One of the best and most popular poets
writing in Britain
today. Many people felt she should have been appointed Poet Laureate
after the death of Ted Hughes
, but the post went to Andrew Motion
instead, amid allegations that Tony Blair
was too nervous of Establishment
reaction to appoint a politically outspoken woman -- and a lesbian to boot -- to the post.
The fuss was regrettable to the extent that it focussed on Duffy's sexuality rather than her work, but at least helped introduce her to a wider audience. She writes evocative, finely-honed poetry in classical form, accessible without ever being dumbed down. Critic Katharine Viner, writing in The Guardian Weekend on September 25th 1999:
"She is read by people who don't really read poetry, yet she maintains the respect of her peers. Reviewers praise her touching, sensitive, witty evocations of love, loss, dislocation, nostalgia; fans talk of greeting her at readings 'with claps and cheers that would not sound out of place at a pop concert'. Here it is: she is easy, and she is good."
Carol Ann Duffy was born in 1955 in Glasgow, but moved to England as a child. She now lives in Manchester where she holds a post in the English Department at Manchester Metropolitan University. She is poetry editor of AMBIT, reviews verse for The Guardian and is a correspondent for the BBC's Radio Four. Her published poetry collections include Standing Female Nude (Anvil, 1985), Selling Manhattan (Anvil, 1987), The Other Country (Anvil, 1990), Mean Time (Anvil, 1993), Selected Poems (Penguin, 1992) and The World's Wife (Picador, 1999).