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 will take place in Trinity Term 2023 and a meeting of Convocation will be held in Convocation Hall at 3.45pm on Friday 16 June 2023 to announce the results.

Nominations and applications

Members of the Professor of Poetry Committee, the University and the wider public may nominate potential applicants who will then be invited to apply for the Professor of Poetry. Nominations may be made between 10 and 24 February 2023. Applications may also be made by candidates who have not received a nomination.

Applicants should have a track record of promoting poetry or the study of poetry, be an energetic advocate for poetry, be able to deliver public lectures to a very high standard, be able to enhance the reputation of the University of Oxford, be distinguished in the writing or critical evaluation of poetry and have an understanding of, and empathy with, the University’s commitment to an inclusive environment. Whilst there is no residence requirement for the Professor of Poetry, there is an expectation of being in Oxford sufficiently often to be able to discharge the duties of the post. Duties associated with the post are in further particulars.

Any queries not satisfied by the published further details may be sent to Enquiries will be treated in the strictest confidence; they will not form part of the selection decision.

Applications open on 10 February 2023 and must be made using University of Oxford’s online recruitment system. The closing date for applications is 12:00 UK time on Friday 17 March 2023.

Election Procedures

A shortlist of applicants will be drawn up by the Professor of Poetry Committee. The successful candidate will be determined of members of Convocation who will be entitled to vote on the shortlist. The election will be conducted electronically by Civica on behalf of the University of Oxford.

Convocation consists of all the former student members of the University who have been admitted to a degree (other than an honorary degree) of the University, and of any other persons who are members of Congregation or who have retired having been members of Congregation on the date of their retirement. Members of Convocation who wish to vote in this election must register their intention to vote between 24 March and noon on 12 May 2023.

Those wishing to verify their current status as members of Convocation may contact their Heads of Administration/College Secretaries. Details submitted by the registration form will be checked to ensure membership of Convocation. Those who intend to vote but have not yet had their degree conferred at a degree ceremony (either in person or in absence), should contact their college to arrange this at their earliest convenience but no later than Friday 21 April. If you have queries about the registration process, please contact during the registration period. 

Voters will be sent instructions on how to vote once their eligibility to vote has been verified. Registered voters will be able to vote on-line from 18 May to noon on 15 June 2023.