Entertainment & Arts

Liz Lochhead to receive Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

Liz Lochhead in 2011 Image copyright PA

The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry for 2015 is to be awarded to Liz Lochhead, Scotland's national poet.

Lochhead, who was appointed the second Scots Makar early in 2011, wins the prize for her body of work.

"Liz Lochhead has made a unique contribution to Scottish poetry," said Poet Laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who chaired the judging committee.

The medal is awarded annually, for either many years' work or a collection published in the year of the award.

"Since the early 1970s Liz has influenced an entire generation of other writers bringing a new kind of poetry performance to the stage, as well as a different set of rhythms to the page," Duffy continued.

"From the start, she spoke in her own feisty, female voice, mixing old Scots with new Scots... and she did this with a galvanising spirit and vitality that helped to change the landscape of British poetry."

Poems and plays

Lochhead became a professional writer after teaching and lecturing in Fine Arts for eight years.

Her first collection of poems, Memo for Spring, was published in 1972 and won a Scottish Arts Council book award.

Her most recent collection, A Choosing, came out in 2011 and she is currently working on another one.

Lochhead, who will receive her award from the Queen in 2016, served as Poet Laureate for Glasgow from 2005 until her appointment as Scots Makar, Scotland's national poet.

The gold medal was first presented by George V in 1933, after a suggestion by then-Poet Laureate John Masefield.

The recommendation for the winner, which has to be approved by the Queen, is made by a panel of experts chosen by the Poet Laureate at the time.

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