Some information on this website may be out-of-date following the death of Queen Elizabeth.

Announcement of The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2003

Published 23 April 2003


The Queen has been pleased to approve the award of Her Majesty's Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2003 to Miss U. A. Fanthorpe.

U. A. Fanthorpe was born in Kent in 1929. She was educated in Surrey and at Oxford, and was Head of English for sixteen years at Cheltenham Ladies College. She then changed career, becoming a clerk/receptionist in a Bristol neuro-psychiatric hospital. This experience led her into poetry.

Her eight collections of poems are published by Peterloo Poets; her next collection, Queueing for the Sun, is due out in July.

U. A. Fanthorpe was Writer-in-Residence in Lancaster from 1983-85, and subsequently Northern Arts Fellow at Durham and Newcastle. In 1987 she became a freelance writer, giving readings around the country.

She is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature, and was made CBE in 2001, for services to poetry. Last year she was a member of the judging panel for The Queen's Golden Jubilee Poetry Competition. She lives in Gloucestershire.

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

Recommendations for the award of the Medal are made by a committee of eminent men and women of letters, under the chairmanship of the Poet Laureate. The announcement of the award is made today on the birthday of Shakespeare.

The Medal is given for a book of verse published by someone from the United Kingdom or a Commonwealth realm. Originally the award was open only to British people, but in 1985 the scope was extended to include people from the Commonwealth realms.

The obverse of the medal bears the crowned effigy of The Queen. The idea of the reverse, which was designed by the late Edmund Dulac, is: "Truth emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration - Beauty is truth and Truth Beauty".

Miss Fanthorpe will be presented with the Medal by The Queen at Buckingham Palace on 7th May.

For further information about U. A. Fanthorpe contact her on 01453 843105 or Peterloo Poets on 01822 833473.


1934 Laurence Whistler
1936 W H Auden
1940 Michael Thwaites
1952 Andrew Young
1953 Arthur Waley
1954 Ralph Hodgson
1955 Ruth Pitter
1956 Edmund Blunden
1957 Siegfried Sassoon
1959 Frances Cornford
1960 John Betjeman
1962 Christopher Fry
1963 William Plomer
1964 R. S. Thomas
1965 Philip Larkin
1967 Charles Causley
1968 Robert Graves
1969 Stevie Smith
1970 Roy Fuller
1971 Sir Stephen Spender
1973 John Heath-Stubbs
1974 Ted Hughes
1977 Norman Nicholson
1981 D. J. Enright
1986 Norman MacCaig
1988 Derek Walcott
1989 Allen Curnow
1990 Sorley Maclean
1991 Judith Wright
1992 Kathleen Raine
1996 Peter Redgrove
1998 Les Murray
2000 Edwin Morgan
2001 Michael Longley
2002 Peter Porter