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Hill Walking

Splendid news.  England's finest living poet, Geoffrey Hill, has been elected the new Professor of Poetry for Oxford.  This practically papal position de facto renders Hill the most-esteemed elder figure of a crowded field, that stretches down its influence, to such "modern classics" as Fenton and Motion.  In short, he is confirmed as what he has been, in all but name, for years in the UK - part of the triumvirate of living greats of English, along with Walcott and Heaney - and, by extension, Ashbery, if one wants to include American poets.  Hill is grander than all these, openly wrestling with religion, politics, and ideas, in a more rhetorically ornate and high manner - the Miltonic tradition.  He is therefore a suitable follower-on from Ricks.  A note on Michael Horovitz: it is a pity he received so few votes (though over 300 is not an embarrassment); he would, if Hill had not been running, a good choice himself - and he ran a spirited and enjoyable campaign that brought proper attention to alternate strands in British poetry.

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THE WINNER OF THE SIXTH FORTNIGHT PRIZE IS...



Wheeler Light for 'Life Jacket'.

The runner-up is: Daniel Duffy - 'President Returns To New York For Brief First Visit'

Wheeler Light currently lives in Boulder, Colorado.



Life Jacket

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are half my size nowI wanted to wear
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I had a letter from Ashbery on my wall, and it inspired me daily.  He gave me advice for my PhD. He said kind things about a poetry book of mine.

He was a force for good serious play in poetry, and his appeal great. So many people I know and admire are at a loss this week because of his death. It is no consolation at present to think of the many thousands of living poets, just right now. But impressively, and even oddly, poetry itself seems to keep flowing.