Ruth Padel, First Woman Chosen As Oxford Professor of Poetry

First a filly wins the Preakness, and now, a 301-year male only streak is broken with the appointment of Ruth Padel as the new Oxford professor of poetry, the first woman to hold the post since it was established in 1708. Ms. Padel, the great-great-granddaughter of Charles Darwin, was chosen on Saturday following a controversial contest for the position.

The controversy surrounding the contest was the withdrawal of another candidate, Derek Walcott, after news surfaced about sexual harassment claims made against him by a Harvard student in 1982. A dossier containing the details had been sent anonymously to 200 Oxford academics. Mr. Walcott’s withdrawal left Ms. Padel and the Indian poet and critic Arvind Mehrotra in consideration.

Story from The New York Times.

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