Poet Gillian Clarke awarded Queen's gold medal
Friday 24 December 2010
Acclaimed writer Gillian Clarke has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, Buckingham Palace announced today.
The unique honour recognises her body of work which culminated in the collection A Recipe for Water, published last year.
The Cardiff-born writer is the national poet of Wales and her work is well known to teenage readers as a selection of her poems have been set for GCSE English for a number of years.
The 73-year-old poet, who is married with three children, has pioneered the teaching of creative writing and co-founded Ty Newydd, the writers' centre in North Wales, in 1990.
Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who chaired the medal's judging panel, described Clarke as "part of the literary landscape of this country".
She added: "As such, it is easy to take for granted the impact and influence of her work.
"Take an early poem, perhaps, like Letter from a Far Country. First heard on radio and published in the early 1980s, this poem subtly and lyrically describes the everyday household responsibilities of a woman with a full, ordered, demanding life at home and a longed-for, free, dream-like life elsewhere.
"We could read it as a poem about a trapped housewife but it is so much more than that.
"It is a moving and beautiful statement about freedom and constraint. Freedom and constraint - whether writing about women, ecology, politics or the natural world - these are the hallmarks of Gillian Clarke's art."
Distinguished past recipients of the Gold Medal have included WH Auden (1936), John Betjeman (1960), Philip Larkin (1965), Stevie Smith (1969) and Ted Hughes (1974).
The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield.
The honour is awarded for excellence in poetry for either a body of work or an outstanding poetry collection published during the year of the award.
Clarke will receive her honour from the Queen next year.
musicReview: Culture Club performs live for first time in 12 years
Children's bookseller wins The Independent's new author search
ReviewThese heroes in a half shell should have been left in hibernation
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Salisbury ranked seventh-best city in the world to visit in Lonely Planet’s Best in Travel 2015
- 2 Disney announces new female-led film Moana
- 3 Banksy has not been arrested: Internet duped by fake report claiming artist's identity revealed
- 4 Kentucky gang rape: 15-year-old boy left in critical condition after sexual attack by group at party
- 5 Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
Disney announces new female-led film Moana
Eight seconds of white noise is top of the Canadian iTunes chart because people love Taylor Swift that much
Fury, film review: Brad Pitt is intriguing as unsympathetic war hero
American Horror Story season 4, Fox - TV review: Sensitive, silly and sensational
Peep Show series 9: Final season to air on Channel 4 in 2015
Cameron is warned 'no possibility' of UK reducing immigration and that bid to bring in quota on migrant workers would be illegal
Residents should throw a street party and mix with immigrant neighbours, councils told
Russell Brand threatened with arrest after filming outside Fox News headquarters
London bus driver 'kicks gay couple off for kissing'
Jose Manuel Barroso warns David Cameron against making 'historic mistake' over immigration reforms
Of course, teenage girls need role models – but not like beauty vlogger Zoella