Simon Armitage to give inaugural Professor of Poetry lecture on 24 November

7 October 2015

Simon Armitage's inaugural lecture as Oxford University’s Professor of Poetry will take place in the Examination Schools in Oxford at 5.30pm on Tuesday 24 November.

Professor Armitage was elected to the prestigious post on 19 June.

The title of his inaugural lecture will be 'The Parable of the Solicitor and the Poet'.

Professor Armitage said: 'The subject of the inaugural lecture, and one that will raise its head throughout the course of my appointment, will be poetry's relationship with the outside world and the role that poets occupy in our society. I'll begin by focusing on a poem written in the mid-seventeenth century and close by analysing a poem published earlier this year.

'The position of Professor of Poetry at Oxford University is a great honour; it offers an elevated platform and a rare opportunity, and I hope to use these public lectures to address as wide an audience as I believe poetry deserves.'

Professor Seamus Perry, Chair of the English Faculty board, said: 'We look forward to welcoming Simon Armitage to Oxford for his first lecture. He is a captivating speaker and we are sure there will be a full house.'

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

Previous holders of the post include John Keble, Matthew Arnold, 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.

Admission is free and seats will be allocated on a first-come, first-served basis on the night.

An audio recording of Prof Armitage’s lecture will be released the following day. For more information contact Matt Pickles on 01865 280532 or