Sunday, May 3, 2009

And the Laureate is a She

Congratulations to Carol Ann Duffy who has just been named Poet Laureate of Britain.  This is an honor of a particular kind for Duffy who is a woman (first ever for this position) and a Scot, residing in Manchester. I think this may mean that she does not necessarily speak with Received Pronunciation.

One Duffy poem that haunted me was "Salome" which begins (from memory, so probably with error), "She's done it before and she'll do it again."  It is a remarkable poem in word play and general  playfulness around a solemn subject.

In her interview with Charlotte Higgens in the Guardian she expressed joy at being able to represent women who have revolutionized poetry over the last forty years.  

Rachel Cooke, "'I still haven't written the best I can,'" Observer (May 3, 2009).
Charlotte Higgens, "Carol Ann Duffy: 'A celebration of great women poets' Guardian (May 1, 2009).
Sarah Lyall, "After 341 Years, British Poet Laureate is a Woman," New York Times (May 1, 2009).