Devon, Great Britain


Samuel Fischer Guest Professor

Alice Oswald

She was born in 1966 and studied Classics at New College, Oxford University. For her debut collection of poems she won the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in 1996. In her second volume Dart, in which she combines verse and prose with masterly skill, she tells the story of a river from various different perspectives. It was published in 2002 and was awarded the most important prize for poetry in the UK, the T. S. Eliot Prize. Oswald’s collection Woods etc. (Goeffrey Faber Memorial Prize) was released in 2005 and the volumes A Sleepwalk on the Severn as well as Weeds and Wild Flowers followed in 2009.

Her most recent collection Memorial, published in 2011, is based on Homer’s Ilias. Since her school years Oswald has been fascinated by Homer’s poems – partly because they’re part of an undoubtedly fascinating oral tradition, partly because to Oswald, they do not only contain a mere description of reality but in them she finds reality unfolding itself. In Memorial – her, as she likes to put it, „excavation of the Ilias“ – it is not the heroes and gods she focuses on but the small soldiers who die on the battlefield. For her innovative approach and imagery she was awarded the Warwick Prize for Writing in 2013 as first poet ever to win this prestigious prize. Alice Oswald lives in Devon with her family.