return for his board and lodgings.

In Simon’s bestselling book ‘Walking Home’, due out in paperback from Faber on April 4, he describes travelling the Pennine Way as a ‘modern troubadour’ in the wrong direction, from north to south, so that he could walk towards the Yorkshire village of Marsden in which he was born.

“This time, I want to see if I can pay my way with poetry alone away from my home ground, and getting further distant every day,” said Simon, who is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield and also writes for film, television and radio. He was awarded the CBE for services to poetry in 2010.

Simon plans to set off just after the August Bank Holiday and hopes to reach Land’s End having earned enough to buy his fare to the Isles of Scilly on September 18th, for a final reading on St. Mary’s or Tresco.

“Once again I’ll be bartering my way from start to finish, giving readings and passing the hat around, inviting the audience to put in whatever they think I’m worth,” said Simon, who will be writing about his experiences for his follow-up book, ‘Walking Away’.

“If you’d like me to give a local reading and can offer me food and shelter for the night, then please get in touch,” he said.

You can find Simon’s itinerary on his website, www.simonarmitage.com, or email simonswcoastpath@gmail.com

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