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Geoffrey Hill triumphs as Professor of Poetry
18 Jun 10
After a highly public election campaign featuring a wide range of candidates, Geoffrey Hill has been elected Professor of Poetry at Oxford with 1,156 votes. He will be the 44th Professor of Poetry since the role was created in 1708.
Interest in Oxford’s Professor of Poetry election reached a peak this year following the introduction of new voting procedures. More than 2,500 votes were cast in person and online between 21 May and 16 June to elect a successor to Christopher Ricks.
The full vote breakdown was as follows:
Geoffrey Hill 1,156 votes
Michael Horovitz 353 votes
Sean Haldane 214 votes
Chris Mann 183 votes
Roger Lewis 167 votes
Steve Larkin 138 votes
Robert P Lacey 101 votes
Stephen Moss 81 votes
Michael George Gibson 34 votes
Vaughan Pilikian 28 votes
Dr Seamus Perry, Deputy Chair of the English Faculty Board, which hosts the chair, said: ‘We are glad that so many people wanted to vote under the new arrangements for the election of the Professor of Poetry; and are simply delighted that a poet of Geoffrey Hill's eminence has emerged victorious. Besides being a great poet, he is also a critic and lecturer of great distinction and we look forward to his lectures over the next few years as the 44th Professor of Poetry.’
Geoffrey Hill will bring his distinctive poetic voice to the role of Professor of Poetry. Widely considered one of the finest poets currently writing in the English language, he has won numerous awards for his work including the Hawthornden Prize and the Whitbread Award, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature and the American Academy of Arts and Sciences.
Professor Hill's work, both poetry and prose, is studied in English departments across the world, and his powerful and intricate poetic voice has won him both critical praise and a wide audience. A graduate of Oxford, Hill read English at Keble College and his prolific and much honoured career as a poet has been accompanied by a series of academic posts at Bristol, Leeds, Cambridge and Boston University. While at Boston he was, with outgoing Professor of Poetry Christopher Ricks, a founding co-director of the university’s Editorial Institute.