A.E. Stallings, a woman with short blonde hair, stands in front of a greek ampitheatre

LMH Alumna A.E. Stallings (1991, MSt Literae Humaniores) was announced as the next Oxford Professor of Poetry in a ceremony at Convocation Hall on Friday 16th June.

Regarded as one of the most prestigious posts in the field of poetry, the Professorship of Poetry is held for four years. Former post-holders include outgoing Professor of Poetry Alice Oswald, former Poet Laureate Cecil Day-Lewis and current Poet Laureate Simon Armitage.

A.E. Stallings was shortlisted for the post alongside three fellow poets, and was elected through a vote open to members of Convocation, a group that includes Oxford graduates who have had their degree formally conferred, and members of staff who make up the University’s Congregation.

A multi-award winning poet, A.E. Stallings’s accolades include a MacArthur Foundation Fellowship, a Guggenheim Fellowship, the Poets’ Prize, and the Willis Barnstone Translation Prize. Her books include Archaic Smile (1999), Hapax (2006), Olives (2012), Like (2018), and This Afterlife (2022).

LMH’s J.R.R. Tolkien Professor and Chair of the English Faculty Professor Marion Turner, who announced the appointment, said of the news: "A.E. Stallings is a poet of exceptional brilliance and range. Her interests and experience range from a translation of Lucretius, to her latest poetry collection, This Afterlife, to workshops with refugees. We are exceptionally fortunate to be hosting her in Oxford for the next four years. I know she will excite and inspire a generation of students."

Reflecting on the news of her appointment, A.E. Stallings said: “I'm thrilled beyond measure. I remember watching Seamus Heaney's lectures when I was studying at LMH in the previous millennium. I think that young person would be startled to learn she would someday take on the same job. I am keenly aware that I will be the first Professor of Poetry not from the UK or Ireland (Auden was a naturalized US citizen, but I think that is a different animal.) As a North American, I hope to bring a different perspective to the role. As a longtime resident of Greece and a translator, I have a keen interest in European literature and its relationship to the Anglophone canon. As a Classicist, I am fascinated with Classical reception in modern literature. I am excited to draft lectures, meet with students, and engage in University life.”


Photo credit: Kostas Mantziaris