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Poet and children’s author Julia Copus is a UK-based writer. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). All three of her poetry collections are recommendations of the Poetry Book Society, an organisation set up by T. S. Eliot in 1953 “to propagate the art of poetry”. Her poem ‘An Easy Passage’ features on the exam syllabus for the EdExcel A’ Level in English Literature and ‘Raymond, at 60’ is included in the Unseen Poetry Preparation Anthology for the same board. Ghost Lines, a cycle of radio poems following the journey of a couple undergoing IVF treatment, made the shortlist for the 2012 Ted Hughes Award.

Children’s Books

Julia also writes for children and has published several picture books with Faber: Hog in the Fog (2014), The Hog, the Shrew and the Hullabaloo (2015) and The Shrew that Flew (2016). A new title, My Bed is an Air Balloon, will appear in bookshops in the Autumn of 2018. This latest picture book is in the specular form that Julia first developed in her adult poetry, in which the first half of the text is a mirror image of the second so that it’s possible to read the story from front to back or back to front.

Critical reception

Julia’s third poetry collection, The World’s Two Smallest Humans (Faber, 2012) was shortlisted for the T. S. Eliot Prize and Costa Poetry award. Mark Lawson chose it as a Book of the Year in The Guardian; and Matthew Richardson, writing in The Spectator, said of this volume that it revealed ‘A master poet at work. With a characterful blend of the heart-felt and the experimental, delivered in language that is never less than pin-sharp, it is one of the most striking volumes of the year’ while Kate Kellaway in The Observer called it ‘a beautiful, arresting, sympathetic collection’.

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