Julia Copus was born in London, near to the Young Vic theatre, and now lives in Somerset. Her two previous collections, The Shuttered Eye and In Defence of Adultery, were both Poetry Book Society Recommendations. She has won First Prize in the National Poetry Competition and the Forward Prize for Best Single Poem (2010). She also writes for radio; her first play, Eenie Meenie Macka Racka, was awarded the BBC's Alfred Bradley prize. She is a Lector for the Royal Literary Fund, and in 2008 was made an Honorary Fellow at the University of Exeter.
Shortlisted for the Costa Poetry Award 2012. These finely tuned poems are the fruit of her upbringing in a musical family, an affinity with the Classics, a fascination with the arc of time, and an unflinching scrutiny of love and personal relationships. Born out of a powerful sense of place, the poems navigate through a beguiling sequence of interior and exterior landscapes, whether revisiting Ovid, negotiating the perils of one composer's attempt to step into the shoes of another or describing, from shifting perspectives, a young girl's escape from suburban ennui. The book concludes with a moving arrangement of pieces that explore the author's experience of IVF: poems written with wry humour and with grace, which celebrate the mysteries of conception alongside the sometimes surreal business of medical intervention. The World's Two Smallest Humans is an unforgettable read.
WINNER OF THE DEREK WALCOTT PRIZE FOR POETRY Julia Copus's new collection, Girlhood, is a book of transgressed boundaries and seductive veneers. Restlessly inquisitive, it exposes the shifting power balance between things on the verge of becoming and the forces that threaten to destroy them. Reading these poems, we have the sense of encountering a series of filmic installations arranged by episode in a gallery. Lost, censored or disparaged voices speak out from secluded spaces and moments of hidden history: from within a professor's office and a deserted department store; from kitchens, bedrooms, hallways and upstairs windows; through changing weathers, fidgety shadows and the witching hour. Girlhood concludes with a sequence set in a psychiatric hospital that reimagines Jacques Lacan's treatment of his most famous case study, Marguerite Pantaine. This dramatic meeting of minds has us questioning who is the more delusional - doctor or patient: like other victims in this exhilarating new collection, Marguerite may initially appear vanquished, but a closer look reveals how little of herself she has really surrendered.
The first comprehensive biography of this undervalued writer, who was considered 'far and away the best living woman poet' in her day. Andrew Motion's Spectator Book of the Year. 'One of the many achievements of This Rare Spirit is its rejection of that tired view of the poet as mouse that barely roared in favour of a true sense of a spikily modern woman, bound by various obligations but resilient, headstrong, and poetically inventive . . . Copus's diligent, scholarly, sensitive work should help Mew's pipe play on for years to come.' Declan Ryan, Los Angeles Review of Books '[A] supreme biography . . . It is hard to do justice to the breadth of research Copus has done here, or the compassionate, detailed conjuring of Mew and her milieu . . . An essential book, a classic work of literary biography.' Sean Hewitt, Irish Times '[K]eenly intelligent, fascinating and nuanced biography . . . Save Charlotte Mew! And read this book.' Joanna Kavenna, Literary Review 'An exquisitely told account of the life of a half-forgotten London poet whose work was admired by Hardy, Sassoon and Virginia Woolf. Julia Copus does her justice at last.' Claire Tomalin 'This Rare Spirit is a classic - the biography of Mew we have all been waiting for.' Fiona Benson The British poet Charlotte Mew (1869-1928) was regarded as one of the best poets of her age by fellow writers, including Virginia Woolf, Siegfried Sasson, Walter de la Mare and Marianne Moore. She has since been neglected, but her star is beginning to rise again, all the more since her 150th anniversary in 2019. This is the first comprehensive biography, from cradle to grave, and is written by fellow poet Julia Copus, who recently unveiled a blue plaque on Mew's childhood house in Doughty Street and was the editor of the Selected Poetry and Prose (2019). Mew was a curious mix of New Woman and stalwart Victorian. Her poems speak to us strongly today, in these strangely mixed times of exposure and seclusion: they reveal the private agony of an isolated being who was forced to keep secret the tragedies of her personal life while being at the same time propelled by her work into the public arena. Her poetry transfigures that very private suffering into art that has a universal resonance.
100 poems to reach for on dark nights, selected by Julia Copus.These are poems to wander about in and commit to memory so they can be stored away in the deep heart's core; places to visit and return to at will. Poems that reawaken the senses and offer new ways of looking; that unsettle us and reconnect us to the world that surrounds us; that bring us to a place of greater clarity. Life Support includes a star-studded cast of authors including William Wordsworth, Frank O'Hara, Robert Frost, Denise Levertov and Sylvia Plath, all selected by award-winning poet Julia Copus.
When night falls my bed is an air balloon. I sail through the slipsiverse, close by the moon. I float above treetops where fluttertufts are sleeping And flowering hills where the whifflepigs go creeping; Ponds strung with starlight that glitter like glass, A floog with her velvet nose bent to the grass. Such treasures I spy on! My bed in the trees Swings me up high, like a circus trapeze. Now the cool, night-rustling air Slips through my finger-gaps, ripples my hair; Now we glide over water, the moon's silver light Blown by a cloudpuff into the bight, Adrift on the sea where the dream-shapes float; When night falls my bed is a sailing boat. A beautifully presented picture book with two front covers, the text can be read from front to back and vice versa. The mirror form poem meets in the middle in a stunning centrepiece image as the two children in the story (twins, one in an air balloon, the other a sailing boat) meet in the clouds!
One Saturday, in the middle of June, one bright and windy afternoon, all the creatures by Piggyback Wood were getting ready - as fast as they could. There was only a short time left to prepare for the birthday party at Badger's lair. Badger's having a birthday party and Harry and Lil are getting ready, but just as Lil is getting her favourite hat off the washing line to wear, it blows away. Harry says it's gone for good, but Lil says you should never say never if birds can fly, shrews can, too An umbrella doesn't work, nor does a fan... but then Deer comes along with a big green balloon!
It was night in the village - a still, dark night - and Harry the Hog was sleeping tight. In her house at the foot of Piggyback Hill, also asleep, was Candy Stripe Lil. The second Harry and Lil story from acclaimed Faber poet Julia Copus, who has recently turned her hand to picture books for the first time! The tale of a hog - and his friend Candy Stripe Lil - kept awake by mysterious noises in the night is sure to delight adults and children alike.
Told in fizzingly original rhymes from a rising star in the poetry world this was the first brand-new picture book on the Faber Children's list. The tale of a hog in the fog. This is the story of Candy Stripe Lil and Harry the Hog who lived over the hill. . . . and a foggy March day, roundabout three, when Lil had invited Harry for tea. Lil is expecting Harry the Hog for tea, but there's a swirling fog outside and Harry is nowhere to be seen. Lil sets off to find her friend. Luckily she meets Deer, Sheep and Crow along the way, who all join in the hunt to find the hog in the fog. A heartwarming rhyming adventure story about friendship, teamwork and teatime! 'A perfect combination of clever rhymes and beautiful illustrations.' Sunday Express 'Whimsical and enticing.' Metro 'The perfect picture book.' Armadillo Magazine