Carol Ann Duffy is the new Poet Laureate

The headline says it all really! Carol Ann Duffy will later today be announced as the new Poet Laureate, taking over from Andrew Motion. She is the first female poet to hold the position, and will do so for ten years. She has decided to donate her yearly honorarium of £5,750 to the Poetry Society to fund a new prize. Which is nice.

A University of Liverpool graduate, Carol Ann Duffy has published over thirty books for both children and adults, most recently Rapture (T. S. Eliot Award, 2005) and The Hat (Poetry Book Society Children’s Choice, 2007). In 2000 she received the CBE for her contribution to poetry. But arguably the highlight of her career was an appearance at our Shipping Lines Literary Festival in November 2008…

So, let’s have some May Day optimism, and hope that she can help to put poetry back where it belongs: at the heart, and indeed soul, of national life.

4 thoughts on “Carol Ann Duffy is the new Poet Laureate”

  1. I am thrilled that CAD has been officially recognised as she is streets ahead of anyone else writing in the genre and her sex, not to mention her sexual preferences, are irrelevant (though all the papers have picked up on these).

    However, she was treated disgracefully by the NEAB who bowed to pressure and removed her brilliant ‘Education for Leisure’ from the current GCSE anthology whilst being quite happy to continue to use the second-rate ‘Stone Cold’!

    Poetry will never be at ‘the heart’ and/or ‘the soul, of national life’ whilst such abhorrent covert censorship continues – why not put it on the blog?

    ‘Congratulations’ CAD!

    p.s. Is ‘nice’ quite the right word for her generous act re the Poetry Societry? She has done it to do just what you say is needed: to put poetry back where it belongs!

  2. Hi Sue. Thanks for your reply. I’m afraid my post might’ve sounded glibber than it was meant to. It was just a quick announcement, not an analysis. I too think she is an excellent choice and can’t wait to read what she comes up with.


    P. S. Well, I don’t think ‘nice’ is the wrong word.

    [nice (adjective):1 pleasant; agreeable. 2 good-natured; kind.]

  3. Hi Mark,

    Yes, well, I suppose I just thought ‘nice’ was a bit ordinary – blame too much close-reading!

    Also, of course, its older meaning is ‘just right’, ‘particular’, ‘precise’, isn’t it, as used by Mr Woodhouse in ‘Emma’, for example, so maybe I’m being too ‘nice’ in that case!

    Glad you posted an announcement without biographical input!


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