Interior of the Sheldonian Theatre
Interior of the Sheldonian Theatre
Credit: David Williams Photography

Election of the Professor of Poetry

The Oxford Professorship of Poetry is regarded as one of the most prestigious and prominent posts in the field of poetry. The Professorship of Poetry is held for four years. The term of office for the next Professor of Poetry is from 9 October 2023. Elections took place in Trinity Term 2023 and a meeting of Convocation was held in Convocation Hall at 3.45pm on Friday 16 June 2023 to announce that A. E. Stallings will be the next Professor of Poetry.

A. E. StallingsA. E. Stallings
A.E. Stallings is a multi-award winning poet whose accolades include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. Her books include Archaic Smile (1999), Hapax (2006), Olives (2012), Like (2018), and This Afterlife (2022). She will succeed Alice Oswald. 

Professor Marion Turner, Chair of the English Faculty Board at Oxford, said, ‘Poetry is the heart of the English Faculty and other Humanities Faculties in Oxford. Poetry engages and excites children before prose does. Poetry crosses cultures and time: in the pandemic many people realised anew its power and importance. I am delighted to welcome A.E. Stallings as Oxford’s 47th Professor of Poetry, confident that she will bring something new and thrilling to the role, as her predecessors have done. 

A.E. Stallings is a poet of unusual range and flexibility. A translator, a Classicist, a poet who is particularly focused on technique and form, she runs regular workshops with refugees, teaches extensively, and writes on poetry by American, English, Canadian, Greek, Irish, and Afro-Caribbean poets. We are extremely lucky to be able to host her for the next four years, and I know that her talent will be generative for a generation of our students and other members of the Oxford community.’

A new Oxford Professor of Poetry is elected every four years, and their responsibilities include giving a public lecture each term, as well as an oration at the University’s honorary degree ceremony every other year.

Voting was open to members of Convocation, a group that includes Oxford graduates who have had their degree formally conferred, and members of staff who make up the University’s ‘parliament’, known as Congregation.