Oxford Professor of Poetry launches new lecture series

Published: 4 May 2007

Professor Christopher Ricks gave the first annual Poetry Lecture at Glasgow University on 9 May 2007

Internationally celebrated Professor of Poetry at Oxford University and Professor of the Humanities at Boston University, Christopher Ricks, visited the University of Glasgow on 9 May 2007 to give the first annual Poetry Lecture.

Professor Ricks is a major critic of modern poetry: he has passionately advocated, on the one hand, the poetic achievement of Geoffrey Hill, and, very much on the other, that of Bob Dylan.

He is best known for his work as editor and critic of nineteenth-century poetry, but he is at home in all periods, from Middle English to the present. He has also held professorships at the University of Bristol and the University of Cambridge.

The lecture focused on T.S. Eliot and Othello. Professor Ricks says: 'Fifty years ago, everyone knew that T.S. Eliot's pregnant pages on the last great speech of Othello were unignorable. Wrong-headed perhaps, or with the head screwed on the wrong way, but needing to be reckoned with. These days, Eliot on Othello usually finds itself either neglected or slighted. I hope to have given the grounds for believing that Eliot's words are great criticism, not only of the particular haunting case but as establishing some truths about great criticism.'

Glasgow University Professor of Poetry Michael Schmidt says: 'It's a great treat to have Christopher Ricks inaugurate our new programme. This lecture series, to which we hope many major poets and critics of the day will contribute, is dedicated to exploring the ways in which we write and read poetry in the twenty-first century, to recognising pleasures and resources sometimes overlooked by specialism, and to stimulate interest in the poetries of all periods and traditions.'

As Professor of Poetry at Oxford University, Christopher Ricks follows in the distinguished footsteps of W.H. Auden, Robert Graves, Seamus Heaney, James Fenton and Paul Muldoon.

Kate Richardson (K.Richardson@admin.gla.ac.uk)

For further information please contact Kate Richarsdon at the University of Glasgow's Media Relations Office on 0141 330 3683 or email K.Richardson@admin.gla.ac.uk

The University of Glasgow is one of the United Kingdom?s oldest and most prestigious universities, with an international reputation for its research and teaching and an important role in the cultural and commercial life of the country.

First published: 4 May 2007

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