IN-PERSON: Christopher Armitage presents UNLOCKING MY WORDHOARD, with Bland Simpson


Thursday, September 1, 2022 - Signing Line at 5:30 pm, Talk begins at 6:00 pm

Flyleaf will offer seating for up to 50 in-person guests, with priority access given to folks who purchase the book. Masks recommended

Unlocking My Wordhoard: Poems and Prose with Illustrations is in plain formal English. Historical references are explained in notes below a poem as are sources of quotations. 
The title, Unlocking My Wordhoard, is modern English for the phrase wordheord onleoc meaning the poet “unlocks his word-hoard.” It recurs in Old English poems such as Beowulf, line 259, and Widsith, line 1. Old English is the English language used in Anglo-Saxon England prior to 1066 when the Norman-French conquest of England started a long process of modifying the language by absorbing French linguistic practices. They influenced the Middle English spoken and written by Chaucer and other medieval writers. Linguists consider that Shakespeare’s works represent Early Modern English. As the international language of the modern world, the English language is continually evolving.

The poems are in three divisions; the first is related to historical and public matters, the second, to famous poets or their work, the third, more personal, with some heartfelt poems, others jesting. Most of the poems are short and attempt to concentrate on the essence of events such as falling in love or the German invasion of Russia in World War II. The prose that follows explores such subjects as the author as a child exposed to war; studying with C.S. Lewis and J.R.R. Tolkien; and participation in sports and theatrical productions

Christopher Mead Armitage was born in Manchester, England. After graduating from St Edmund Hall at Oxford University in 1954, he emigrated to Canada to marry Pauline Brooks of Copper Cliff, Ontario. They had three sons. After earning an MA in English and Canadian Literature at the University of Western Ontario and teaching there and at the University of Guelph, he and his family moved to North Carolina in 1964 where he completed a Ph.D. at Duke University in 1967. For the next fifty-three years, he taught in the English Department of the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill.  He founded annual summer sessions at Oxford for students to learn Shakespearean literature. He lives in Durham, North Carolina.

Bland Simpson is Kenan Distinguished Professor of English and Creative Writing at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. He is also a pianist for The Red Clay Ramblers, the Tony Award-winning string band. In 2005 he received the North Carolina Award, the state's highest civilian honor.

Event date: 
Thursday, September 1, 2022 - 5:30pm
Event address: 
752 Martin Luther King Jr. Blvd.
Chapel Hill, NC 27514
North Carolina: Land of Water, Land of Sky By Bland Simpson, Ann Cary Simpson (Photographer), Tom Earnhardt (Photographer) Cover Image
By Bland Simpson, Ann Cary Simpson (Photographer), Tom Earnhardt (Photographer)
ISBN: 9781469665832
Availability: On Our Shelves Now
Published: University of North Carolina Press - October 26th, 2021