Page last updated at 22:34 GMT, Monday, 25 January 2010

Oxford to appoint city's first poet laureate

Councillors in Oxford have approved proposals to appoint the city's first poet laureate.

The honorary role would see the successful candidate promote the city's culture, as well as literary events.

A "clear majority" voted in favour of the voluntary position on Monday night. The city will now follow in the footsteps of Cambridge and Birmingham.

Councillor David Williams, who proposed the idea, said the move would encourage new talent.

The Queen chooses the national poet laureate on the advice of the government.

Author Carol Ann Duffy was named national poet laureate, the first woman to be appointed in the 341-year history of the post, in 2009.

She replaced Andrew Motion and will serve 10 years in the position.

The Scottish author said she would give her £5,750 annual payment away to the Poetry Society to fund a prize for the best collection of the year.

Her job also came with a payment of a "butt of sack" or, in modern terms, about 600 bottles of sherry.

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