Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Oxford Professor of Poetry 2

So even more problems with the Oxford Professor of Poetry position. Ruth Padel has resigned, a step which seemed inevitable one it was revealed that she alerted journalists to the allegations against one of her rivals, Derek Walcott. Reports on the Guardian website here and here. Either poet would I think have made a fine professor. As well as Ruth Padel's poetry her books on reading poems based on a newspaper column provide great insights to reading and writing poetry.

A field day for conspiracy theorists of course. Poet Jackie Kay is quoted as saying "The old boys have closed in on her. It would not have happened to a man, and I am very sad". What about Walcott - didn't he have to drop out of the race?

The forgotten man in all this is the third candidate for the position, Indian poet, Arvind Krishna Mehrotra (picture right). Usually described as "little-known" in British newspapers this merely means that we know little about him. He is in his 60s, has published numerous books of poetry, has edited literary magazines and held teaching positions. Guardian article on him here. George Szirtes has a nice comment on the whole affair in his posting.

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