Archive for the ‘dlr Poetry Now past festivals’ Category

Anne Stevenson in the Running for Oxford Post

February 20, 2010

You’ll recall, no doubt, the controversy over Ruth Padel’s appointment to, and resignation from, the Oxford Professor of Poetry post last year. Nominations have now opened once again for the post, and one of our headline readers at this year’s festival, Anne Stevenson, is among the names being suggested. The Guardian reports, though, that Stevenson considers the process by which a candidate must campaign for the post as one which might “cheapen” it; behaving “like a politician”, evidently, is not something she likes to do. Still, neither is Stevenson saying no to the idea:

… having practised the craft of poetry for more than half a century, I would be pleased to be asked, and I would certainly accept the post, grateful for an opportunity to illustrate and affirm the literary values to which I have given my creative life. I don’t, though, cheer myself with great expectations.

Other names in the ring include Geoffrey Hill, Douglas Dunn, Jorie Graham and even current poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, whom you might have caught at last year’s dlr Poetry Now. The position, which is 300 years old, is filled via an election in which Oxford graduates may vote; candidates must be nominated by at least 12 Oxford graduates by May 5. The professorship comes with a stipend of £7,000 and has previously been held by poets including Matthew Arnold, WH Auden, Robert Graves, Paul Muldoon and Seamus Heaney. Before Ruth Padel, the post was last held by the critic Christopher Ricks, who stepped down in 2009. (Incidentally, both Ruth Padel and Christopher Ricks were keynote speakers at dlr Poetry Now in recent years, and of course Paul Muldoon will be our keynote speaker in 2010).

If more than one candidate is nominated for the post this year, the result of the election will be announced in June, in time for the next academic term.

You can hear Anne Stevenson read with Paul Muldoon and the Mexican poet Homero Aridjis at dlr Poetry Now  2010 on Saturday, March 28th at 8.30pm.

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Henri Cole: Selected Poems and Website

February 18, 2010

American poet Henri Cole, whose reading was a real highlight of  dlr Poetry Now ’08, will have a new selection of his poems published by Farrar, Strauss and Giroux in early March. Pierce The Skin: Selected Poems 1982-2007 promises to be a wonderful volume, making available much work from Cole’s earlier books (he has published six full collections so far) that have been out of print for a number of years. Middle Earth, his fifth volume, was one of three Pulitzer finalists in 2004. Perhaps this new selection will be the one to clinch that prize.

Those of you who heard his reading at DLR PN08 may also remember the beautiful introduction to it given by Colm Tóibín. The text of this introduction is now available at Henri Cole’s website. The website holds a number of treasures, in particular some recordings of Henri reading his work and a wonderful photo of himself and Seamus Heaney, taken during his trip to Ireland for the festival in ’08!