'Witty and musical' Muldoon wins Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

'Witty and musical' Muldoon wins Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

Irish writer Paul Muldoon will receive Her Majesty's Gold Medal for Poetry next year for the “restless, playful brilliance” of his work.

The Poetry Medal Committee recommended the Faber poet as this year's recipient of the medal, which recognises excellence in poetry, on the basis of the body of his work overall which spans four decades.

Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy described Muldoon as “widely acclaimed as the most original and influential poet of the past 50 years and is rightly celebrated alongside Seamus Heaney”. She said: “His poetry displays a restless, playful brilliance, forever searching for new ways to channel his ideas and new language to dress them in.”

Duffy described Muldoon, who has lived mostly in the US for the last 30 years, as “ambitious, erudite, witty and musical” and said “he can experiment with form and stand tradition on its head, craft a tender elegy or intimate love poem with equal skill”. She added: “His work is of major significance internationally – poetry of clarity, invention, purpose and importance which has raised the bar of what’s possible in poetry to new heights.”

Muldoon’s Why Brownlee Left, published by Faber in 1980, has been famed for its "technical acumen, dry verbal wit, and provocative use of language” while Horse Latitudes divided the critics on its release in 2006.

The poet’s recent titles include last year's Selected Poems 1968-2014 published and poetry collection One Thousand Things Worth Knowing published the year before, both by Faber.

He will be presented with the medal by the Queen in 2018.

Muldoon currently teaches at Princeton University and is poetry editor for the New Yorker. His work has received many awards both in the UK and abroad, including the Pulitzer Prize (2003). He was professor of poetry at Oxford University from 1999 to 2004.

He was born in County Armagh in 1951 and studied at Queen’s University, Belfast, before publishing his first collection of poetry in 1973, New Weather (Faber) and working as a BBC producer in Northern Ireland. In 1981 he became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

British poet Gillian Allnutt won the medal last year.

The award was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the then Poet Laureate, John Masefield. The front of the medal bears the crowned effigy of The Queen.