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Wole Soyinka tipped to become professor of poetry at Oxford

TOP JOB?: Wole Soyinka

NOBEL LAUREATE Wole Soyinka has received considerable support for his nomination as Oxford University’s next professor of poetry.

The highly coveted position is currently held by Geoffrey Hill and is regarded as the second most prestigious poetry position in the UK.

Candidates need to be nominated by at least 50 Oxford graduates and Nigerian academic Soyinka is leading the competition with more than 90 nominations.

Soyinka, who writes drama, novels and poetry, was imprisoned and sent to solitary confinement in Nigeria for three years during the civil war.

The 80-year-old was awarded the Nobel Prize for Literature in 1986 and was the first African to receive the honour.

Amongst his supporters for the role include votes from writers Melvyn Bragg and Robert Macfarlane. Soyinka is yet to release an official statement of intent.

The winner will be announced on June 19 with the professor expected to deliver one public lecture per term, facilitating the “art of poetry in the university” with a salary of £12,000 a year.

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