Carol Ann Duffy

Poet

Born: 23 December 1955
Birthplace: Glasgow, Scotland
Best known as: The first female poet laureate in British history
Carol Ann Duffy is a Scottish-Irish poet who became the United Kingdom's first woman Poet Laureate in 2009. She studied philosophy at Liverpool University and earned a degree in 1977. After writing for television for a few years, Duffy became writer-in-residence for London's East End schools (1982-84) and worked on poetry. Her first collection of poems, 1985's Standing Female Nude, won a Scottish Arts Council Award, and her second collection, 1987's Selling Manhattan, won the Somerset Maugham Award. Since then Carol Ann Duffy has won several major poetry awards, including the Whitbread and Forward Poetry prizes for 1993's Mean Time. Critically acclaimed and popular among readers, Duffy's poems are known for dramatic narratives, clever wit and social commentary. Duffy moved to Manchester in 1996 and began lecturing at Manchester Metropolitan University, where she later became creative director of the writing school. She is a playwright as well as poet, with plays including Take My Husband (1982), Little Women, Big Boys (1986) and Casanova (2007). Duffy has also written books for children, including New & Collected Poetry for Children (2009) and the stories Meeting Midnight (1999) and The Oldest Girl in the World (2000). Her other poetry collections include The World's Wife (2000), Feminine Gospels (2002) and Rapture (2006).
Extra credit: Duffy succeeded Andrew Motion as poet laureate; he held the post from 1999-2009.... Along with an annual stipend of 5,750 pounds, the poet laureate receives by tradition a "butt of sack" -- a barrel of sherry equal to about 600 bottles... Duffy has a daughter, Ella, from her former relationship with another female Scottish poet, Jackie Kay. Ella was born in 1995, and the BBC reports that the father is another writer, Peter Benson... OBE and CBE stand for Office and Commander of the British Empire, respectively.

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