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Contact: john at jleonard dot net

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).

You can nominate me for the ballot (and later vote for me in the election) here.

Please look around my site and see if you like my poetry. Read further below for my manifesto. Please consider endorsing my candidature and then voting for me in the ballot. Thank you.


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 traditions such as Chinese, and Indigenous poetries. 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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