First Woman, Gay British Poet Laureate Appointed

Britain appointed Carol Ann Duffy as the nation’s poet laureate Friday and is the first woman and openly gay person to serve in the post. The position is nearly 350 years old and has been held by William Wordsworth, John Masefield, and Ted Hughes, among others. Duffy will serve a 10 year term.

Duffy is most well known for her collection “The World’s Wife.” This collection is comprised of poems inspired by the voices of female historical figures and the wives of famous men, according to the Associated Press.

According to the New York Times, Duffy told a British radio show that her decision to accept the appointment was “purely because they hadn’t had a woman…. I look on it as recognition of the great women poets we now have writing.”


New York Times 5/1/09; Associated Press 5/2/09

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