Simon was born in West Yorkshire.

He has published ten collections of poetry, three bestselling non-fiction titles and two novels. He is a broadcaster and presenter and writes extensively for television and radio.

He received an Ivor Novello Award for his song-lyrics in the BAFTA winning film Feltham Sings.

His most recent theatre work includes The Last Days of Troy for Manchester Royal Exchange and Shakespeare’s Globe and The Odyssey: Missing Presumed Dead(Liverpool Everyman & Playhouse), for English Touring Theatre and Liverpool Everyman.

He is Professor of Poetry at the University of Sheffield and in 2015 was elected Professor of Poetry at University of Oxford. In 2010 he received the CBE for services to poetry. He was made Poet Laureate in 2019.