Ruth Padel: Who is Olivia Cole?

Olivia Cole amongst the Facebook poets, standing, red dress.

Olivia Cole amongst the 'Facebook poets', standing, red dress.

Padel’s claims she did nothing to ‘smear’ Walcott are looking even shakier – Olivia Cole, the journalist to whom she chose to raise ‘student concerns’ is in fact a gossip diarist for the Evening Standard.

Interestingly, however, she is an Oxford graduate, and an award-winning fellow-poet, listed in April 2009 as one of the Times’s ten rising stars of poetry (were they photographed in the Oxford Union?). Olivia Cole, 28, read English (Padel read English and Classics at LMH) at Christ Church, got a first in Mods (and, one assumes in Finals), and won the Gibbs Prize for a thesis on Sylvia Plath. Cole quotes Plath on page 4 of her 13 May 2009 article for the Spectator, which covered Walcott’s ‘dignified halt’ to the campaign. No mention there of the email which she had received from Padel on 9 April.

Much of her poetry is online, including “Julia“, “A to Z“, and “Gossip Column“. See what you think.

6 thoughts on “Ruth Padel: Who is Olivia Cole?

  1. Pingback: book of acts » Ruth Padel

  2. Gil

    Every time I see a much-lauded young British poet I google them to find some of their work. Know what I find? Nothing. The one thing they have in common is almost zero web presence and/or work published in literary journals and e-zines. Seems they go straight from starting to write under a famous mentor to having a book come out. Oh, and this one is privileged and good-looking too.
    She must be a genius then.



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