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Roehampton Poetry Centre

The University of Roehampton proudly announces the launch of the Roehampton Poetry Centre. 

Posted: 5 November 2013

image for news story Roehampton Poetry Centre
Professor Fiona Sampson, Director of the Roehampton Poetry Centre© Mark Bassett

The Roehampton Poetry Centre will be at the forefront of the UK poetry scene, offering research opportunities and master classes with significant figures in the poetry world. It will publish the internationally renowned POEM magazine as well as running two major poetry prizes:

  • The Roehampton Prize is set to rival the Forward, T.S. Eliot and Costa Poetry prizes. It will be awarded to the best Poetry book of the year written by a poet living and working in the UK and judged by poets led by the Roehampton Poetry Centre.
  • The Ruskin Prize will be an open competition, awarded to the best single poem.

The Roehampton Reading Series will open with a reading by Sean O’Brien and Robin Robertson at the Chancellor’s Hall, Senate House, London WC1 on 11th February 2014.

The Roehampton Poetry Centre has been created by Fiona Sampson, who joined the University’s Department of English and Creative Writing as Professor of Poetry In August 2013. Fiona has published more than twenty books of poetry, criticism and philosophy of language in over thirty languages. She has received numerous awards including the Newdigate Prize, a Cholmondeley Award and Writer’s Awards from the Arts Councils of England and of Wales. She has also been shortlisted for twice for both the T.S. Eliot and Forward Prizes. From 2005-2012, Fiona was the first woman to edit the Poetry Review since Muriel Spark’s tenure in 1947-9. She is the current Editor of POEM.

David Harsent, who joined the University as Professor of Creative Writing in September, will be the Centre’s Chair.

Announcing the launch of the Roehampton Poetry Centre, Dr Laura Peters, Head of the Department of English and Creative at the University of Roehampton said: “We are delighted to have welcomed Fiona Sampson into the department and we are all excited by the prospect of the Roehampton Poetry Centre. We will be offering students unrivalled access to what we hope will become the centre of the poetry community in the UK. It’s an exceptional opportunity.”

Professor Fiona Sampson added: “We’ve an exciting programme of events planned for the Roehampton Poetry Centre. I am thrilled to be able to see this centre taking shape giving poetry more chances to flourish and shine in the UK.”

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