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A Knight on Campus

Philanthropic support and “great, strange Niagara roar of American poetry" lured former U.K. Poet Laureate Andrew Motion to the Krieger School as Homewood Professor of the Arts
Posted April 21, 2016

Walking into a classroom to learn about poetry from a British knight was probably not something Johns Hopkins Writing Seminars students expected when they applied for the program.

But thanks to a generous recent gift to the Rising campaign, some of those students will find Sir Andrew Motion sitting around their table. The former Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom joined the faculty in 2015 as the Homewood Professor of the Arts.

The anonymous gift supporting Motion's professorship focuses on poetry studies and will strengthen the Krieger School's foundation in and commitment to the humanities through both The Writing Seminars and the Krieger School's Odyssey program.

Motion served as Britain's Poet Laureate from 1999 to 2009, retiring to focus more on his work.

The funded professorship, in addition to the opportunity to teach and expose himself "to the great, strange Niagara roar of American poetry" — as he told Johns Hopkins Magazine's Bret McCabe — proved too great a lure for Motion to resist.