Carol Ann Duffy UK’s first female poet laureate

May 2, 2009

Carol Ann Duffy was annointed poet laureate  in Britain yesterday.

She is the first woman to hold the post in the 341 years since Charles II gave the inaugural post to John Dryden.

It is a great day for women writers,” said Duffy, who described the laureateship as “tending the flame” of poetry. “It highlights the way that women writers have changed the landscape of literature in this country … though I think guys will be pleased as well.”

Ten years ago, she was reportedly ruled out of the laureateship because Tony Blair was concerned about how a gay poet laureate might play in middle England. Tonight a spokesman for Tony Blair denied this had been the case.

British Prime Minsiter Gordon Brown :

. . . called Duffy “a truly brilliant modern poet who has stretched our imaginations by putting the whole range of human experiences into lines that capture the emotions perfectly”.

Duffy has published more than 30 books – plays and children’s stories as well as poems that mix accessible modern language with traditional forms such as the sonnet. Her work often displays a sly, feminist take on history and contains a strong vein of social commentary.

She was born in Glasgow and is creative director of Manchester Metropolitan University’s writing school.

 Her works include “The Worlds’ Wife”  about which Wikipedia   says: The collection takes characters, stories, histories and myths which focus on men, and in Duffy’s renowned feminist way, are twisted to look at the woman behind the man.

One of these is Anne Hathaway:


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