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. 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 2003, Copus collaborated with sculptor Stephen Broadbent to produce a poem inscribed on a bronze sculpture in Fleming Square, Blackburn. She was awarded a Royal Literary Fund Fellowship at the University of Exeter in 2005, 2006 and 2007, and the following year 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'. She has served on the judging panel for a number of literary prizes, including the Geoffrey Faber Memorial Prize, the Ted Hughes Award, the Costa Book Award, Encore Award and T. S. Eliot Prize for poetry.
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.
- The Shuttered Eye, Bloodaxe Books 1995
- In Defence of Adultery, Bloodaxe Books 2003
- The World's Two Smallest Humans, Faber 2012
- The Landlord's Cat, Out of the Ark Music 2010 (with Antony Copus)
- A Harry & Lil story: Hog in the Fog, Faber 2014
- A Harry & Lil story: The Hog, the Shrew and the Hullabaloo, Faber 2015
- A Harry & Lil story: The Shrew that Flew, Faber 2016
- 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
- 1994 Eric Gregory Award (Society of Authors)
- 1995 Hawthornden Fellowship
- 1997 The Shuttered Eye shortlisted for Forward Poetry Prize for Best First Collection
- 2001 Arts Council Writers' Award
- 2001 Authors' Foundation Grant (Society of Authors)
- 2002 National Poetry Competition, First Prize - 'Breaking the Rule'
- 2002 BBC Alfred Bradley Bursary Award for Best New Radio Playwright, Eenie Meenie Macka Racka
- 2005 Arts Council Writers' Award
- 2008 Honorary Fellowship, Exeter University
- 2008 Advisory Fellowship, Royal Literary Fund
- 2010 Forward Poetry Prize (Best Single Poem), 'An Easy Passage'
- 2011 Ghost Lines shortlisted for Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry
- 2012 Costa Book Awards (poetry category), shortlist, The World's Two Smallest Humans
- 2012 T S Eliot Prize, shortlist, The World's Two Smallest Humans 
- 2014 Authors' Foundation Grant (Society of Authors)
- The Poetry Society (Julia Copus, Apna Ghar Age Concern)
- The Poetry Society (Julia Copus Profile)
- Alison Flood (23 October 2012). "TS Eliot prize for poetry announces 'fresh, bold' shortlist". The Guardian. Retrieved 23 October 2012.