Published 1 December 2009

THE FOLLOWING STATEMENT IS ISSUED BY THE PRESS SECRETARY TO THE QUEEN

The Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2009

The Queen has approved the award of Her Majesty’s Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2009 to Don Paterson.

 

Biography

Don Paterson was born in 1963 and spent his early years in Dundee. After working as a professional musician and composer he was appointed Creative Writing Fellow in the English faculty at the University of St Andrews. In addition he is Poetry Editor at Picador (an imprint of the publishers Pan Macmillan), and has written five collections of poetry, Nil Nil (1993), God's Gift to Women (1997) - winner of both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, The Eyes (1999), Landing Light (2003), which won both the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry, and Rain, published to considerable acclaim by Faber, and winner of the Forward Prize for Best Collection in 2009. Mr Paterson was appointed OBE in the 2008 Birthday Honours, and is a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

History of the Gold Medal for Poetry

The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield. Recommendations for the award of the Medal are made by a committee of eminent men and women of letters, selected by the Poet Laureate (Carol Ann Duffy).

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. The poems will have been published. The poet will be from the United Kingdom or a Commonwealth realm. 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 is emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration – Beauty is Truth and Truth Beauty”.