Oxford

Oxford University Professor of Poetry

The Oxford University Professor of Poetry is a unique position in that the PoP is elected by members of the Convocation (that is, all holders of degrees from Oxford University).

In February 2019 the nomination process will start. To get on the ballot candidates have to get 50 endorsements from Oxford degree-holders. The ballot closes in May and after that the election amongst the candidates takes place.

Please look around my site and see if you like my poetry. Read further below for my manifesto. If you would be prepared to endorse my candidature please then send me an email:

john at jleonard dot net

I will then remind you to endorse me, sending you the link, when the time comes.


I am a former member of Magdalen College, where I read English from 1984-87, (1st Class Honours, proceeded MA in 1991). From 1991-95 I undertook postgraduate research at the University of Queensland and was awarded a PhD for a thesis entitled ‘Lyric and Modernity’ dealing with the shift in critical emphasis between the C18 and C19 concerning the appreciation of poetry.

Since then, I have continued my cultural critical activities and have had five volumes of poetry, as well as several other works, published. In 2016 I self-published my Collected Poems 1986–2016.

My life-long interest in my poetic and other activities has been stressing the vital connection between humanity and the biota of the world, and exploring the grounds on which people can contest the ongoing destruction of the life of the world.

The strengths which I can bring to the role of Professor of Poetry are:

*I would invite a prominent Aboriginal Australian to give one of my addresses on a topic of their choosing connected with poetry and colonisation.

If elected I would contribute to the poetic life of Oxford University through addresses, readings, poetry workshops, panels and similar events.

I would anticipate giving addresses dealing with:

As examples I would be using English and Scots poetry, Australian and American poetry, and poetry from non-English traditions such as Chinese, and Indigenous poetry. I would discuss the work of women poets such as Emily Dickinson, Gabriela Mistral, Christina Rossetti, Judith Wright, Juana de Asbaje, Xue Tao, Chiyojo and Gertrude Kolmar.


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© John Leonard 2018