This unique event – marking the start of the Centre For New Writing’s Live Literature programme for this university year – brings together two of the finest English-language poets at work in the world today.
Alice Oswald was named recently as Oxford Professor of Poetry – a prestigious role, the nominations and elections for which were not without controversy over the summer. She has taken over from Simon Armitage, who himself has taken over the role of Poet Laureate from Carol Ann Duffy, who described Alice Oswald as “the best UK poet now writing, bar none”. Oswlad’s collections include Dart, which won the 2002 T S Eliot Prize, Woods etc. (Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize), A Sleepwalk on the Severn (Hawthornden Prize), Weeds and Wildflowers (Ted Hughes Award), Memorial (Warwick Prize for Writing) and Falling Awake, which won both the 2016 Costa Poetry Award and the Griffin Prize for Poetry. Nobody, her latest work, is out this autumn, and audiences might expect to hear a little from, and about, that.
Joining her is Paul Muldoon, the author of 13 books of poetry, including Moy Sand and Gravel, for which he received the 2003 Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and, this autumn, Frolic and Detour (Faber), another collection which The Guardian says shows that “Muldoon’s technical and linguistic brilliance is probably second to none; the poems are the textual equivalent of a highwire act, with juggling.”