carol_ann_duffy_ap_paul_thomas
Carol Duffy (AP/Paul Thomas)

This late breaking news is fabulous on so many levels. Congrats to Carol Duffy!

This report from Rene Rosechild includes a poem by Duffy that was posted here back in October:

The post has been held by William Wordsworth and Alfred Lord Tennyson but until two days ago, never by a woman. On May 1 Queen Elizabeth 11, on the advice of Prime Minister Gordon Brown appointed Britain’s first female poet laureate since the post was created in 1668, Carol Ann Duffy.

Duffy is 53 years old and has won many honors in her career, including the Dylan Thomas Award, 1989 Forward Prize, 1993 Whitbread Prize for Poetry, 1993 and an Order of the British Empire in 1995 and Commander of the British Empire in 2002. She has published six books of poetry, three plays and three children’s books.

She lives in Manchester with her 13-year old daughter, Ella.

Duffy, said she had thought “long and hard” before accepting the job, which has a 10-year term. She said she’d given the final decision to her 13-year-old daughter.

“She said, ‘Yes, Mummy, there’s never been a woman,’ ” Duffy said.

She also said her lesbianism no longer matters.

“I think we’ve all grown up a lot over the past 10 years,” she said.

“Sexuality is something that is celebrated now we have civil partnerships and it’s fantastic that I’m an openly gay writer, and anyone here or watching the interviews who feels shy or uncomfortable about their sexuality should celebrate and be confident and be happy.

“It’s a lovely, ordinary, normal thing.”

So what are her poems like?

Valentine

Not a red rose or a satin heart.

I give you an onion.
It is a moon wrapped in brown paper.
It promises light
like the careful undressing of love.

Here.
It will blind you with tears
Like a lover.
It will make your reflection
a wobbling photo of grief.

I am trying to be truthful.

Not a cute card or a kissogram.

I give you an onion.
Its fierce kiss will stay on your lips,
possessive and faithful
as we are,
for as long as we are.

Take it.
Its platinum loops shrink to a wedding ring,
if you like.
Lethal.
Its scent will cling to your fingers,
cling to your knife.

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