October 23, 2020
Home  »  Blog  »   »   »  'Purveyors Of Poetry, Not Of Chastity'

'Purveyors Of Poetry, Not Of Chastity'

The Guardian reports that Derek Walcott has withdrawn his candidacy for Oxford poetry professor after sexual harassment claims revived by anonymous letter campaign:

The campaign saw up to 100 Oxford academics sent photocopied pages from a book detailing a sexual harassment claim made against Walcott by a Harvard student in 1982. The student alleged that Walcott asked her to, "Imagine me making love to you. What would I do? ... Would you make love with me if I asked you?", and claimed that after she turned him down, she was given a C grade in his class. Walcott was one of three candidates in the running for the position – the most influential in poetry in the UK behind that of the laureateship – alongside Ruth Padel and the Indian poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. [More here]

NYT also has more details:

But Mr. Walcott told The Standard: “What happened 20 years ago I have never commented upon and have never given my side of what happened. That will continue to be the case.”

The author Hermione Lee, president of Wolfson College at Oxford and a leader of Mr. Walcott’s campaign, said in a statement that the letters “had the look of an orchestrated anonymous campaign.” She added that while she had “great respect” for Ms. Padel, “if it did not emanate from her, she should publicly disassociate herself from it.”

In an earlier interview with The Sunday Times of London, Ms. Lee defended Mr. Walcott, saying: “Should great poets who behave badly be locked away from social interaction? We are acting as purveyors of poetry, not of chastity.”  [Full story is here]

'Purveyors Of Poetry, Not Of Chastity'
outlookindia.com
1970-01-01T05:30:00+0530

The Guardian reports that Derek Walcott has withdrawn his candidacy for Oxford poetry professor after sexual harassment claims revived by anonymous letter campaign:

The campaign saw up to 100 Oxford academics sent photocopied pages from a book detailing a sexual harassment claim made against Walcott by a Harvard student in 1982. The student alleged that Walcott asked her to, "Imagine me making love to you. What would I do? ... Would you make love with me if I asked you?", and claimed that after she turned him down, she was given a C grade in his class. Walcott was one of three candidates in the running for the position – the most influential in poetry in the UK behind that of the laureateship – alongside Ruth Padel and the Indian poet Arvind Krishna Mehrotra. [More here]

NYT also has more details:

But Mr. Walcott told The Standard: “What happened 20 years ago I have never commented upon and have never given my side of what happened. That will continue to be the case.”

The author Hermione Lee, president of Wolfson College at Oxford and a leader of Mr. Walcott’s campaign, said in a statement that the letters “had the look of an orchestrated anonymous campaign.” She added that while she had “great respect” for Ms. Padel, “if it did not emanate from her, she should publicly disassociate herself from it.”

In an earlier interview with The Sunday Times of London, Ms. Lee defended Mr. Walcott, saying: “Should great poets who behave badly be locked away from social interaction? We are acting as purveyors of poetry, not of chastity.”  [Full story is here]

 

Next Story >>
Google + Linkedin Whatsapp

The Latest Issue

Outlook Videos