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Andrew Motion is a poet, biographer, and sometime novelist. He has won the Arvon/Observer, John Llewelyn and Dylan Thomas Prizes for his poetry, and from 1999-2009 served as the UK's Poet Laureate. His work is often lauded for its clarity of style, and he himself states that he avoids 'ornate language' and 'obvious tricks'. He cites Wordsworth, Edward Thomas and Philip Larkin as important influences. He also acts as Professor of Creative Writing at Royal Holloway University, Chairman of the Literature Panel at Arts Council England, and in 2012 was appointed as President for Campaign to Protect Rural England. He was knighted in 2009 for his services to literature.