Moy man to receive Queen’s poetry award

Paul Muldoon.
Paul Muldoon.

Portadown-born poet Paul Muldoon has been named the winner of the Queen’s Gold Medal for Poetry 2017.

Mr Muldoon, who will be presented with his medal by the Queen in 2018, has produced 12 major collections of poetry as well as children’s books and song lyrics.

The 66-year-old grew up near Moy and studied English at Queen’s University Belfast.

He published his first poetry collection in 1973 and in 1981 became a Fellow of the Royal Society of Literature.

He has lived chiefly in the United States for the last 30 years, teaching at Princeton University and more recently editing poetry for The New Yorker magazine.

Mr Muldoon is the youngest of a famous group of poets from Northern Ireland, including Seamus Heaney and Michael Longley, centred around Queen’s University in Belfast, who gained prominence in the 1970s.

He delivered a tribute to Heaney at the Nobel Prize winner’s 2013 funeral in Dublin.

Poet Laureate Dame Carol Ann Duffy said, “Paul Muldoon is widely acclaimed as the most original and influential poet of the past 50 years and is rightly celebrated alongside Seamus Heaney.

“His poetry displays a restless playful brilliance, forever searching for new ways to channel his ideas and new language to dress them in.”

She added, “He is ambitious, erudite, witty and musical. He can experiment with form and stand tradition on its head, craft a tender elegy or intimate love poem with equal skill.

“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.”