Carol Duffy is the current Poet Laureate of the United Kingdom being the first female, Scot and LGBT to hold this position. Born in Scotland on 23 December 1955. She was appointed to this position in March 2009. She is also a Professor in of Contemporary Poetry at Manchester Metropolitan University. The poet also writes exclusively on her poetry studied at GCSE, A Level and beyond at SheerPoetry. co. uk. She has Forty-four years, 14 awards and 26 volumes of poetry.
Duffy has been writing poems since she was ten. She was encouraged by her “storybook-special English teachers”. Her first published poems were released when she was 15 by Bernard Stone as June Scriven (a teacher in St. Joseph’s Convent School in which Duffy used to attend to) sent her poems to Outposts. At the age of 16 she met Adrian Henri and lived with him until 1982. She applied to the University of Liverpool to be near him, and began a philosophy degree there in 1974.
After that she had a relationship with Jackie Kay and lived together for 10 year. During this time she had his first daughter Ella whose biological father is Peter Benson. In 1988 she began working as a critic for The Guardian until 1989, and the editor of Ambit. In 1996 Duffy was appointed as a lecturer in MMU and later became the director of its Writing School. She is also a playwright. Her plays include Take My Husband (1982), Cavern of Dreams (1984), Little Women, Big Boys (1986) Loss (1986), and Casanova (2007).
Her adult poetry collections are Standing Female Nude (1985), winner of a Scottish Arts Council Award; Selling Manhattan (1987), which won a Somerset Maugham Award; The Other Country (1990); Mean Time (1993), which won the Whitbread Poetry Award and the Forward Poetry Prize (Best Poetry Collection of the Year); The World’s Wife (1999); Feminine Gospels (2002), a celebration of the female condition; and Rapture (2005), winner of the 2005 T. S. Eliot Prize. Her children’s poems are collected in New & Collected Poems for Children (2009).
Her poems are studied in British schools at GCSE, A-level, and Higher levels. In August 2008, her Education for Leisure (Standing Female Nude), a poem about violence, was removed from the AQA examination board’s GCSE poetry anthology. The poem was considered as inappropriate as it had reference to knife crime. Another poem that appears to be “disturbing” is ‘Psychopath’ (Selling Manhattan) giving people insight into disturbed minds of in the voices of society’s dropouts.
Carol Ann Duffy explains that she sees the speaker in Education for Leisure as a victim, and her aim was to encourage empathy for a disturbed person who has been excluded from school and society. She pushes the readers to look beyond the story and think about why the character behaves this way. Her most recent book of poetry is The Bees (2011), winner of the 2011 Costa Poetry Award and the 2011 T. S. Eliot Prize. In 2012, to mark the Diamond Jubilee, she compiled Jubilee Lines, 60 poems from 60 poets each covering one year of the Queen’s reign. In the same year, she was awarded the PEN/Pinter Prize.