Lancaster graduate in running for prestigious poetry position

Andrew McMillan

A Lancaster University graduate is one of three candidates standing for election as Oxford University seeks to appoint a new Professor of Poetry.

This is a post previously held by figures such as W.H. Auden, Seamus Heaney and Lancaster University’s Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry, Paul Muldoon. 

Andrew McMillan completed his BA in English Literature and Creative Writing at Lancaster in 2010.

He has already won several prizes for his poetry including the Guardian First Book Award. He is currently Senior Lecturer at the Manchester Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Voting opens on Thursday 23 May and closes on Thursday 20 June.

The candidates’ supporting statements will be published online when the ballot opens.

The successful candidate will succeed Simon Armitage, the UK’s next Poet Laureate, who became Oxford’s 45th Professor of Poetry when he was elected in 2015.

A new 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, Encaenia, every other year.

Voting will be open to members of Convocation, a group that includes a quarter of a million Oxford graduates who have had their degree formally conferred, and several thousand members of staff who make up the University’s ‘parliament’, known as Congregation.

The result of the election will be announced on Friday 21 June. All those with a right to vote who intend to do so must register via the election website.

Lancaster University is ranked number one in the UK for Creative Writing in both the Complete University Guide 2020 and the Times and Sunday Times Good University Guide 2019. English Literature also has a high ranking, at number eight in the above league tables.

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