Geoffrey Hill, Professor of Poetry
Geoffrey Hill, Professor of Poetry
Image taken at 2010's Encaenia. Credit: Rob Judges

The search for the next Professor of Poetry

The search for the next Professor of Poetry at Oxford University will begin in May, it has been announced.

The Professor of Poetry is appointed every four years and the responsibilities of the post include giving a public lecture each term and the Creweian Oration at the University’s honorary degree ceremony every other year.

The election will be held from 22 May to 17 June and voting will be open to members of Convocation, a body which includes all former student members of the University who have been admitted to a degree and all members of Congregation (the 'dons' parliament' of the University).

Anyone can enter the election but a candidate must be nominated by fifty members of Convocation by 6 May 2015. The result of the election will be announced on 19 June 2015 at a meeting of Convocation.

The successful candidate will succeed Professor Sir Geoffrey Hill, who was elected in 2010. Professor Hill’s remaining public lectures will be given on 10 March and 5 May.

Professor Seamus Perry, Chair of the Board of the Faculty of English, said: 'Oxford's Professorship of Poetry is one of the most famous and illustrious positions in the world of letters, and the Chair has been occupied by some of our greatest writers, both poets and critics. It has been an honour and a delight to have Geoffrey Hill in the post, and he will be a hard act to follow. So we look forward very much to Convocation's choice of an eminent successor.'

Previous holders of the post include the poet and religious leader John Keble and the Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold. Subsequent professors have included W.H. Auden, Robert Graves, Seamus Heaney, Paul Muldoon, and Christopher Ricks. Arnold was the first incumbent to deliver his lectures in English rather than Latin. He was elected twice to the post, something which can no longer happen: Professors now serve for one term of office only.