Wednesday, May 27, 2009

Padel, Poetry & Clive James

From the Guardian:
The broadcaster and writer Clive James today said he would like to be Oxford professor of poetry amid the furore surrounding Ruth Padel's appointment to the post.

In an interview with the Guardian, James said the position, which dates back to 1708, and whose past occupants include WH Auden and Seamus Heaney, was his "dream job".

Padel, elected to the post nine days ago, is resisting calls to quit after it emerged that she tipped off newspapers about claims of sexual impropriety against her main rival, Derek Walcott, the Nobel laureate. Walcott, highly respected for his work on post-colonial Caribbean life, withdrew from the campaign days before the election after allegations resurfaced that he had propositioned students in the 1980s and 1990s.

In recent days, James has urged Padel to step down from what is regarded as the most important academic position in poetry. Asked if he would want the job, he said: "You know – and this is strictly between you and me and millions of readers – it's the only job I want."
Padel is the great-great-granddaughter of the naturalist Charles Darwin.

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