Carol Ann Duffy, born on December 23, 1955 to a Roman Catholic family in Glasgow, is a famous playwright and poet from Scotland. In May 2009 she was appointed Poet Laureate in Britain, besides which at Manchester Metropolitan University, she is Professor of Contemporary Poetry. In Scotland, she is the first woman and first openly LGBT to hold the position.
Standing Female Nude in 1985, Selling Manhattan in 1987, Mean Time in 1993 and Rapture in 2005 are some of her winning collections. From 1988 to 1989 she worked for The Guardian as a poetry critic and was also an editor for the Ambit magazine. At Manchester Metropolitan University she was appointed as a Poetry lecturer in 1996.
Rich fantasy life of others and herself as well as everyday experiences are explored by Duffy in her work. Through language, memory and love, moments of consolation are discovered by her in dramatizing scenes from adult life, adolescence and childhood. Carol Ann Duffy uses simple words and language. By her own admission, while the words may be simple they are used in a complicated way.
The appearance of her poems is deceptively simply as she writes in a conversational everyday language. While exploring different identities and voices she used dramatic monologue and sonnet form, frequently. Dramatic scenes from her poetry idioms, adult life and childhood are used while creating dramatic scenes. For inspiration in writing, she uses fantasy and everyday experiences.
Issues like violence, gender and oppression are addressed in her poems in the most accessible language, due to which the poems have been popular in schools. She represents reality, gender issues, various forms of social inequality, oppression and alienation, contemporary culture and construction of self in her work.
In 2009, Carol Ann Duffy became the first woman Poet Laureate in the United Kingdom. She succeeded Poet Laureate, Andrew Motion who had held the post from 1999 – 2009. Besides getting a stipend of 5750 pounds annually, Duffy also gets a barrel of sherry equal to around 600 bottles, by a ‘Butt of Sack’ tradition. She had a relationship with Jackie Kay a former female Scottish poet from whom she has Ella, a daughter in 1995. According to reports by BBC, the father of Ella is Peter Benson, another writer.