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Oxford University names new professor of poetry

21st June 2010

Oxford University has picked its new professor of poetry following a high-profile election campaign that has sparked much debate.

Under new election rules, which previously only allowed Oxford graduates to submit their ballots in person, voters can back their candidate online and as a result, turn-out was high.

Geoffrey Hill scooped the title with 1,156 votes and became the 44th professor of poetry since the post was created.

The number of votes won by Hill was more than double the total cast in the previous election.

In second place, with 353 votes, was Michael Horovitz, while third place went to Sean Haldane, who accrued 214 votes.

Dr Seamus Perry, deputy chair of the Oxford English Faculty Board, said: 'We are glad that so many people wanted to vote under the new arrangements for the election.'

He added: '[We] are simply delighted that a poet of Geoffrey Hill's eminence has emerged victorious.'

Last year, Ruth Padel resigned as professor of poetry after just nine days when it was revealed she had sent emails disparaging a rival ahead of the election.

The author of Darwin and 52 Ways of Looking at a Poem was the first female professor of poetry at Oxford in the post's 200-year history.

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