Alice Oswald is the current Professor of Poetry at the Faculty of English. She took up her post in September 2019. 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.