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St Andrews' poet honoured by the Queen

Wednesday 06 January 2010

University poet and writer Don Paterson has been placed amongst the greatest British poets of our time with a unique award by the Queen.

Mr Paterson has been named recipient of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, joining literary luminaries such as W.H. Auden, Philip Larkin and Ted Hughes.

In the announcement, the Dundonian poet's work is described as 'technically brilliant', and as 'tapping into deep, timeless human experiences.'

The honour, announced alongside the 2010 New Year's Honours, is the first awarded during the Laureateship of Carol Ann Duffy.

Mr Paterson, whose latest volume of poems, Rain, won the prestigious Forward Poetry Prize for Best Collection, has been recognised for the entirety of his work spanning almost twenty years.

The award's history dates back to the time of George V, when it was suggested by the then Poet Laureate John Masefield, in 1933.  Past winners have included W. H. Auden (1936), John Betjeman (1960), Philip Larkin (1965), Stevie Smith (1969) and Ted Hughes (1974). 

This year's award follows the recommendation of a committee of eminent men and women of letters, selected by new Poet Laureate Duffy.

Of Paterson's work she said, "It's formally very accomplished, and technically brilliant; but he also taps into deep, timeless human experiences. He's a poet for all time who speaks very much to us in the 21st century, to our preoccupations, but he also belongs in the company of the poets of the past."

It is the most recent of many accolades awarded to Paterson.  His first collection, Nil Nil, won the Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection in 1993, and his second collection, God's Gift to Women (1997), won the T. S. Eliot Prize and the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize.

ENDS

 

Issued by the Press Office, University of St Andrews
Contact Gayle Cook, Senior Communications Manager on 01334 467227 / 462529, mobile 07900 050 103, or email gec3@st-andrews.ac.uk 

Ref:  Paterson Queens medal 0690110
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