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Julia Copus
Julia Copus
Fellow at University of Exeter, 2005-08

Advisory Fellow, 2008-11


Julia Copus was born in London in 1969, near to the Young Vic theatre, and is a poet, and radio dramatist. She grew up in Hampshire, the only girl of four children, and now lives in Somerset. After winning an Eric Gregory Award from the Society of Authors in 1994, her pamphlet, Walking in the Shadows, published that same year, was a prize-winner in The Poetry Business competition. Her first full-length book of poems, The Shuttered Eye, appeared in 1995 and was short-listed for the Forward Prize for Best First Collection and selected as a Poetry Book Society Recommendation. A year later she was the recipient of a Hawthornden Fellowship for Writing. In 2001 she received writing awards from the Arts Council of England and the Authors' Foundation, and won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition with 'Breaking the Rule'. Her second collection, In Defence of Adultery (also a PBS Recommendation), appeared in 2003. In January 2007, she was poet-in-residence for the Guardian, and in 2010 she won the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem for 'An Easy Passage'. Her poetry has been widely anthologised and a third collection, The World's Two Smallest Humans, is due from Faber in July 2012.

Julia's radio work includes an afternoon play, Eenie Meenie Macka Racka (BBC Radio 4, 2003), which was awarded the BBC's Alfred Bradley Award for Best New Radio Playwright, and Ghost Lines, recently short-listed for the Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry. In 2009 a concise writing guide for undergraduates entitled Brilliant Writing Tips for Students was published by Palgrave Macmillan. The book addresses students' most common writing concerns, as well as tutors' most common gripes, and arose directly from her work as an RLF Fellow. The Landlord's Cat, a songbook for children, which was written in collaboration with her composer brother, Antony Copus, appeared in the summer of 2010. She tutors for the Arvon Foundation, and in 2008 was made an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter.