The Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry is awarded for a book of verse published by someone in any of the Commonwealth realms. Originally the award was open only to British subjects living in the United Kingdom, but in 1985 the scope was extended to include people from the rest of the Commonwealth realms. Recommendations to the Queen for the award of the Medal are made by a committee of eminent scholars and authors chaired by the Poet Laureate. In recent times, the award has been announced on the (traditional date of the) birthday of William Shakespeare, 23 April. But Don Paterson was awarded the Queen's Gold Medal for Poetry alongside the 2010 New Year Honours.The Gold Medal for Poetry was instituted by King George V in 1933 at the suggestion of the British royal court's Poet Laureate, John Masefield.
The obverse of the medal bears the crowned effigy of The Queen. The idea of the reverse, which was designed by Edmund Dulac, is: "Truth emerging from her well and holding in her right hand the divine flame of inspiration - Beauty is truth and Truth Beauty". The latter part of this description is a quotation from John Keats's poem, "Ode on a Grecian Urn".
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