Derek Walcott by Clive James.

Over the last couple of weeks, the poetry-loving public has been exposed to the a rather ugly campaign in which the favourite for the post of Oxford Professor of Poetry, the West Indian poet, Derek Walcott, was forced to drop out of the race because of a vicious whispering campaign against him. Supporters of Walcott’s female opponent, and the person eventually elected to the post, Ruth Padel, are accused of anonymously spreading rumours about a twenty-year-old allegation of sexual harassment. The whispering campaign culminated in the circulation of a dossier accusing Walcott of being a sex pest.

 Click here to listen to Clive James – in a podcast for The Guardian – talk of his admiration of Walcott’s work, and read a poem he wrote in tribute.

Stuff no longer posted to the Pete Atkin Web Forum.

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