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Head of English appointment

Professor Neil Corcoran, Head of the School of English at the University of St Andrews, has been invited to sit on the committee for the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry.

The committee is chaired by the Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion, and its other members are poet and literary editor, Alan Ross, poet and ex-Oxford Professor of Poetry, James Fenton, novelist and scholar, Marina Warner, and critic and biographer, Claire Tomalin. The committee meets in Buckingham Palace twice a year in order to advise the Queen on awarding the Medal to an outstanding contemporary poet. The most recent recipient was the Australian poet Les Murray.

The invitation to Professor Corcoran emphasises the extent to which the School of English in St Andrews is a major centre of contemporary poetry. This year Professor Robert Crawford is one of the judges of Britain’s National Poetry Competition (the winners will be announced in March), while Ms Kathleen Jamie, recently appointed Lecturer in English, is one of the two selectors for the UK Poetry Book Society. In addition to Robert Crawford and Kathleen Jamie, the School has on its staff the poets Douglas Dunn, Michael Alexander and John Burnside, has recently introduced undergraduate courses in creative writing, including poetry, and will initiate an M.Litt. in Modern Poetries from next September.

Robert Crawford’s most recent volume, Spirit Machines, was awarded a Scottish Arts Council prize last year, and Kathleen Jamie’s Jizzen was recently shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize. Neil Corcoran’s critical book Poets of Modern Ireland was published last year, and Douglas Dunn’s long poem The Donkey’s Ears will shortly be published by Faber and Faber.

ENDS

Issued by Beattie Media on behalf of the University of St Andrews For more information please contact Claire Grainger on 01334 462530, 07887 650072 or email cg24@st-andrews.ac.uk Ref: poetry/standrews/chg/21feb2000/ PR1895

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