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Oxford University Professor of Poetry nominations open

19th February 2010

Nominations for the next Oxford University Professor of Poetry have been opened, with votes being accepted online for the first time.

Members of the university's convocation, which is all its graduates and current academics, have until May 5th to nominate the experts and poets they think should hold the prestigious post.

Sir Christopher Ricks was the most recent Oxford University Professor of Poetry, while the first was Joseph Trapp, who sat from 1831 to 1842. Other notable poets awarded the honour include John Keble, Matthew Arnold, Robert Graves, W.H. Auden and Seamus Heaney.

Dr Seamus Perry, deputy chair of the English Faculty Board, commented: 'Over the last three centuries the professorship has been held by some of the most eminent poets and scholars in the English-speaking world and we look forward to an appointment that will continue this unique and illustrious line.'

Last year, poet Ruth Padel was elected as the Oxford University Professor of Poetry, but declined to take up the post.

Victorian poet and critic Matthew Arnold is the only person to hold the position twice, sitting in 1857 and 1862, and is widely credited with shaping the professorship into its modern role.

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