Jo Shapcott

Poet and editor

A woman with light skin tone and shoulder length dark hair leaning against a tree trunk Jo Shapcott, by Madeleine Waller, 12 September 2006, NPG x132073, © Madeleine Waller / National Portrait Gallery, London

Her collection Electroplating the Baby (1988) won the Commonwealth Poetry Prize for Best First Collection, while My Life Asleep (1998) won the Forward Prize for Best Collection. Her most recent volume, Of Mutability (2010), won the Costa Book Award. In 2011 Jo Shapcott was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry.

What’s the matter? You are right. You are wrong.
Things are going well (badly). Am I disturbing you?

From ‘Phrase Book’ in Phrase Book (Oxford: OUP, 1992)

The problem is not living together, pulling together,
the problem is dying ...

From ‘War and Peace’ in Atlanta Review (Spring/Summer 1998)