NI poet Muldoon awarded Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry

By Robbie Meredith
BBC News NI Education Correspondent

Image caption,
The Gold Medal-winning poet was born in Armagh

The Northern Irish poet Paul Muldoon has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2017.

It was awarded to Mr Muldoon for excellence in poetry on the basis of his work over several years.

The Armagh-born poet, who now lives in the United States, will be presented with the medal by the Queen next year.

The Gold Medal was established in 1933 by King George V.

Image caption,
Paul Muldoon spoke at Seamus Heaney's funeral, describing him as 'bounteous, bouncy and con brio'

Previous recipients include WH Auden, Siegfried Sassoon, Philip Larkin and Stevie Smith.

Born in 1951, Paul Muldoon studied at Queen's University before becoming a BBC Northern Ireland producer.

He has taught at Princeton University in the United States since 1987.

He previously won the Pulitzer Prize for his collection Moy Sand and Gravel in 2003.

He has also played guitar in two rock bands.

Image caption,
Michael Longley is the only other poet from Northern Ireland to have won the award

Poet laureate Carol Ann Duffy, who chaired the medal's judging panel described Mr Muldoon as "ambitious, erudite, witty and musical".

"Paul Muldoon is widely acclaimed as the most original and influential poet of the 50 years and is rightly celebrated alongside Seamus Heaney," she said.

"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."