U.K. Expected to Appoint Its First Woman Poet Laureate

by Staff

Daily News

Online Only, posted 4.27.09

Carol Ann Duffy has been nominated for appointment by Queen Elizabeth as the next poet laureate of Great Britain, the Independent reported. If confirmed by the Queen, Duffy would be the first woman and the first openly gay writer to hold the post. She would succeed Andrew Motion, whose ten-year term ends this month.

After having been turned down for the position ten years ago, when former prime minister Tony Blair declared her sexuality a potential point of contention for some citizens, Duffy was selected this month through a process that included the public weighing in on the decision. Duffy’s appointment would be widely celebrated, according to Poetry Society director Judith Palmer, who said that a campaign for a woman poet laureate has been long running.

Motion, who has called the job "incredibly difficult and entirely thankless," expressed support of Duffy’s appointment. "I would be profoundly pleased if Carol was to take on the role as I think she would be magnificently good at it, " Motion told the Independent. "She's an absolutely wonderful writer and I think that because no woman has had the role, having Carol would give the whole thing a great glamour and appeal."

The responsibilities of the post include writing works commissioned to celebrate royal events such as weddings and anniversaries.

Duffy would join a list of poets laureate that includes William Wordsworth, Alfred Lord Tennyson, Robert Bridges, and Ted Hughes. Traditionally, the post is held for life, a convention broken by Motion, who limited his term to ten years, but Duffy’s tenure has not yet been determined.

Duffy’s most recent book of poetry is Rapture (Picador, 2005). Winner of the Whitbread Poetry Award, the Dylan Thomas Prize, and the T. S. Eliot Prize, among others, she has also written a number of children’s books and libretti. She teaches at Manchester Metropolitan University.

Current Issue

Cover Story 

Our Independent Publishing Issue features an in-depth interview with Graywolf Press editor Jeff Shotts; a look at the successful partnerships of eleven small-press authors and their editors; a profile of indie essayist Charles D'Ambrosio; Donald Hall recalls a golden age of American poetry; best-selling author Miranda Beverly-Whittemore on the rewards of self-promotion; advice for self-published authors; a conversation with Guernica publisher Lisa Lucas; and much more.

Finding Gems in Lost & Found

by Rebecca Bates

News and Trends

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

The Center for Humanities at the CUNY Graduate Center in New York City is making the ephemeral more tangible through its Lost & Found chapbook series.

More

Let's Just Do This: Eleven Small-Press Authors and their Publishing Partners

by Kevin Larimer

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Eleven small-press authors and their publishing partners discuss the independent approach—and all the passion, commitment, and love that comes with it—to bringing books into the world.

More

Agents & Editors: Jeff Shotts

by Michael Szczerban

Special Section

Posted 10.15.14

November/December 2014

Graywolf Press executive editor Jeff Shotts discusses the power of patience in publishing, editing as an act of empathy, and why it’s an exciting time to be a poet.

More