Alicia Stallings is new Oxford Professor of Poetry
American poet Alicia (AE) Stallings, who has lived for 20 years in Greece, has been named the new Oxford Professor of Poetry. She beat fellow contenders Don Paterson, Christian Bök, and Mark Ford.
Every four years, Oxford University graduates and other members of Convocation choose a professor of poetry. The main job of the Oxford Professor of Poetry is to deliver a lecture a term about poetry, and otherwise to promote poetry. Stallings follows in the recent footsteps of Alice Oswald and Simon Armitage.
In her candidate’s statement she said: “ Since 2016 I have run a weekly workshop in Athens with refugee women from Afghanistan, Iraq, Syria, Iran, Ukraine, and Congo (DRC) at the Melissa Network for Migrant Women. Our emphasis isn’t only on war and the harrowing journey, but on the future, their authorship of their own stories. I would hope to collaborate productively with the University’s Refugee Studies Centre.
“As an American writer who has lived over 20 years in Greece, I bring a broad perspective on and knowledge of poetry that crosses borders and languages. As Oxford Professor of Poetry I would speak not only on anglophone poets, living and dead, but on translation, Classical poetry, and modern Greek poetry. Among the poets I have translated from are Lucretius, Virgil, Catullus, Horace, Hesiod, Dante, and Seferis.”