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The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry 2002

Published 23 April 2002


The Queen has been pleased to approve the award of Her Majesty's Gold Medal for Poetry for the year 2002 to Mr Peter Porter.

Peter Porter was born in Brisbane in 1929 and has been writing poetry since he left school. He worked in Brisbane before coming to England in 1951 to pursue a literary career.

He has also worked as a clerk, bookseller and advertising writer and in 1968 became a full-time poet, journalist, reviewer and broadcaster.

In recent years he has divided his time between Britain and his home country.

In 1983 he won the Duff Cooper Memorial Prize for his first book of Collected Poems and in 1988 he won the Whitbread Poetry Award for the Automatic Oracle.

The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the Poet Laureate, Dr John Masefield.

Recommendations for the award of the Medal are made by a committee of eminent men and women of letters, under the chairmanship of the Poet Laureate. The announcement of the award is made today on the birthday of Shakespeare.

The Medal is given for a book of verse published by someone from the United Kingdom or a Commonwealth realm. Originally the award was open only to British people, but in 1985 the scope was extended to include people from the Commonwealth realms.

The obverse of the medal bears the crowned effigy of The Queen. The idea of the reverse, which was designed by the late Edmund Dulac, is: "Truth emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration - Beauty is truth and Truth Beauty".

Peter Porter will be presented with the Medal by The Queen at Buckingham Palace later in the summer.


1934 Laurence Whistler
1936 W H Auden
1940 Michael Thwaites
1952 Andrew Young
1953 Arthur Waley
1954 Ralph Hodgson
1955 Ruth Pitter
1956 Edmund Blunden
1957 Siegfried Sassoon
1959 Francis Cornford
1960 John Betjeman
1962 Christopher Fry
1963 William Plomer
1964 R. S. Thomas
1965 Philip Larkin
1967 Charles Causley
1968 Robert Graves
1969 Stevie Smith
1970 Roy Fuller
1971 Sir Stephen Spender
1973 John Heath-Stubbs
1974 Ted Hughes
1977 Norman Nicholson
1981 D. J. Enright
1986 Norman MacCaig
1988 Derek Walcott
1989 Allen Curnow
1990 Sorley Maclean
1991 Judith Wright
1992 Kathleen Raine
1996 Peter Redgrove
1998 Les Murray
2000 Edwin Morgan
2001 Michael Longley