Carol Ann Duffy Biography | Poems
A British poet born in Glasgow, Scotland.. Scottish poet and playwright; first female and first Scottish Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom
Carol Ann Duffy (born December 23, 1955) is a British poet born in Glasgow, Scotland. She grew up in Staffordshire and graduated in philosophy from Liverpool University in 1977, before moving to London. She now lives in Manchester with her daughter Ella (born 1995). She used to live with her partner, the poet Jackie Kay, but split up in late 2004.
In her first collection Standing Female Nude (1985) she often uses the voices of outsiders while Selling Manhattan (1987) contains more personal verse. Her later collections are The Other Country (1990), Mean Time (1993) and The World's Wife (1999).
The World's Wife saw her retelling famous stories and fables - Midas, King Kong, Elvis, Anne Hathaway, Salome - as wry and exuberant 'feminist' documents from the point of view of real or imagined women. Although The World's Wife is presented in this way, it is said to be her most autobiographical collection of poems.
Her next collection Feminine Gospels (2002) continues this vein, showing an increased interest in long narrative poems, accessible in style and often surreal in their imagery.
Her most recent publication Rapture (2005) is a series of intimate poems charting the course of a love affair.
She is perhaps one of the few poets in the UK to combine academic integrity with accessibility and popularity. Many UK teenagers read her work, as they learn her poetry as part of their English Literature exams.
Her children's collections include Meeting Midnight (1999) and The Oldest Girl in the World (2000).
Poet Laureate controversy
Carol Ann Duffy was almost appointed the British Poet Laureate in 1999 (after the death of previous Laureate Ted Hughes), but lost out on the position to Andrew Motion. According to the Sunday Times  Downing Street sources stated unofficially that Prime Minister Tony Blair was 'worried about having a homosexual poet laureate because of how it might play in middle England'. Duffy later claimed that she would not have accepted the laureateship anyway, saying in an interview with the Guardian newspaper that 'I will not write a poem for Edward and Sophie. No self-respecting poet should have to.' She says she regards Andrew Motion as a friend and that the idea of a contest between her and him for the post was entirely invented by the newspapers.