With a week to go before nominations for Oxford's new professor of poetry close, the competition has heated up after a new candidate threw his name into the ring alongside Derek Walcott and Ruth Padel.
The most high-profile position in British poetry behind the laureateship, the 300-year-old post has been held by the likes of WH Auden, Paul Muldoon, Matthew Arnold and Seamus Heaney. With graduates getting ready to vote for their choice on 16 May, so far Nobel laureate Walcott appears to be edging ahead, with nominations from 121 Oxford graduates to Padel's 96.
But a surprise new entry from Indian poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra could upset the campaigns of the two current candidates. Mehrotra, a poet and literary critic who is currently professor of English at the University of Allahabad, has held visiting writer posts at universities around the world. The journal Fulcrum said his poems were "coded messages from the unconscious, but [that] there is an exceedingly conscious hand that crafts them".
The author of four collections to date, he is supported by writers including Tariq Ali, Amit Chaudhuri and Toby Litt, and was described by one of his nominators, Oxford English lecturer Peter D McDonald, as "one of the finest poets working in any language", and "a poet-critic of an exceptionally high order".
Friday, April 24, 2009
At least that's what the Guardian calls poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra.
Posted by Space Bar at 10:18 AM