London-born poet Jo Shapcott has been awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry, an occasional honor given since 1933 for either a single poem by a U.K. writer or a poet's entire oeuvre. Shapcott received the prize for her body of work, the most recent addition to which is Of Mutability (Faber & Faber, 2010), the poet's award-winning chronicle of her battle with cancer.
"The award of the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry is the true crowning of Jo's career," said U.K. poet laureate Carol Anne Duffy, who headed up the judging panel. "The calm but sparkling Englishness of her poetry manages to combine accessibility with a deeply cerebral engagement with all the facets of being human—alert to art and science, life and death."
Shapcott, who teaches at the University of London, is also the author of Her Book: Poems 1988–1998 (Faber & Faber, 2000); My Life Asleep (Oxford University Press, 1998), which won the Forward Poetry Prize; and Electroplating the Baby (Bloodaxe Books, 1988), which won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize.
In the video below, Shapcott reads from her most recent collection.