Julia Copus

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Julia Copus, 2007

Julia Copus was born in London (1969), and is a British poet and children's writer.[1][2]


Copus' books of poetry include The Shuttered Eye (Bloodaxe, 1995), which won her an Eric Gregory Award and was shortlisted for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection, In Defence of Adultery (Bloodaxe, 2003) and The World's Two Smallest Humans (Faber, 2012), shortlisted for both the Costa Book Awards (poetry category) and the T.S. Eliot Prize.[1] All three collections are Poetry Book Society Recommendations. She is known for establishing a new form in English poetry, which she has called the specular form, in which the second half of the poem mirrors the first, using the same lines but in reverse order and differently punctuated.

Eenie Meenie Macka Racka (an original 45-minute play for radio) was first broadcast on BBC Radio 4 in September, 2003, having been commissioned after Copus won the BBC's Alfred Bradley Bursary Award for Best New Radio Playwright in 2002. In the same year she won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition with 'Breaking the Rule'.

In 2001, she received writing awards from the Arts Council of England and the Authors’ Foundation, and in 2003, she collaborated with sculptor Stephen Broadbent to produce a poem inscribed on a bronze bench and sculpture in Fleming Square, Blackburn.

Copus was awarded a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at the University of Exeter in 2005, 2006 and 2007. The following year she was made an RLF Advisory Fellow and awarded an Honorary Fellowship at the University of Exeter. In 2010, she won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem for 'An Easy Passage'.

A pocket-sized writing guide for undergraduates called Brilliant Writing Tips for Students was published by Palgrave Macmillan in July 2009.

A sequence of poems for radio, Ghost Lines, based on a couple's experience of IVF treatment and produced by John Taylor of Fiction Factory, was broadcast on BBC Radio 3 in December 2011 and shortlisted for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.

Copus has also written three picture books: Hog in the Fog (Faber 2014), The Hog, the Shrew and the Hullabaloo (Faber 2015) and The Shrew that Flew (Faber 2016).

Her grandfather is the painter Cecil Bailey, a central member of the Borough Bottega group who studied under David Bomberg.


Poetry collections[edit]

For children[edit]


For radio[edit]

  • Eenie Meenie Macka Racka, afternoon play, BBC Radio 4, September 2003
  • The Enormous Radio (based on the short story by John Cheever), afternoon play, BBC Radio 4, July 2008
  • Ghost Lines, a sequence of poems for radio, BBC Radio 3, December 2011




External links[edit]