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Thursday 6 December saw the tenth annual Rylands Poetry Reading. This prestigious programme of readings was inaugurated by the Board of the Library’s Modern Literary Archives Programme, and is run in conjunction with the University’s Centre for New Writing. To mark this significant anniversary, we welcomed Sir Geoffrey Hill, Oxford Professor of Poetry, who is widely regarded as one of the greatest poets writing in English today.

Sir Geoffrey provided the audience with a combined reading and masterclass on poetic form, which was both entertaining and throught-provoking. He read and reflected on verses by some of his own favourite poets – including Gerard Manley Hopkins and D.H. Lawrence – as well as presenting his own work. The audience was treated to poems from some of his four forthcoming books, which will appear together in the eagerly-anticipated Collected Poems 1952-2012 (due to be published by Oxford University Press in 2013).

It was the best-attended reading we have held to date, and the eagle-eyed would have spotted numerous other poets in attendance.

Fran Baker

Sir Geoffrey Hill entertains poet Grevel Lindop and Michael Schmidt (director of Carcanet Press, editor, poet and polymath). Photograph courtesy of Fergus Wilde.

Sir Geoffrey Hill entertains poet Grevel Lindop and Michael Schmidt (director of Carcanet Press, editor, poet and polymath). Photograph courtesy of Fergus Wilde.

Chris McCully, Chair of the Rylands Modern Literary Archives Programme Board, talks to fellow poet Simon Armitage. Photograph courtesy of Fergus Wilde.

Chris McCully, Chair of the Rylands Modern Literary Archives Programme Board, talks to fellow poet Simon Armitage. Photograph courtesy of Fergus Wilde.