RECORDINGS of poets reading their own works - including Huddersfield's Simon Armitage - are being compiled for an archive launched today by the Poet Laureate.
Andrew Motion aims to ensure all significant poets in the English-speaking world are recorded for posterity on a new website.
Visitors to the www.poetry archive.co.uk can now hear Simon read his poems The Shout, The Twang and You're Beautiful.
The 42-year-old from Marsden, one of the biggest names in UK poetry, appears alongside new recordings from Seamus Heaney, Harold Pinter and Margaret Atwood.
Historic recordings of Alfred Tennyson, Rudyard Kipling and John Betjeman have also been sourced.
Andrew Motion said hearing writers read their own work provided key insights into the thoughts behind them.
He explained: "The readings are at once instant in their appeal, and lingering in their impact."
Thomas Hardy, DH Lawrence and AE Housman are famous examples of writers who were never recorded reading their own work. But the project, which began in 2000, is hoping this will never happen again.
Cornish poet Charles Causley was recorded in 2002, a year before his death, and New Zealander Allen Curnow read some of his work just before he died.
It is hoped schools will use the site to help children understand and appreciate the art of spoken poetry.