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Oxford’s poetry revolution

By Tom Nuttall  

At a time when poetry has seemingly been banished to the outer fringes of our culture, it’s astonishing to read that only 40 years ago, the election campaign for a new professor of poetry at Oxford could draw in national and international newspaper correspondents, television crews and the attention of such literary luminaries as Kingsley Amis, Bernard Levin and Arthur Miller. In the new issue of Prospect, Bernard Wasserstein tells the tale of how his insurgent campaign to get the Soviet poet Yevgeny Yevtushenko elected to the chair in 1968 almost succeeded—and managed to suck in all the various cultural…

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