“In the world of British poetry Carol Ann Duffy is a superstar” The Guardian
“Duffy is magnificent, grounded, heartfelt, dedicated to the notion that poetry can give us the music of life itself” Scotsman
It is a huge honour to present Carol Ann Duffy, one of the most important and best-loved voices in contemporary British poetry.
Born in Glasgow in 1955, Duffy published her first full-length collection, Standing Female Nude, in 1985. This was followed by Selling Manhattan (1987), The Other Country (1990), and Mean Time (1993), which won an award from the Scottish Arts Council, the Forward Prize and the Whitbread Prize for Poetry. ‘Prayer’ from this volume, a sonnet that concludes with the mantra of the BBC shipping forecast, has become one of her most loved poems. Next came The World’s Wife (1999), a brilliant series of dramatic monologues from the wives of famous men from history (there’s Mrs. Midas, Mrs. Faust, Mrs. Darwin). Feminine Gospels followed in 2002, the same year Duffy became CBE (having received an OBE in 1995). In 2005, Picador published Rapture, 52 poems charting the rise and fall of a love affair, which won the T.S. Eliot Prize.
In 2009, Duffy was appointed Britain’s Poet Laureate, the first woman and Scot to hold the position in the 400-year history of the award. Her laureateship has been marked by her generous creation of opportunities for other poets, and she notably donates her Laureate payment as a Ted Hughes Award for New Work in Poetry.
Duffy’s most recent collection, Bees, described as “swooningly glorious” by The Times and “indisputably her best volume” by The Sunday Times, was published in 2011.
Carol Ann Duffy lives in Manchester, where she is Professor and Creative Director of the Writing School at Manchester Metropolitan University.