Poetry is not a museum

The newly-elected professor of poetry at Oxford University will use rap and hip hop to explore the definition of modern poetry so the literary form is not thought of „as a museum“.

Simon Armitage, who won the prestigious position last month, has said he also wants to use his new role to expand what people understand to be poetry and challenge “ideas of ownership”. (…)

He said: “I do want to broaden the things that we investigate. We are a hypochondriac lot, we are always thinking that our form is in peril on or the point of expiring and yet you look … at what’s happening in the world of rap – which I am not saying this is necessarily poetry per se – but it is certainly dealing in poetry technique.These are the forthcoming generations and for me that’s about connecting with the present and not thinking of poetry as a museum.

“We might need to consider what constitutes poetry, and rap might be one of the answers. If it comes up I’ll probably talk about Kate Tempest – though she might be hip hop.”

The 52-year old Huddersfield poet won the spot at Oxford with some controversy. Mr Armitage beat his closes rival – the Nobel Prize for literature, Wole Soyinka – after amassing the highest number of nominations. / Javier Espinoza, The Daily Telegraph

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