Live Event: Professor of Poetry Lecture

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TORCH is delighted to support the English Faculty to host the Professor of Poetry Lecture 



Thursday 25th June 2020, 5.00pm-6.00pm​

Watch Event here.



Event Summary

Interview with Water - Tears were apparently given to humans as compensation for the Fall - from Homer to contemporary drawings. In this lecture, Alice Oswald will look at the strange connection between water and grief.


Alice Oswald

Alice Oswald is the current Professor of Poetry at the Faculty of English, after being elected in June 2019. She gave her Inaugural Lecture on Wednesday 13th November 2019 in the Examinations Schools. Listen to Alice Oswald's Inaugural Lecture here.

Alice Oswald is a multi-award-winning poet whose accolades include the T. S. Eliot Prize in 2012 and the 2017 Griffin Poetry Prize, which she won for her seventh collection of poems, Falling Awake. She has succeeded Simon Armitage – the UK’s new Poet Laureate.

Professor Ros Ballaster, Chair of the English Faculty Board at Oxford, said: ‘Poetry plays an important role in our universities and society. It is a place for reflection in language and about language.

‘The election of Alice Oswald sees the tenure of our first female Professor of Poetry. To adopt the words in her own poetry, it is the fulfilment of long balancing “the weight of hope against the light of patience”. Hers is a remarkable, resonant talent and we count ourselves privileged to host her for four years.


A new Oxford Professor of Poetry is elected every four years, and their responsibilities include giving a public lecture each term, as well as an oration at the University’s honorary degree ceremony every other year.