#4011 Alicia Stallings

Every four years, for the past three hundred years, Oxford has elected a new professor of poetry (by vote). This is the most prestigious academic position in this field, and it is a fifty-five-year-old American, Alicia Stallings, who has just won this election, the first person who does not come from the British Isles and the second woman (in three hundred years). She has lived in Greece for about twenty years. She is said in The Telegraph to be, of course, American and also a poet, but probably not an American poet. She herself feels alienated from what is happening on the American scene, in part because poetry lives there mainly in academia and in creative writing programs, while she herself earns her living by writing literary criticism and other texts as a freelance writer.

Another important detail, her poems rhyme, and this is considered by most American poetic magazines as too traditional and ancient, not worth of publishing, the same ones who probably, in the same breath, would swoon in front of Rimbaud or Verlaine.

I didn’t know this poet, and I don’t know if I’m going to like her poetry, but she definitely has the main trait I look for in it: simplicity. As for rhymes, they do not scare me, and I like to have fun with one form or another depending on the inspiration of the moment. A nice mockery of the poetry snobs, bravo Oxford! As for me, I’m off now to familiarise myself with her work.

the article in The Telegraphhttps://www.telegraph.co.uk/books/authors/a-e-stallings-oxford-poetry-professor-rhyme/

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