Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Vote For Alicia

Just a reminder that if you are an Oxford graduate you are able to vote for the new Oxford Professor of Poetry and I think you should vote for Alicia Stallings. The registration period closes on June 8th. There hasn't been much media about the election this time which is a welcome relief from the scandals of yesteryear but what media there has been has mostly been in the Guardian where they have been portraying the election as a two horse race between Wole Soyinka and Simon Armitage who are the two most famous people up for the job.
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My two favourite candidates and the two best poets up for the job haven't been been getting much coverage. Sean Haldane writes rich, prepossessing, gorgeous verse, brilliant crime novels and he knows his poetry onions. My old friend Alicia Stallings has an extraordinary range as a poet writing in contemporary, classical and every other type of mode and her verse is funny, lyrical and beautiful. If I had a proportional representation vote I'd vote Alicia 1 and Sean 2 as its clear to me that they are the best two actual poets in the field. Alicia was my flatmate at Oxford & everyone realised she was brilliant way back then. She has since won numerous awards including a MacArthur Foundation "Genius" fellowship and she's the only American and the only woman up for the job. (Oxford has never had a female poetry professor. Never. You heard me right). You can register to vote for the position here. Here's Alicia last year talking about her craft and reading some of her poems:
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