Royal seal of approval for Lancaster professor


18 May 2018 10:10
Professor Paul Muldoon receives the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry from Her Majesty the Queen
Professor Paul Muldoon receives the Queen's Gold Medal for poetry from Her Majesty the Queen

Paul Muldoon, Lancaster University's Distinguished Visiting Professor of Poetry, has received The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry for 2017.

The Poetry Medal Committee recommended Professor Muldoon as this year's recipient on the basis of the body of his work.

Summing up the committee’s choice Dame Carol Ann Duffy, Britain’s Poet Laureate and award committee member, praised Professor Muldoon for his ability to experiment with form and stand tradition on its head, craft a tender elegy or intimate love poem with equal skill.

She added: “Paul Muldoon is widely acclaimed as the most original and influential poet of the past 50 years and is rightly celebrated alongside Seamus Heaney.

“His poetry displays a restless playful brilliance, forever searching for new ways to channel his ideas and new language to dress them in. He is ambitious, erudite, witty and musical.

Dame Carol said Professor Muldoon’s work was of major significance internationally which had raised the bar in poetry to new heights.

Born in County Armagh in 1951 Professor Muldoon studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, before publishing his first collection of poetry in 1973, and working as a BBC producer in Northern Ireland. In 1981 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He has lived chiefly in the United States for the last thirty years, teaching at Princeton University since 1987 and was poetry editor at The New Yorker from 2007 to 2017.

He has produced more than thirty collections of poetry and won both the Pulitzer Prize for Poetry and the T. S. Eliot Prize.

Professor Muldoon’s work at Lancaster University takes the form of a mix of undergraduate lectures, MA workshops, tutorials with PhD students, and public readings.

The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield.

The Medal is awarded for excellence in poetry on the basis either of a body of work over several years or for an outstanding poetry collection issued during the year of the award.

Previous recipients of The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry include W.H. Auden, Siegfried Sassoon, John Betjeman and Philip Larkin.

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